One of the reasons why DICE updated Battlefield V to make it easier for new players was specifically to help the game appeal to new players–this did not go so well. After a wave of criticism from veteran players, DICE announced that it is rolling back the time-to-kill changes to restore the values to their original state. The Swedish developer has now also acknowledged that it has been a struggle for years now to get people into Battlefield games.
“It’s important to acknowledge that we have a challenge bringing new players into Battlefield V and onboard them to become more experienced Battlefield players,” DICE said in a Reddit post regarding the TTK changes. “It’s been a challenge across our games for a long time, as many will know.”
DICE’s overall ambition with Battlefield V is for it to appeal to new and veteran players alike, and the developer will continue to try to do this even after the TTK changes are undone. “How we get it right isn’t easy, nor will it be quick, and we appreciate when the community comes together and helps us on this journey,” DICE said.
The Battlefield franchise is generally understood to be relatively more difficult for new players compared to the series main competitor, Call of Duty. Activision’s franchise regularly outsells Battlefield. Back in 2013, EA management said it hoped Battlefield 4 would outsell that year’s Call of Duty game, Ghosts. It did not.
Other established franchises face the same challenge as Battlefield: drawing in new players while also appealing to veterans, and pleasing everyone. As DICE frankly said in its Reddit post and as evidenced by the rollback to the original TTK values, this can be a tough nut to crack. Marcus Lehto, who co-created the Halo franchise, recently said he believes Halo is in a no-win scenario now as it tries to appeal to new players and do right by veterans.
For its part, DICE has pledged to continue to listen to fan feedback and try to make Battlefield V appealing to everyone. How this works in practice remains to be seen.