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Battlefield: Bad Company's humour limited its appeal, says DICE

"Humour is very personal. Some people love it, some people hate it."

Another day, another inconclusive discussion with DICE about the future of Battlefield's Bad Company spin-offs. Speaking to OXM at the BAFTAs last month, Battlefield 4's executive producer Patrick Bach insisted that the subfranchise remains a going concern, but cautioned that Bad Company's idiosyncratic sense of humour makes it a harder sell.

As we reported the other month, creative director Lars Gustavsson would "love" to make a new Bad Company, but other studio heads and publisher EA appear ambivalent about the idea of a threequel. According to Bach, the numbered Battlefields are a safer prospect because comedy is too "personal" to win the favour of a mass market.

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"It is a discussion about niche and mass market, I think," he told us. "If you make your product more niche, you'll get more happy fans, but that audience will be smaller - some people won't care, some people will love it.

"When we did the original Bad Company and the sequel, we got a lot of criticism. Why would I play this? It's not a serious shooter, I don't care about this. I want a serious shooter with a more hard-boiled angle. And we thought it was fun! We loved it, we thought it was a great game. The narrative was amazing and the characters were amazing.

"So it's not that we've buried the crew, so to speak," he continued. "But it is true that for some reason if you want to make a game for the masses, you need to be more neutral when it comes to things like humour, because humour is very personal. Some people love it, some people hate it."

The act to follow may be Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series, I suggested - he's a funny chap. "He's not really funny," Bach mused. "He's serious, but he's kind of ironic. I'm happy for franchises that can do that. I think Bad Company was perhaps part of that group. I love franchises that don't take themselves too seriously.

"I think that games in general can be anything," he went on. "Sometimes you get the feeling that the community and the press only think there's one type of game, the ultimate game, and for me it's becoming more and more diverse, much like the movie industry, which I think is a good comparison.

"When you started out it was quite serious, because it was an expensive business to make a movie, so you'd [effectively] have this stage drama that you'd film, but then you start to add comedy to it and make money off that, and turn it into a genre, and now you have all types of genres, where it isn't just based on comedy, drama, documentary, or whatever - it's also how you consume those movies."

Bad Company isn't all shizzles and gizzles, as I discovered during a multiplayer post-mortem of sorts last year. What do you think of the state of videogame comedy? I can't help but wonder how much all this applies to Xbox One launch game Lococycle, which I treated to a generally positive review in the face of mass internet dislike.

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