Is DICE LA the developer behind Battlefield’s next battle royale?
In addition to the main DICE studio in Sweden, DICE LA is also working on something for Battlefield, according to a recent tweet from one of its senior developers.
DICE LA senior design director Justin Wiebe announced that the studio is involved with the Battlefield franchise in one way or another. Wiebe’s profile also states that the studio is “bringing some ‘Crazy’ to the Battlefield franchise.”
If you wondering why this is a surprise, seeing that it’s a DICE studio and DICE studios tend to make Battlefield games, then you might have missed a few notable changes with EA’s ever-shifting studios and its leadership. Back in early 2020, EA handed the reins of DICE LA over to Respawn boss Vince Zampella, who planned on rebranding the studio and have it get started on developing a new title outside of the Battlefield franchise. Zampella even hinted in May 2020 that DICE LA would probably be working on a new shooter that would not compete with EA’s other series in that genre.
A year later, it appears that DICE LA is back on Battlefield. But what exactly are they working on?
Generally, DICE LA has acted as a support studio for DICE Sweden. While DICE Sweden heads up the development of most Battlefield games, DICE LA became well-known in the Battlefield 4 era for setting up the Community Test Environment that would eventually save that game from a total bug-filled implosion. DICE LA went on to develop several DLC for the series, including Battlefield 4‘s Second Assault and Final Stand, Battlefield 1‘s Turning Tides, and some of the content from Battlefield V‘s short-lived Tides of War live service.
In all likelihood, that’s what DICE LA will be doing again, this time for the next Battlefield title scheduled to launch holiday 2021. One of the issues with Battlefield V was its pittance of new maps and content throughout Tides of War, so maybe DICE LA is already hard at work on getting post-launch content ready for the next game.
However, it’s just as likely that DICE LA could be working on the game’s much-rumored battle royale component.
Battlefield’s last foray into the battle royale genre was Battlefield V‘s Firestorm, which was developed by Criterion Games. Firestorm had some issues at launch, but it was a very promising battle royale that unfortunately was derailed by a lack of support once Criterion handed it over to DICE Sweden and a high cost of entry compared to other titles in the genre like Fortnite and EA’s own Apex Legends.
However, given the recent success of Call of Duty: Warzone, there’s no doubt that EA is licking its chops over the prospect of having its own free-to-play modern shooter battle royale tied to one of its most successful properties. And that’s where DICE LA comes in.
If DICE LA is developing the next Battlefield battle royale, this could be a win-win for EA and fans. EA can rake in all the money that would come from a fully destructible battle royale game set in the Battlefield universe, and DICE Sweden can solely focus on the rest of Battlefield’s all-out military warfare multiplayer, which is by and large what fans of the franchise actually care about.
Either way, we’ll find out what’s in store for the next Battlefield soon, as EA CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed during the publisher’s last investors call that the game would be revealed this spring.
Michael Goroff has written and edited for EGM since 2017. You can follow him on Twitter @gogogoroff.