Battlefield 4 Launch Was ‘Unacceptable’ To EA
Battlefield has always been an incredibly successful gaming franchise, to the point that it usually ends up going toe-to-toe with Activision’s yearly Call of Duty releases. Unfortunately Battlefield 4 wasn’t the launch to make this case with, considering the exceedingly large volume of player complaints and subsequent EA stock tumble. Now EA CEO Andrew Wilson has provided a statement nine months after the game’s release, noting that while these problems are fixable, the situation itself is unacceptable.
“For me, the situation we had was unacceptable,” Wilson said in an interview with Eurogamer. “For the team it was unacceptable. We have worked tirelessly since then to make sure the gameplay experience got to where it absolutely should have been at launch and we’re focused on that and we continue to deliver value to that player base.
“But when you do things like that you can never guarantee. It would be disingenuous for me to sit here and say, ‘we will never have an issue again,’ because that would mean we were never going to push the boundaries again. And I don’t want to be that company. I want to be a company that pushes to lead and innovate and be creative. But you can start to do things that give you a better handle and a better view about what the potential challenges might be.”
These comments have also been echoed by DICE’s Karl-Magnus Troedsson. “Was I surprised at the reaction? No. Were we a bit surprised by the state of the game? Yes. For sure,” he explained. “People in the studio have taken this very personally. It has led to some very tough discussions about what we’re doing. We’re looking forward, we’re not looking backward any more, and saying, ‘okay, what do we take out of this hardening experience and what does that mean for us moving forward?’”
To its credit, DICE has been working diligently to patch Battlefield 4, stabilizing the build and addressing the concerns of fans. Regardless, the core issue is that such bugs shouldn’t exist at launch. Wilson attributed much of this problem to the next-gen console launch. “Last year was a very unique situation,” Wilson said. “Not to abdicate responsibility whatsoever – we own it, we are responsible for it and we have worked tirelessly to remedy the situation – but when you are building a game on an unfinished platform with unfinished software, there are some things that can’t get done until the very last minute because the platform wasn’t ready to get done.”
The key question now is whether Battlefield: Hardline, expected to launch this October, can avoid the same flaws as its predecessor. EA has already started an open beta for PC users, while all Battlefield 4 fixes are should be incorporated in the finished release.