With Battlefield 4, The Press Grows Restless
Battlefield 4 has been out for just over two months, but there’s been nary a day of smooth sailing for the title since it hit store shelves on October 29th.
Most of the BF4 coverage in the mainstream games media has been news, from updates and bug issues to lawsuits and delays. But that coverage is starting to shift away from news, and is now going down the opinion path.
For starters, Polygon’s Ben Kuchera penned a lengthy look at BF4, EA, and DICE, and how the whole Battlefield 4 quagmire is rooted in treating gamers unfairly.
A key excerpt, for sure (emphasis added):
Battlefield 4 remains happily on store shelves despite its many problems, and EA has since ceased production on expansions until the game is made stable. There is an issue tracker for the game to give players updates on what’s being fixed and when, but the language certainly doesn’t inspire much confidence.
“We at DICE have a long tradition of supporting our games and our community well after the release of a title,” the statement reads. “While millions of players are enjoying Battlefield 4, we are aware that some players are experiencing issues with the game.”
Well, as long as they’re aware of it.
This wording makes it sound like squirrels have chewed through the power cables. As if these problems were out of DICE’s control, instead of the result of launching a product that was clearly nowhere near finished. Let’s be 100 percent clear: EA and DICE are charging full price for a product that they very likely knew didn’t work at launch. They continue to sell copies of the game despite admitting that it’s still broken in a number of ways.
Another opinion post, albeit a shorter, more focused article, comes from Mike Futter of GameInformer fame. In it, he points to the ignorance of a DICE employee — former Battlefield Global Community Manager and current DICE producer Daniel “zh1nt0″ Matros. While on vacation, Matros asked (via Twitter) what BF4 was like, as he hadn’t played it since November (due to the aforementioned vacation, we presume). An innocent question, surely, but ill-timed due to problems still plaguing BF4 on multiple platforms. Vacation or not, you’d think a DICE Producer would be tuned into the clusterfuck to some degree, but that does not appear to be the case in this instance.
As GI’s Mike said in his piece:
These tweets aren’t just unwise. They are flat-out insulting. Matros used to be the global community manager for the Battlefield brand. He should know better.
No one begrudges an employee’s right to step away from work, especially over the holidays. However, to blatantly demonstrate a disregard for the fans and a clear lack of knowledge for the game in his care is foolish.
Battlefield 4, when working properly, is one of the best multiplayer experiences in recent memory. Unfortunately, the longer BF4 is plagued by connectivity issues, the more faded that fact becomes. These last two months could very well place an irreparable rift between DICE and Battlefield fans the world over. Let’s hope that hasn’t happened yet.
Be sure to leave your thoughts on BF4 below, problems or not!