Electronic Arts have this week announced the development of Battlefield: Hardline for release later this year on both next-generation and current-generation hardware. The first instalment in a new spin-off series of first-person-shooters, Hardline will effectively act as a stop-gap entry to bridge the necessary two-year gap between DICE's Battlefield 4 and their (presumably in-development) 2015 follow-up, focusing on the injustice-laden US state of Omaha and its police force's militant attempts to stamp down on crime.
Whereas this revelation might be cause for concern if EA had brought together a development team to make their début with Hardline (indeed, the sour taste which Warner Brothers Montreal's Batman: Arkham Origins left in our mouths still lingers seven months on from its release), but in this instance, their beloved FPS series seemingly couldn't be in more capable hands. Visceral Games (the guys who brought us both Dead Space and The Simpsons Game) were originally developing this cops-and-robbers-themed project as an isolated FPS entity which wasn't attached to any major brand, yet what with the need for EA to fill in the blank in their Autumn 2014 release schedule (thanks in no small part to the failure of the Medal of Honor titles to hold their own), it makes complete sense that they would integrate what would otherwise likely have been a AA product into a AAA franchise in order to guarantee commercial success for both parties.
Battlefield: Hardline will retail for an as-of-yet unannounced set of consoles this Autumn. More details on the project will be revealed at Electronic Arts' E3 2014 press conference on June 9th.