EA details Bad Company 2, reveals Battlefield 1943

Publisher officially confirms seriocomic shooter sequel due in winter; multiplayer-only WWII FPS assaults Xbox Live, PSN, PCs this summer.

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Earlier this week, EA returned mostly dismal results for its all-important holiday quarter, posting a $641 million loss for the October-December period, increasing projected layoffs to 1,100, and drastically revising its full-year guidance downward. Still, EA's stock has shot up more than $2 a share since the announcement, thanks in part to CEO John Riccitiello's efforts to assuage investors' fears by providing a glimpse of the publisher's strong 2009-2010 lineup.

Run for the hills.
Run for the hills.

One of the unannounced games teased by Riccitiello was a sequel to EA DICE's well-received Battlefield: Bad Company. With the cat out of the bag, EA today officially announced Battlefield: Bad Company 2, saying it would arrive for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC this winter.

A direct sequel to last year's console-exclusive game, Bad Company 2 picks back up with the derelict B Company, which comprises a fictitious US military's expendable misfits and outcasts. Destructible environments, which were a core component of the original game, will again play front and center in Bad Company 2, thanks to further revisions to its proprietary Frostbite game engine. EA also promises a new special emphasis on vehicular combat.

Today's announcement wasn't without surprise, however. EA also revealed that DICE was at work on Battlefield 1943, a downloadable game coming to Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and PCs this summer. An online multiplayer-centric game, Battlefield 1943 features 24-player conflicts that play out both on land and in the air. Further, battles will rage across three locales: Wake Island, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima.

EA DICE remains at work on Battlefield Heroes, a free-to-play, heavily stylized online shooter that is expected to arrive for PCs before the end of March. EA is currently accepting beta test sign-ups through the game's official Web site.

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