According to a document released by EA during yesterday’s financial statement, the company plans to release Battlefield 3 on mobile devices as well. The document, obtained by IGN, shows that Battlefield 3 is listed to receive mobile versions during the same launch period as the PC and console versions.
This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen Battlefield going mobile, as you recall, EA released an iPhone version of Battlefield Bad Company 2. The document didn’t reveal what mobile platforms the game would be released on, but expect it to hit the iPhone, and Sony’s PSP/NGP and Nintendo’s DS/3DS.
Battlefield 3 is slated for release early November, 2011.
EA just released its financial report for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, and buried in all the numbers and financial details were the news that Battlefield 3 has been pre-ordered 7 times more than the previous Battlefield game, Bad Company 2. As you recall, Bad Company 2 eventually went on to sell 7 million copies.
EA didn’t disclose how many copies of Battlefield 3 have been pre-ordered so far. The record as the most pre-ordered game is currently held by Halo Reach, which was pre-ordered 2 million times before its release last year.
EA is currently running a pre-order campaign for Battlefield 3 Limited Edition, which includes the DLC “Back to Karkand”, free of charge.
Predicting how well games will do is often a tricky business, the same way it is when it comes to movies. However, some titles you just know will do a lot of business because they’re part of a franchise, and according to industry analyst Doug Creutz from Cowen and Company, Battlefield 3 will sell 10 million copies, he recently predicted in a note sent out to investors. He based his estimate on the fact that the previous Battlefield game, Bad Company 2, sold 7 million units worldwide. Battlefield 3 is a highly anticipated title with a lot of marketing money behind it, so sales should certainly eclipse those of Bad Company 2.
However, Creutz also points out that he expects Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to sell a whopping 25 million copies, 1.5 times more than Battlefield 3. He based his estimate on sales of the previous CoD title, Black Ops, which topped 14 million copies.
Both EA and Activision will spend a lot of money this Fall marketing their games, with EA’s CEO repeatedly saying that Battlefield 3 is designed to specifically compete with Modern Warfare 3. EA intends to spend $100 million in advertising on Battlefield 3.
EA has previously stated that they intend to spend $100 million marketing Battlefield 3, and they’ve already started with a few TV spots during last nights NBA Playoff games, and today, the roll out of website banners has begun, with banners and full site ads appearing on gaming sites like GameSpot, IGN and GameTrailers. In addition, several non-gaming related sites like ESPN have been spotted with Battlefield 3 banners (see image above).
While it’s somewhat unusual to begin advertising of a game that’s 6 months away, it’s clear that EA is trying to create wide awareness of BF3 before the expected news blowout begins at E3, where Battlefield 3 is most likely to be fully unveiled. E3 is the biggest gaming trade show in the world and the biggest gaming event of the year, and runs from June 7 – 9, a good 50 days from now. However, don’t expect EA to stay silent on the BF3 news front until then.
We’ve gotten some confirmation on the Battlefield 3 launch date, and a few more interesting tidbits regarding its marketing campaign.
EA CEO John Riccitiello spoke at an ad conference in New York, where he revealed that Battlefield 3 will launch this November, and will be paired with a $100 million marketing campaign from EA in order to fight off Activision’s Modern Warfare 3. Riccitiello specifically called out Modern Warfare 3, and noted: “This game [Battlefield 3, ed.] is designed to take down that game [Modern Warfare 3, ed.].”
How things play out this Fall is up in the air at the moment, as we’ve seen limited footage of Battlefield 3, and it’s only been the singleplayer part. On top of that, we’ve got no information on Modern Warfare 3 at all. One thing is certain: Activision and EA are gearing up for a big battle this Fall, and both are prepared to spend a lot of money marketing.
EA has announced that Battlefield 3 will be unveiled on March 1, 2011, a good six weeks from now. The unveiling will be done at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, IGN reports. EA will use the occasion to unveil several games, but for us, of course, the main highlight is Battlefield 3.
Every few months, EA sends a demo reel around its studios and offices, showing off what they’re working on. The latest of such “demo reels” features a video of Battlefield 3, according to a NeoGAF forum member, who works at EA. He said:
“I saw that BF3 had guns, explosions, vehicles, large maps and was played from the first person perspective. I got a few flashes of the HUD, but have no idea about how they’re evolving the game’s play mechanics.”
The demo reels are distributed among EA’s marketing staff, to stay in the loop on what the company is doing. If they already have a demo reel of Battlefield 3, perhaps a public unveiling of the game is not that far away. It might be revealed as early as GDC in April, where DICE is scheduled to give talks.
Despite all the information tidbits spilling out from EA and DICE on BF3, there’s still no official release date for the game. EA CEO John Riccitiello has previously commented that Battlefield 3 will take on the next Call of Duty game in 2011 — an indication when we can expect BF3.
In an interview with Industry Gamers, Riccitiello once again stressed the year 2011 as a release time frame for BF3.
“…you’ll see a lot about Battlefield 3 next year, which I think is, at least from our perspective, designed to be the one that is the big leap forward; the one that is going to help a lot.
He commented specifically on Activision and the competition in the first person shooter arena.
“Next year we’ll make a lot more progress. We’ve got a couple of third-party games in the form of Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm, and then our big focus is Battlefield 3 in the second half of the year. I’d be shocked if we didn’t take a notch out of [Activision].”
Unless there’s a delay, we can be pretty sure to see BF3 next Holiday season, as DICE is known for shipping titles on time. Read the full interview with Riccitiello here, where he goes in depth in his criticism of Activision.
According to some, the above is a tiny teaser of an upcoming Battlefield 3 trailer which will be revealed during the VGA Awards on December 11. To be honest, the video does resemble the openings of Battlefield 2 and 2142 (watch them here, BF2 and BF2142), but besides a dozen or so frames, nothing else is really shown.
Then there’s this:
It is quite interesting that EA is advertising for the VGA’s in Battlefield 2142, using their in-game advertising banners, as you can see above. Coincidence? Maybe. But it does raise a few eyebrows — BF 2142 has had a declining user base and most of the ads haven’t been updated for years (just days ago, it still sported ads for new Intel processors from 2008), so EA must have something really interesting to unveil at the VGAs to reach out to the last few Battlefield 2142 players.
According to EA CEO John Riccitiello, who spoke with Kotaku, Battlefield 3 is EA’s main competitor against the next installment of Call of Duty, which is set for release in Fall 2011. Riccitiello said:
“I have great expectations to do a lot better in 2011 than in 2010 on the strength of a couple of products like Bulletstorm and Crysis 2, but most importantly for us, Battlefield 3, which I feel incredibly good about.”
He also commented on the engine which will power Battlefield 3, saying that Forstbite, with its destructible environments will be far ahead of Call of Duty, which usually has static environments and a very linear gameplay.
“Our next game [Battlefield 3] is being built on the second generation of Frostbite which I think is, at least in my opinion, a class act for FPS. I think we’re going to lift the game pretty dramatically in the first-person shooter category.”
This year, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Medal of Honor went against Call of Duty Black Ops, even though Bad Company 2 was released six months earlier. This means that it’s almost certain that we’ll see Battlefield 3 in 2011, most likely during the hectic Fall 2011 release window.