We were lucky enough to be invited along to the Battlefield 3 unveiling in San Francisco last week and had some one-on-one time with Patrick Söderlund, CEO of EA Digital Illusions CE (or ‘DICE’ for short). The schedule was all over the place and we were told to stick to a strict 10-minute interview structure. To make matters more interesting, we’d written down a whole bunch of multiplayer-related questions that DICE didn’t want to answer. We still managed to get some interesting nuggets of information out of him. Check it out below.
Atomic: So are we allowed to talk single and multi?
Patrick: Well, mostly single.
Patrick: But we can talk a bit about multi, but we’re not talking specifically about it.
Atomic: Right. So what little bit about multi can you tell me about?
Atomic: Well, I can tell you that we’re looking at PC as our main platform for the game. We're gonna support 64 players, dedicated servers... that’s basically it.
Atomic: That’s basically it?
Atomic: Anything else you can talk about in terms of-
Patrick: -A lot of people ask us about 64 versus 128 or 256 players. Technically, we can go to 256, we’ve tried it. We play tested with 128. You’ve got to make a game that’s fun to play. And, arguably, we think that the most fun you can have is when it’s between 32 and 40 players. And we’ve done substantial research into this and tested 128 and that it’s not fun. Maybe we haven't done our design work good enough, but we just feel like there's no point in going higher than 64.
Atomic: So are you planning any sort of dedicated server model for consoles?
Patrick: I can’t talk about that but we're absolutely looking at it, yeah.
Atomic: Cool. I think that's all of the multiplayer stuff out of the way. There was a teaser trailer released not so long ago that had some great little things that geeks like me have been studying. There was some bolt cutters on the back of a character; is that something that’s coming into the gameplay?
Patrick: *Smiles* You'll see, you'll see.