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?
“…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.