Having too much of a good thing is a very real issue in the gaming industry. Flooding the market with yearly release schedules is a good way to ensure that a popular franchise is continuously being played and talked about by consumers, but given enough time, these properties become stale and repetitive. Some of the most revered franchises, such as Fallout, Uncharted, and Grand Theft Auto only see new releases every few years or so, which not only ensures that each game isn’t rushed to market in an unfinished state, but also makes it an event when these games finally do come out (there’s a reason Fallout 4 is currently getting massive coverage from media outlets).
Other franchises turn around new releases much quicker, but this practice comes at a price. Creativity starts to suffer and consumers begin to grow tired of playing pretty much the same game year in and year out, leading to once great series becoming shells of their former selves. Although most of the following games are still lucrative from a sales perspective, they’re increasingly becoming hollow experiences that are reaching the point of oversaturation. We’re not necessarily arguing that these games need to go away for good, but it would be a benefit both to fans and the development teams working on them if these series stopped for awhile and gave everyone a much-needed break.
The Battlefield franchise, known primarily for its outstanding multiplayer suite, is not quite at the point of oversaturation, but it’s getting dangerously close. From the groundbreaking first title in the series, Battlefield 1942, to the enormously entertaining Bad Company 2, the series was firing on all cylinders and was the go-to online shooter for anyone craving epic battles on a grand scale during the 2000s. 2011’s Battlefield 3, while a great game in its own right, felt too much like an imitation of its main competitor, Call of Duty, and was a step backwards for the series overall. Problems really started to arise with Battlefield 4, which shipped in a nearly unplayable state and looked and played too similarly to Battlefield 3, despite the two year gap between releases. After the controversy surrounding that title, Electronic Arts arguably should have held off on releasing a new game for a few years; instead, the cops and robbers spin-off Battlefield Hardline came out in early 2015 to mixed reviews. Despite Hardline doing well from a sales perspective, it’s time that Battlefield was given a chance to regroup and wait a few years before dropping the inevitable Battlefield 5.