Trauma Studios, the creator of the popular Desert Combat free modification for Battlefield 1942, has been signed into a commercial deal with BF'42 creators Digital Illusions CE (DICE) to collaborate on a future game in the series.
Neither party has revealed what exactly Trauma will be working on, but it has been stated that the two companies will be collaborating on one of Digital Illusions' previously announced products - which points the finger squarely at the forthcoming Battlefield Vietnam.
"We understood the impact DesertCombat had quite early," explains Digital Illusions CEO Patrick Soderlund. "This mod kept Battlefield's popularity in place during the last year, as well as helped us sell a considerable amount of games."
Speculation about the nature of Trauma's work with DICE has ranged from contributions to the core gameplay of Battlefield Vietnam to the production of a Desert Combat 2 modification for the game, and the possibility of a Desert Combat title being released commercially has also been mooted.
This isn't the first time that a mod team has been brought on board by the developers of the original game - with the most notable example being Valve's hiring of the creators of Counter-Strike, the hugely popular mod that has helped to keep sales of Half-Life high even years after its release.
Battlefield Vietnam is currently scheduled to be published by Electronic Arts towards the end of Q1, and work is thought to be underway on extensions of the Battlefield franchise onto consoles at present - with strong rumours suggesting that a Battlefield title on Xbox will be EA's first Xbox Live game, assuming that the company can settle its differences with Microsoft over the online service.
News source: gamesindustry.biz