Battlefield 4 at GDC

SAN FRANCISCO — Medal of Honor is bloodied and on the floor, but Electronic Arts still has its Battlefield series to take on Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty franchise in the multi-billion dollar first-person shooter game market.

EA is preparing to unveil its first glimpse of Battlefield 4 tonight at an event near the Game Developers Conference. Everybody knows that it is coming because of a giant billboard that EA has taken out across from the Moscone Center convention center. The giant signs show that EA is serious about continuing to invest in the successful Battlefield series, which has sold tens of millions of games.

Battlefield isn’t as successful as Call of Duty, which sees a new version every year. Battlefield has been on a cadence of every other year for a new game, alternating with Medal of Honor. But last year’s Medal of Honor: Warfighter was critically lambasted and didn’t sell much. So EA took it out of rotation. We hope to catch up with EA’s Patrick Soderlund at the EA event, so check back on our GDC coverage page for more stories this evening.

EA CEO John Riccitiello presided over the big investment in first-person shooter games, but he was fired last week for failing to meet financial performance. So it’s clear the stakes are high in this battle. Battlefield 4 is likely to debut this fall, alongside another Call of Duty. But EA has not announced a launch date yet.