Interview With Battlefield One Patrick Soderlund

A screenshot showing a flamethrower-wielding soldier in Battlefield 1.EA
On 6 May, at London’s Gfinity Arena, EA announced this year’s entry in the Battlefield first person shooter franchise. Battlefield 1 takes the series to World War 1, with era-specific weaponry, vehicles and new features including cavalry and vehicle classes.

Following an early preview and before the main event livestream, IBTimes UK sat down with EA Studios executive vice president Patrick Soderlund to talk about the decision to depict The Great War, the single player campaign and the difficulty to bringing horses into Battlefield.

Aquatic vehicles didn’t play a big part in the game’s announcement, but they will in the final game.EA
You mentioned horses, and for some reason gamers love horses in their games. That must be a difficult thing to implement, especially if, presumably, it’s first person as well.

It was one of those things where we started, tried it, and were like, ‘No, it doesn’t work’. Someone, maybe me, said: ‘We must have horses in the game,’ so we went back and found a very cool solution for it that you’ll get to play.

Moving on to the single player. Battlefield has always been multiplayer focused, but it’s recent single player campaigns haven’t exactly been well received. With this game, is there a renewed focus on the campaign?

We’re not talking specifically about the single player today, but what I can tell you is… there’s a couple of things. We’ve taken a very different approach to single player this year. There are a lot of new people working on the single player, who were frankly recruited for that specifically, from very experienced teams around the world.

The other thing is, when Battlefield Hardline came out, the DICE team got an extra year to work on [Battlefield 1] so for the first time since Battlefield 2, we’ve been on a three year development cycle – which has given us the opportunity to prototype, play around with ideas and be a bit more creative on how we approach to single player. And frankly give it more time to polish. You saw a lot today and if you consider what others show off when they reveal games – you saw a lot of stuff – multiple maps and it almost looked like a finished game. There was a lot in there and that’s a credit to the longer lead-time. Anyone who builds games knows that the more time you get to iterate, the better game you get and I hope we can apply that to single player.

[At this point the interview was cut short]

Activision announced a Modern Warfare remaster recently which was a very popular decision. Would you ever considering revisiting an older Battlefield title in a similar way?

I wouldn’t say never. We’re not doing it right now, we’re focused on Battlefield 1 – but if we think the fans want that I see no reason we couldn’t.