Electronic Arts has announced that the console debut for its Battlefield franchise, Battlefield: Modern Combat, has slipped a full year to autumn 2005 due to the decision to add single-player to the previously multiplayer-only title.
The significant delay to the title - which EA said was decided upon due to consumer feedback - will also give developer Digital Illusions CE (DICE) time to add more multiplayer content, including new maps and features.
Battlefield: Modern Combat had originally been due to launch on PlayStation 2 and Xbox this autumn, and was to be one of the first fruits of EA's new-found accord with Microsoft over the Live service, which was announced at E3 last May.
However, the company appears to have baulked at the multiplayer-only nature of the title - which would, of course, seriously restrict its potential sales, as only a relatively small percentage of PS2 and Xbox owners are equipped for online play (with Xbox Live subscriptions or PS2 Network Adapters).
"Adding more time to the development cycle of the game will result in a more expansive feature set and a more compelling product," explained Greg Richardson, general manager of the EA Partners division, which is responsible for the Battlefield franchise. "We are confident that this decision will result in a stronger title and continue the advancement of the Battlefield brand."
Although Battlefield was one of the most interesting Live-enabled titles that EA was planning for this year, the company still has extensive support for the service planned. Along with a number of the EA Sports titles, action titles TimeSplitters: Future Perfect and GoldenEye: Rogue Agent will both feature Live functionality, as will eagerly anticipated racing title Burnout 3.