An official statement on the Digital Illusions CE website has indicated that the developer of the award-winning Battlefield
series has cancelled the development of a new, unnamed title for the Xbox and PlayStation 2, citing falling sales for games on the current generation formats.
The game was to be released in 2006 or 2007 on the PSP, Xbox and PlayStation 2. The PSP version will now continue to be developed by Electronics Arts UK, and the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will be developed by Digital Illusions’ Stockholm studio for a 2007 launch.
The statement also gives an interesting glimpse into the royalty arrangements between Digital Illusions and Electronic Arts, stating that recent current generation console title Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
needs to ship more than 4 million copies to retail before the developers get any royalties. The higher royalty barrier is apparently due to the large development budget and the shared development between the Digital Illusions and Electronic Arts. Currently, the game has only shipped 1 million copies to retail.
“Sell-in of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
to stores went according to plan, but the game hasn’t sold through like we had hoped for”, said Patrick Söderlund, CEO at Digital Illusions. “Because of the high royalty barrier we haven’t calculated with any considerable revenues from Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
, besides what we already received for the actual development. This means the financial variables for the company is not affected to any major extent”.
Electronic Arts also blamed falling current generation software sales for its disappointing recent financial results
, referencing, as Digital Illusions’ statement has, the the still difficult-to-obtain Xbox 360 for tempting consumers into waiting for the next generation, rather than spending excess amounts of money on the current generation.