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EA justifies Battlefield 3 single player

Multiplayer-only future very unlikely.

Battlefield 3's single player component has garnered considerably less acclaim than its online modes, with both Bad Company titles' solo campaigns also failing to match up. So why not ditch it and concentrate solely on multiplayer?

Well, that's very unlikely, judging by comments made by EA exec Frank Gibeau during an investor call earlier today.

When asked that very question, Gibeau explained that though multiplayer is the "richer opportunity", single player was still a very important part of the package.

"We consider Battlefield an online service," he begun.

"First and foremost, that brand was built on its multiplayer prowess and the technology really lends itself to that.

"The single play experience is important. It's a great way to get fans into the experience, have them train up and get ready for multiplayer. And a lot of fans just enjoy having that single player experience. So I think you have to have both.

"Clearly the multiplayer is the richer opportunity for us because of the services opportunity in keeping customers engaged 365 [days a year]. Fortunately, Battlefield, as a franchise, since the late '90s has been configured around multiplayer and I think that's why you're seeing such popularity around the design."

CEO John Riccitiello also chimed in, explaining that single player is vital in bringing in new players.

"Remember as well that single player is often how new players ramp into the game. It's a way for new players to get exposed to a franchise."

Though Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead awarded the game a solid 8/10 in his Battlefield 3 review, he did single out the single player campaign for criticism.

"Only tangentially related to the multiplayer side of the game, and more concerned with the sort of Hollywood heroics that propelled Activision's franchise to the top of the tree, it's remarkable just how badly it sells the Battlefield brand," he wrote.

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Battlefield 3

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.