When I talked to EA's Frank Gibeau earlier this fall about the making of Battlefield 3, the words that kept coming up were realistic and authentic. Yes, the ambitious war game still counts as fiction, what with its earthquake-aided insurrection and nuclear terrorism. However, it's not quite as popcorn as the plot presented in the competing game Modern Warfare 3 released by rival publisher Activision.
"We had a concept about what it was like to be a Marine and being a part of very large events. It was really important for us to capture that emotional feeling of being swept up into things that are bigger than just one person," said Gibeau. "The technology allowed us to do that in some really interesting ways with the animation systems that we have, and how you can make the environments more complex, larger, beautiful, immersive."
But, how real would EA get? In my talk with Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg, I'd asked him if there'd ever be a documentary-style Call of Duty that'd perhaps recount a real-world military engagement. He balked a bit at that, saying that "we've told the stories that the developers want to tell." So, I asked Gibeau the same question. Would EA re-tell the story of an actual conflict in one of their games?