No doubt EA's World War One shooter Battlefield 1 is one of the most popular shooters around, both on console and on PC, but it hasn't taken off as an esport. Well, when we talked to EA's Peter Moore in Paris recently, he indicated that could all be about to change, especially when we asked him to tell us more about Battlefield 1 becoming an esport franchise.
"Yes, you're going to see a lot more this year," he replied, "as again back to my first point, we start to think about how do we build modes into a game like Battlefield, a first-person shooter game, you can't just... Battlefield is a big sprawling game, it's very strategic and what you need to do it tighten up the map and have less players playing, so you have faster action, and so we recognise the work we need to do on a development basis so from that perspective there is stuff we need to do there."
We also asked whether he thought there was any space in the shooter genre for Battlefield. "Yeah, I think so, oh absolutely. Battlefield in 2016 was the number one shooter in the world, so you know there are other shooters obviously, but I know there's shooters that have maybe got out out ahead of us, in building out their competitive gaming strategy but I guarantee we can catch up. Our Dice studio in Stockholm is very familiar with what need to happen to make Battlefield a competitive gaming game and we'll get there."
Battlefield, however, fits into a wider esports strategy for EA. "Yes, so at Electronic Arts [at] the backend of last year, in 2016, formed a competitive gaming division. I was previously the chief operating officer at Electronic Arts and I was asked to step up and build and lead the new CGD, I stepped down from my role as COO on April 1 and moved immediately into this role. Our goals and objectives are to use our franchises such as FIFA, our American football franchise Madden and a little bit later on this year our Battlefield franchise, and bring those games to life in an even richer way, using competitive gaming and building platforms for players to enjoy the games even more by playing competitively."
Do you think Battlefield can be shaped in such a way to make it suitable for esports?