Image courtesy of Games for Windows Magazine
Games for Windows Editor Shawn Elliott has been alluding to a game in the past few editions of the GFW Radio podcast, a game he stated may change PC gaming as we know it. The game he was referring to is a joint production between EA and DICE– Battlefield Heroes.
Not much is known, other than it’ll be online-only, freely available for download during summer, and that it’ll support itself much like any other free service does – with advertising and microtransactions. Let’s just hope we don’t get raped by either.
The only screenshot available (pictured above) is from the cover of next month’s Games for Windows issue and from what I can decipher it seems to be shaping up of somewhat of a Battlefield spin on WWII with Team Fortress 2’s aesthetic stamped on it. Hell, at first glance I thought it was Team Fortress 2.
Although in this case I approve of EA and DICE playing copycat. It was an intelligent decision. Team Fortress 2 garners much more interest from passers-by than a Half-Life 2 does. Simply because of the way it looks, it appeals to a wider demographic. It’s even gotten attention from NY Times and BBC News, and what was the last gaming item to receive such mainstream attention? Wii? Or was it the DS? Go take a look at their sales figures.
This has the potential to become monstrous, so I’m pulling for them.
And for those that love corporate speak, here’s the press release from the official site:
BATTLEFIELD HEROES LEADS THE WAY FOR EA’S NEW
‘PLAY 4 FREE’ BUSINESS MODEL
Unique Cartoon Shooter Introduces a New Way to Play Battlefield
Munich, Germany, January 21, 2008 – At the Digital, Life, Design Conference (DLD) in Munich, Electronic Arts Inc., (NASDAQ: ERTS) today unveiled Battlefield Heroes™, an all-new Play 4 Free cartoon-style shooter that will bring classic Battlefield gameplay to an all new mass audience. Available for download at www.battlefield-heroes.com this summer, Battlefield Heroes is EA’s first title that is offered completely for free, and features a built-in matchmaking system to ensure that players of equal skill are paired together for fair play. Developed by DICE in Stockholm, Battlefield Heroes is leading EA’s new web-focused free to download, free to play business model which generates revenue through advertising and micro-transactions. With zero barriers to entry, now anyone can be a hero on the battlefield!
“Online gaming garners a massive audience,” said Gerhard Florin, EVP Publishing Americas-Europe at EA. “People want to play games in new ways, with easier access that is quick to the fun. With Battlefield Heroes, EA brings its first major franchise to North America and Europe with a new distribution model and pricing structure adapted to the evolving way that people play.”
Battlefield Heroes is a brand new game from the team behind Battlefield 1942™ and Battlefield 2™. It’s fun cartoon-style graphics and gameplay caters to players of all skill levels. It is easy to pick up and play but with robust character customization and a deep online meta-game, gamers can spend hours building up their characters and conquering the world.
“We put a different twist on this Battlefield game going with the cartoon-style graphics and gameplay,” added Ben Cousins, Senior Producer at EA DICE. “There’s something here for all types of players — be it our core Battlefield fans or casual gamers. With the new online model, we will continually add new content to keep the game fresh and keep players engaged, while integrating player feedback in real time. As a game developer, it is such a cool new way to make games.”
Battlefield Heroes will be released for the PC as a free download in summer 2008. This product is not yet rated by PEGI or ESRB. For more information on EA DICE, please visit www.dice.se or www.ea.com.
Keep an eye out for the March issue of the Games for Windows magazine that contains exclusive information.