Titanfall Won’t Have Launch Issues Like Battlefield 4, Says EA

Online game launches went, well, less-than-perfect for EA in 2013. SimCity and Battlefield 4 both saw serious connectivity and stability issues out of the gate, with the latter still suffering on multiple platforms. So what does this recent shaky history say for the March launch of Titanfall?

During a EA’s earnings call earlier this week, EA’s Executive Vice President of EA Games Patrick Söderlund — who used to be the General Manager of DICE — touched on Battlefield 4′s rocky start.

“…when Battlefield 4 launched, it was a very complex game, launching on 2 entirely new console platforms, as well as current-gen and PC. We were pushing innovation heavily and we’re delivering 60 frames per second gameplay for 64 players plus the ability to connect via mobile tablet as a commander into the product, coupled those with some very innovative features in the gameplay side. Based on our prelaunch testing, our beta performance, we were confident the game was ready when it was launched. Shortly after launch, however, we began hearing about problems from our player community, and the development team quickly began to address the situation. So what have we done since we encountered the problems is we were fortunate to have an architecture in place that allows us to adjust and update the game rapidly, and that’s actually what we’ve done.”

EA and DICE deserve credit for trying to keep up with the issues that plague Battlefield 4, but the software patches and updates mentioned by Söderlund don’t always fix prevalent issues, and sometimes create new ones. An update that rolled out yesterday, for example, made the machine gun in the tank’s secondary gunner position disappear — you can sit in the seat, but there’s no offensive capability. I’ve come across this bug myself, frustratingly enough, and it demonstrates that new patches can always cause new problems.

As for Titanfall, I’m not concerned about the launch (although I am concerned about other aspects of the game, particularly on PC). It’s being developed by an independent studio, which is run by a team that’s become increasingly wary of publishers over the years. EA CEO Andrew Wilson did touch on Titanfall specifically in the earnings call, and — for now — it sounds like Titanfall is on the proper trajectory.

“…What I would tell you about Titanfall is we are incredibly excited for the release of the product. And to partner with experienced world-class teams of both Respawn and Microsoft to launch a title. We’re currently moving through kind of public tests of the product, and we’re seeing great results and we’re really looking forward to seeing the gamer reaction in March.”

With Microsoft involved (and heavily invested), there’s no room for the kinds of errors that happen on internal EA titles.

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6 Comments on Titanfall Won’t Have Launch Issues Like Battlefield 4, Says EA

Huntsman06

On January 31, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Easy to talk the talk, when the game comes out and isn’t actually buggy then I will be fine.

……Although whatever happened the the idea that your game SHOULD work straight out of the box with no patches or updates? Does nobody remember how to make a game like back when all games consoles didn’t have the option for updates after launch?

Foehunter82

On February 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

It’s a lost art, apparently. I don’t pretend to understand it, either.

R.J.

On February 1, 2014 at 12:52 pm

We’ll see. Things like having enough servers to meet demand seem simple enough until somebody decides to pinch pennies and have too few on hand. Throw in that so many companies basically treat the first month or so after release as some sort of paid beta, along with EA’s general reputation, and you can see why I’m more than a bit skeptical.

Mozer

On February 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm

There’s never an excuse for a game to have stability issues out of the box. Bottom line, they rushed it’s release so they could beat Call of Duty: Ghosts in sales. If you want your game to be stable, PUSH BACK THE FRIGIN RELEASE DATE UNTIL IT’S 100% FINISHED!!!

max

On February 2, 2014 at 10:45 am

i still dont understand WHY they say this game is MADE by creators of Call of Duty when they don t work for EA but Activision… i Smelll a fishy game.

Ron Whitaker

On February 3, 2014 at 5:21 am

Max, Infinity Ward is the studio that created Call of Duty. The founders (and a lot of their core team) left Infinity Ward during a dispute with Activision a few years back, and they formed a new studio called Respawn Entertainment. Thus, the creators of CoD are now the creators of Titanfall.