Between the success of the Bad Company franchise on consoles and the wide variety of projects DICE has been spread across these past few years, I was legitimately unsure as to whether the core Battlefield franchise would ever get its next proper sequel. I mean, some people were even speculating that, by bringing Bad Company 2 to the PC alongside the other versions, EA and DICE were not-so-subtly implying that Bad Company was the proper successor to the Battlefield franchise, and that any new, proper Battlefield had long since been pushed aside to make way for other projects.
But, lo and behold, friends: Battlefield 3 is still absolutely a thing. Today, EA announced that all the Limited Editions of Medal Of Honor would come with a voucher that would, eventually, guarantee a spot in a Battlefield 3 beta. The proper, real-ass sequel to Battlefield 2. Battlefield 3 is still coming out.
Everyone: take a moment to remember your time playing Battlefield 2.
OK, now come back to the story. We've got things to discuss. This news story brings up questions we need answered.
== TEASER ==First of all, the game doesn't actually come with the beta on the disc or anything like that. Instead, the beta will be properly released at a later date. Furthermore, the Battlefield 3 beta information site specifies that invite is only valid provided that the beta is released "within 12 months of Medal of Honor's release, according to the official site. Given Medal of Honor's October 12 release date, it seems likely that Battlefield 3 will probably be touching down in late 2011 or early 2012, right? DICE is not Blizzard, and first-person shooters usually don't go into year-long open beta testing. So, it's entirely probable that Battlefield 3 release is still a ways off.
The other more interesting discussion, however, is about which platforms Battlefield 3 is being released on. On that same Battlefield 3 beta information site, EA states that, "Xbox GOLD membership required for Xbox users." It's possible that this is just some poorly worded boilerplate text or something, but that seems to imply that there will be a 360 version of Battlefield 3... meaning that Battlefield 3 is probably coming to consoles as well as the PC.
A console release of a numbered Battlefield would mark a huge departure from the previous messaging about the future of the Battlefield franchise. By giving the console iterations of the game a different franchise name in Bad Company, EA and DICE sent a message that these console versions of Battlefield were definitely offshoots of the core, "real" franchise. To me that says that Battlefield 3, when it did come out, would be a PC-exclusive, and Bad Company was not intended to be Battlefield 3.
However, these beta invites are going out with the PC, PS3, and 360 Medal of Honor Limited Editions. Take that along with the messaging on the site and it wouldn't be far-fetched to expect Battlefield 3 on consoles as well as PC.
Granted, it's probably still way, way early to say any aspect of Battlefield 3 is set in stone, and there's at least a year until the game ships. Regardless, Battlefield 3 is coming, but who can say what form it will take when it finally arrives?