DICE is reportedly looking to take the Battlefield franchise back to its roots by setting their next installment during World War II. The EA-owned video game developer attempted a quasi-reboot of their acclaimed shooter series with Battlefield 1 in 2016; it was the first triple-A shooter of its kind to take place during WWI and timed perfectly during an era of fatigue from future-set shooters coming from the company's chief competitor: the Call of Duty series. For this year's unannounced Battlefield installment they're sticking to the past.
EA announced plans to release a new Battlefield game in 2018 shortly before the studio released their much-maligned Star Wars: Battlefront II last year. It's been no secret in EA investors meetings that another installment in the flagship shooter brand would be coming this year, likely setting up an semi-annual alternating release schedule between Battlefield and Battlefront titles. Recent rumors seemed to indicate that the developer was potentially looking to finally make Battlefield: Bad Company 3 but that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead, the Battlefield franchise will be returning to WWII for the first time in almost a decade. We already know it'll be playable this June at EA Play and that the Battlefield V announcement trailer could be coming very soon.
GamesBeat reports that DICE's next Battlefield game is titled Battlefield V and will be set in WWII. The studio had been referring to the game as Battlefield 2 internally, thus indicating that Battlefield 1 was a reboot for the franchise in more ways than previously believed. According to the report, DICE planned on returning to WWII for quite some time, but they didn't want to jump right into that time period following Battlefield 4, so they developed Battlefield 1 first. Here's a leaked photo of game's logo:
Late-breaking update: after the story went live, I was able to confirm that this image is real. The name was changed internally from Battlefield 2 to Battlefield V. It is still set during WWII, and is coming this year. https://t.co/sT0D9RSkV2 pic.twitter.com/H8zkJ8QS8m— Jeffrey Grubb (@JeffGrubb) March 1, 2018
This news comes on the heels of Call of Duty seeing success with Call of Duty: WWII last year, which was the best-selling installment in the franchise since Black Ops II released in 2012. It's clear that first-person shooter fans feel burned out with modern and near-future shooters that have inundated the industry for the past decade. Now, EA and DICE want to continue the overwhelming success they had with Battlefield 1 by releasing a WWII-set Battlefield V, which will mark the third installment in the series to be set during that time period.
Interestingly, some of this information was already leaked as far back as December 2017 when known leaker YouTuber TheAlmightyDaq (who revealed some correct info on Battlefield 1 previously) had already reported that Battlefield 2018 would indeed be set in WWII and that Bad Company 3 is still happening within a year's time after Battlefield V comes out.
So far, more than a dozen Battlefield games have released since the franchise's inception in 2002. Of those, only two have taken place during WWII. The first was 2002's Battlefield: 1942 and the last was 2009's Battlefield 1943, though the latter game only released on consoles. Now is the perfect time for DICE to make this move and bring the series back, though the optics will be that they are following Call of Duty this time where the narrative was flipped in 2016. Bad Company fans will have to wait a bit longer for the third installment in that spinoff series to release. But GamesBeat backs up what TheAlmightyDaq revealed last year by also reporting that DICE is holding onto a potential Bad Company sequel in case they need to make another strategic shift in the future, just as they did with Battlefield 1 and are doing with Battlefield V.
We've reached out to EA for comment.