Throughout history, major military offensives have seen their launch dates in constant flux. Such was the case with Battlefield 2, one the most anticipated military games of 2005. Originally set for a "Spring 2005" release, the game was moved to a March release date last year, just before slipping back to its original second quarter window.
Now it seems the game is getting a more concrete release date. In the annual earnings report it released today, Battlefield 2 developer Digital Illusions CE (DICE) revealed that its flagship shooter won't hit PCs until the end of the second quarter. "The release date of Battlefield 2 has now been set to June 2005," read the company's financial report, which did not list a specific date. "This implies that Digital Illusions will not be making any game releases in the first quarter of the current year."
Besides the Battlefield 2 information, DICE's earnings report made official what its release schedule accidentally revealed last November: that Battlefield: Modern Combat will be released for the next-generation Xbox in 2005. "At least two game releases are planned for 2005--Battlefield 2 for PC and Battlefield Modern Combat for Xbox, Playstation 2 and Microsoft's forthcoming platform," read the report.
The new date further solidifies the near-industry-wide assumption that the Xbox Next (aka the Xbox 360, aka the NexTbox) will be released this year. However, Microsoft still has issued no official comment on its next-gen plans, meaning it views any third-party statement--no matter how official--as speculation. And, as a corporate spokesperson helpfully reminded GameSpot, "Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation."
For the financially minded, DICE had a fairly successful 2004, with net revenues of 209.3 million Swedish kronor ($30.5 million), a jump of 8 percent over 2003's 193.7 kronor ($28.2 million). However, profit was down 32 percent, dropping from 43.1 million kronor ($6.3 million) in 2003 to 19.5 million kronor ($2.8 million) in 2004.
The company attributed the drop in profits to a 23 percent increase in operating costs, some one-time reorganization expenses, and a dearth of new releases. "In view of Digital Illusions not releasing any major games in the third and fourth quarters 2004, simultaneously as several competing products were released onto the market, royalty revenues fell during the second half-year of 2004," read the report.