Last December, we heard that a new Seattle studio headed by Halo trilogy art director Marcus Lehto will be exploring “narrative, storytelling, and character development” in the Battlefield series. EA didn’t directly say that the studio is making a singleplayer Battlefield campaign, but it seemed pretty obvious. Now we have explicit confirmation.
A new Battlefield Seattle Studio job listing (opens in new tab) (spotted by the game spotters at GameSpot (opens in new tab)) talks about the project without any of the obfuscation you sometimes get in game studio job postings.
The studio is hiring a design director to “manage the design team and design vision of a new Battlefield campaign.” Later in the listing, it’s specifically referred to as a singleplayer campaign.
It’s possible that the campaign will be a mode in a larger Battlefield game—as in, one with the usual multiplayer modes—but it is referred to as a “game” several times, so maybe not. For example, one of the job responsibilities is to “define, guide, strategize and iterate playable prototypes at all phases of the game’s development to maintain scope and quality.”
Back when we learned about the Seattle studio’s existence, we also learned that Respawn boss Vince Zampella is in charge of the Battlefield series now. Respawn developed singleplayer game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which it’s working on a sequel to, as well as the much-praised Titanfall 2 campaign. Zampella’s history with FPS campaigns goes back much further than that: He co-founded Infinity Ward and made Call of Duty games until an unfriendly split with Activision, and before that, he was one of the designers of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, a game written in part by Steven Spielberg (2002 was a weird time for games).
This singleplayer Battlefield campaign joins a few other games we’ve learned about recently thanks to a studio’s need for talent. Earlier this year, Blizzard revealed that it’s hiring for a new survival game, and Ubisoft continues to seek talent for an unnamed Star Wars game. Finding out about upcoming games from job listings isn’t new, but it does feel like secrecy is being dropped more often than it used to be as big studios compete for talent.
Battlefield games have always been about the multiplayer for me, but some fans were disappointed that Battlefield 2042 didn’t have a campaign. That was hardly the only thing people complained about when it came to Battlefield 2042, the vitalization of which is developer DICE’s only priority right now, according to the studio’s new head, Rebecka Coutaz.
Whether this singleplayer campaign is a standalone game or part of something bigger, I wouldn’t expect to be playing it soon given that the studio is still hiring the people who are going to lead its design and production. EA is also looking for (opens in new tab) a technical director, development director, gameplay animation lead, and a bunch of other staff. Those listings are vaguer about what the project is—more like the job listings we’re used to, where everything is an “experience”—except to say it’s related to Battlefield, which “Battlefield Seattle Studio” is obviously not trying to hide.