EA boss: Gaming genres are 'blending' together

By Steffan Powell
Newsbeat reporter

image copyrightEA

The next instalment in the Battlefield first person shooter series is doing the exact opposite to its competitors.

As they look to the future, Battlefield is stepping into the past - to World War One.

One of the top bosses at the title's publisher, EA, tells us being distinctive is important because gaming genres are blending together.

Patrick Soderlund says there are fewer driving, shooting and puzzle games and more of what he calls "convergence".

image copyrightEA
image captionThe Battlefield 1 trailer was released worldwide last week

"In Battlefield 1 there are lots of RPG-type elements, in terms of un-lockable items or in the ways you can progress in the game, even though it's a shooter.

"If you look back a few years you were either in the action space, the shooter space or the driver space.

"You're seeing a lot of genre blending now."

Patrick was speaking to Newsbeat after the trailer for Battlefield 1, which is technically the fifth main game in the series, was released worldwide.

First person shooters (FPS) have changed since the last title in the franchise, Battlefield 4, was released back in 2013.

image copyrightEa
image captionThe last game in the Battlefield series, Battlefield 4, was a critical success

"The live online elements of these games make them different to what they were four years ago as well," he says.

"Destiny [one of the most successful shooters in recent years] is different to what we're doing with Battlefield 1 but at the same time I think you'll see more blending between these genres in future.

"I think it's exciting that as gamers we can now play multiple types of experiences in one given game."

We ask Patrick what he makes of people who say the FPS genre has become stale over the last few years.

"I think that's a fair statement," he says.

"I think as game developers we have to challenge ourselves and push the boundaries a little bit.

image copyrightEa
image captionCould Battlefield 1 and other EA titles be playable on the NX? Patrick says EA are in "constant communication" with Nintendo

"For us moving back in time rather than forwards opened up a tonne of opportunities that we didn't even imagine."

He says setting the game during World War One will excite fans and be distinctive.

"There's so much here that gamers haven't seen before.

"World War One started on horseback and during the four years of conflict people ended up in submarines, tanks and airplanes. It was an incredible technical evolution.

"In World War One you could bring a shovel to a gun fight and be quite successful and the team has explored that type of combat.

"It gives a different feel to the battlefield," he explains.

image copyrightEA
image captionPatrick is Executive Vice President of EA Studios meaning he is in charge of some of the biggest titles EA publish like the upcoming Battlefield 1

Battlefield is currently planned for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC but could it and other EA titles make an appearance on Nintendo's mysterious new console the NX when it comes out next year?

Patrick told us: "I personally and the company are huge fans of Nintendo, they're the reason why I started making games,

"We're in constant communication with them and when they come to market something - and if it makes sense for us - we'll be there."

image copyrightEA
image captionPatrick tells us that you'll be able to control soldiers, horses, tanks and more in Battlefield 1

Released in October, Battlefield will be going up against the other newly announced major FPS title Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

It's not the first time the two franchises have been pitted against each other and Patrick tells us he's always asked by journalists which game will be more successful,

He says: "I have a lot of respect for what they've done [COD developers] with the brand and I think they have a lot of respect for what we're doing.

"I think it's a healthy competition and that should be part of business."

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