DICE GM Karl Magnus Troedsson has suggested that it won't be long before we start seeing the trend in the FPS genre move on from the modern setting to a "near future" setting, but notes that developers must do more than simply implement thematic change to innovate, suggesting that many franchises don't take technical evolution seriously enough.
"I think we're going to start seeing people moving away from the modern setting, because every now and again settings or themes start to get stale and then everyone jumps over," he said, chatting to EDGE. "Y'know, at some point dinosaurs are the hottest thing and everyone is making games with dinosaurs, but there are trends. It used to be WWII, and recently it's been the modern era and people are now moving towards near future.
"But it's a bit cheap to just say, 'Okay, we're going to switch and go back in time or into the future and that will be innovation'. It will definitely drive the franchise forward for whatever game, but it's not true innovation, it's more a thematic change that has a perceived value to the gamers out there. But as a developer you can only make so many games in one particular era, and then you personally start to get a bit bored with it."
Troedsson's standpoint is that technical advancement is arguably more important than thematic advancement.
"The FPS is a very hardcore genre, and the hardcore crowd of the FPS is probably bigger than some other genres," he continued. "And that crowd has extremely high demands on what the games are and how they develop.
"If they don't see some kind of new, if not revolutionary then at least evolutionary, step of rendering in every game they will start to lose interest. And I think that is what's happening. Because a lot of franchises out there don't take this seriously; to actually make sure that we don't just challenge ourselves on the gameplay aspect, or perhaps some other area like distribution method, but also how it [feels], how it looks and how it sounds.
"DICE has a strong history, for good and for bad, of doing this. We constantly bash ourselves and say, 'We could have done that better'. It might just be a rendering feature but in the end it adds up to the complete experience of what we're doing."