Planes, tanks, trucks and soldiers combine in 'Battlefield 1942'. Photo: AFP
In celebration of the Battlefield series's 10-year anniversary, first game Battlefield 1942 is being given away as a free download.
Its studio, the Stockholm-based DICE, has actually been around for a decade longer, starting off with pinball games for the Amiga before delving into motor racing titles.
Then, in 2002, Battlefield 1942 put it on the map at a time when the World War II military-themed shooter was an exciting, fresh new genre: Medal of Honor was limited to the PlayStation console, and the first Call of Duty was a year away from retail.
1942 built on the cult success of predecessor Codename Eagle, jettisoning single-player and instead targeting online multiplayer as its raison d'être, mixing infantry with multi-vehicular combat, a theme central to the Battlefield experience ever since.
But where core entries to the Battlefield line were once far apart, surrounded by more experimental releases in the series, DICE is understood to be following 2011's Battlefield 3 with a Battlefield 4 for late 2013, allowing publisher Electronic Arts to switch between Battlefield and Medal of Honor titles in competing with Activision's annual Call of Duty franchise.