Electronic Arts has defended Battlefield 3’s singleplayer component, saying the mode is important in drawing new players into the franchise.

When asked by an investor why the publisher doesn’t drop the weaker singleplayer experience and focus its resources and expertise on its highly acclaimed multiplayer modes, EA’s Frank Gibeau began, “We consider Battlefield an online service.”

“First and foremost, that brand was built on its multiplayer prowess and the technology really lends itself to that,” he continued. “The single play experience is important. It's a great way to get fans into the experience, have them train up and get ready for multiplayer. And a lot of fans just enjoy having that single player experience. So I think you have to have both.

“Clearly the multiplayer is the richer opportunity for us because of the services opportunity in keeping customers engaged 365 [days a year]. Fortunately, Battlefield, as a franchise, since the late '90s has been configured around multiplayer and I think that's why you're seeing such popularity around the design.”

EA CEO John Riccitiello added, “Remember as well that singleplayer is often how new players ramp into the game. It's a way for new players to get exposed to a franchise.”

On this subject, Gameplanet’s review of Battlefield 3 states: “The campaign exists as a sideshow to the real point of any Battlefield release; full of missed opportunity and staid tropes as it is, the campaign is irrelevant in the face of the overwhelmingly excellent multiplayer.”