In an interview with Barrons (paywalled, transcribed by VGC), the Respawn and Infinity Ward co-founder, who is now the overseer of the entire franchise, suggested 2042 moved too far away from the classic Battlefield experience.
“I think they just strayed a little too far from what Battlefield is,” he said. “They tried to do a couple of things that were maybe ambitious: grow the player count etc. I don’t think they spent enough time iterating on what makes that fun.”
Zampella continued “It’s not inherently a bad idea. The way they were set up and the way they executed just didn’t allow them to find the best thing possible.”
In May, DICE got rid of the game’s 128-player Breakthrough playlist. It said it wanted to keep the mode as a more tactical experience, better suited to the classic 64 players.
And in response to Battlefield 2042’s “polarising” Specialists, DICE recently confirmed plans to introduce a class system in the game’s Season 3 update, which will bring it closer to something that will be more familiar to players of previous series entries.
Battlefield 2042 Season 2 launched in late August. Titled Master of Arms, it introduced a new map designed for infantry-focused gameplay, a new Specialist, plus fresh weapons and vehicles. It will also include the next in a series of reworks for the game’s launch maps.
In December, EA announced its intention to create a “connected Battlefield universe” alongside widespread changes to the franchise’s development structure.
As part of these plans, DICE’s former general manager Oscar Gabrielson left EA altogether, while Zampella took on a new role as the overseer of the franchise.
“It’s a whole new structure,” Zampella told Barrons. “We’re putting multiple studios together. We’re bringing the best talent together and giving them the time to do something amazing.”
The Seattle-based studio was established last October and has been staffing up for its debut project, which will be “a narrative campaign in the Battlefield universe”.
“It is a great honor to have the opportunity to collaborate with DICE and Ripple Effect and lead the charge on expanding the narrative, storytelling and character development opportunities in the Battlefield series,” Lehto said this month.