The year is 2314. The last android butler has now expired after a protracted proxy war with the Saucer People, who have been chased back to their capital planet in the Horsehead Nebula. Human skin is now stored in freezers overnight to slow the ageing process. Kitchen cupboards contain wormholes that allow you to take foodstuffs directly from the hands of sentient raccoon slaves, toiling in the granola mines of Mercury. And DICE still hasn’t made a third Battlefield: Bad Company game, though it continues to broach the topic at intervals just to annoy people.
The latest upsurge of wistfully inconclusive studio speculation is, at least, a bit more forthright about the reasons for the franchise’s long absence. Speaking to Eurogamer, CEO Karl-Magnus Troedsson has admitted that DICE doesn’t entirely understand what people liked about the first two games.
“Some people say they found the multiplayer controls faster and more direct,” he told the site. "Some people liked the single-player and the characters and the humour. People love different things about it. It’s starting to almost get to that place where, if we were to make a sequel to Bad Company, what would than even imply?
“It’s scary to go back and try to remake an old fan favourite when actually no-one can really put their finger on what it is people love,” he went on. "Bringing back the characters and creating a great single-player out of that, sure, I can understand that.
“But some people say this: the Bad Company 2 multiplayer is the best you’ve ever done. Okay, why is that? It’s hard for people to articulate what that is, which is actually hard for us. It would be hard to remake something like that. Can we do it? Of course. We have our theories when it comes to the multiplayer.”
So, can we take this as confirmation that Bad Company 3 won’t happen? In accordance with time-honoured tradition, Troedsson refused to rule the idea out. “Well you’ll have to wait and see,” he said. "The Bad Company sub brand is something we hold very near and dear. We’ll take that into account when we think about the future.
“It’s never dead. You can always revive it, as with any TV series, movie or IP. It’s going to come down to, if people really want it and if a team inside my group really wants to build it, then sure.”
Executive producer Patrick Bach has suggested that Bad Company’s humour may actually have limited its appeal. Where do you stand on the matter, assuming you can muster the energy to comment after so much rekindling-of-hopes and ducking-of-questions?