Out of all the video game franchises in the world ripe for a TV or movie adaptation, EA and DICE's Battlefield series is pretty darn low on the list. The multiplayer-focused shooter franchise is all about big player sandboxes, huge explosions and vehicular mayhem, not captivating storytelling or human drama.
Somehow, the folks at Paramount Television and Anonymous Content missed that important memo. They've acquired the rights to make a Battlefield television series, and it already sounds like they have no idea what makes Battlefield popular in the first place. In a press release, here's what Paramount TV president Amy Powell has to say about the now-in-the-works project:
"EA's Battlefield has an incredibly dynamic narrative, coupled with a loyal fan base, which will allow us to bring this exciting and unique property to the small screen," Powell says. "We look forward to working with EA and Anonymous Content and thank Michael Sugar for his tenacity in bringing us this exciting project."
Hmmm. "Incredibly dynamic narrative" isn't a phrase you would usually hear where Battlfield is concerned. Once again, the series is popular thanks to its massive multiplayer battles of up to 64 players, not its story-driven single-player campaigns. The various Battlefield single-player campaigns have long been completely passable, and quite often terrible, affairs (unless we are talking about the two Battlfield Bad Company games). However, that doesn't stop Anonymous Content's Michael Sugar from doubling down on the same kind of rhetoric.
"Together with EA and Paramount TV, we'll develop the Battlefield TV series with the same commitment to robust storytelling that has made the game such a runaway success for nearly 15 years," Sugar says in the press release.
Hmmm. "Robust storytelling," you say? That definitely doesn't sound like the Battlefield fans know and love. Out of the gate, it already seems like those responsible for bringing the project to life have little to no understanding of what the Battlefield franchise is and why it's popular. That certainly doesn't give us high hopes for the TV series, which is likely still a few years off.
Of course, perhaps the upcoming Battlefield 1 will reverse the franchise's single-player curse and pave the way for better storytelling in both the game series and the upcoming TV show. However, given the franchise's history, we're not going to hold our breath.