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EA Says Battlefield 4 Launch Was Unacceptable

By - Source: Eurogamer | B 73 comments

There's an interesting interview on Eurogamer, as they talk with EA CEO Andrew Wilson and DICE general manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson about what exactly happened last year during the Battlefield 4 launch. Wilson said that the situation they found themselves in was unacceptable.

"Think about what Battlefield 4 was: 64 player multiplayer, giant maps, 1080p, Levolution that was changing the gameplay design in an emergent way," Wilson said. "There is a chance there are things you are going to miss through the development cycle. And you end up in a situation we had with Battlefield 4."

He said that the team has worked tirelessly since then to make the game what it should have been at launch. They are currently focused on that, and to add value to the player base.

"But when you do things like that you can never guarantee," Wilson said. "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."

The interviewer later on points out that gamers are accusing EA of rushing the game out the door so it could be playable on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at launch. Fans also claim that DICE should have been given more time to test the game before it was released. Wilson disagreed, saying that DICE had plenty of time to test the game.

"DICE had a lot of time this time," he said. "Hardline has had three years. Last year was a very unique situation. 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.

"What was happening with Battlefield 4, even as we were pushing all of this innovation, was a lot of it we couldn't test until really late in the phase. I believe it was unique," he added.

To read the long interview, head here. Did you have any troubles with Battlefield 4, or was it good to go from day one?

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    vmem , June 23, 2014 8:31 AM
    the punkbuster fiasco is honestly starting to look like a class-action suite waiting to happen...
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Urzu1000 , June 23, 2014 8:06 AM
    This is all a nice speech, but they still didn't address why they charged $70-$110 for it.

    Their prices are the biggest bug, and I still don't see it being addressed.
  • 0 Hide
    junkeymonkey , June 23, 2014 8:18 AM
    This is all a nice speech, but they still didn't address why they charged $70-$110 for it.

    what I don't understand you pay that for a game you cant play with out kissing steams or whoevers butt just to install it or start to play it then you will accept there downloads and content weather you want them or not .. and then if they decide to drop you for whatever reason then what do you have for your money?? as they say a fool and his money...
  • 20 Hide
    vmem , June 23, 2014 8:29 AM
    so EA is now trying to pretend the good guy, and makes a nice sounding speech while the hate is at an all-time high for Ubisoft over Watchdog?

    sounds like clever marketing to me
  • 3 Hide
    ubercake , June 23, 2014 8:30 AM
    The games are fun when you can play them.

    I don't know about anyone else on the PC version of BF4, but I'm one of those with the current "Unwarranted PunkBuster Ban" issue EA is working on by which I can't play any EA game with a multi-player component whatsoever. I can't play BF4. I can't play Titanfall. I can't even play BF4 campaign mode. I haven't been able to play since Friday evening.

    Origin chat support tells me they're working on it... EA support assures us no more unwarranted PunkBuster bans will be issues and says I have to appeal through evenbalance (punkbuster people). Apparently, it was a big one this time. I'm waiting for the Official EA announcement to appear in the news, but haven't seen anything.
  • 10 Hide
    vmem , June 23, 2014 8:31 AM
    the punkbuster fiasco is honestly starting to look like a class-action suite waiting to happen...
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , June 23, 2014 8:42 AM
    Quote:
    the punkbuster fiasco is honestly starting to look like a class-action suite waiting to happen...


    I'm thinking so. I haven't been able to play at all since two weekends ago and this past weekend I finally had some 2 and 3 hour chunks to play. Then I saw the PunkBuster Ban message and thought 'No. That can't mean me too'. But then I tried to join a couple of matches and it just sat at the load screen. Then I tried campaign mode and it didn't even start the main menu. Then I tried Titanfall. I was able to click on 'Play' in the main menu and then perpetual 'Finding Connections...'. I found I was having the problem, too.

    All of my Steam games worked this weekend. Too bad BF4 and Titanfall are not among them.

    Also, I really think they made a mistake by making their customers responsible for hosting the game servers. I could see letting people do this if they want to have their own private matches, but it seems like you open the door to all sorts of issues when the servers are not centrally controlled.
  • 7 Hide
    nukemaster , June 23, 2014 8:58 AM
    Punkbuster had been banning clean users for years, just not in a large batch like this.

    Once had a brand new computer banned within minutes of joining a game(just had Windows/drivers and 1 game installed). Tried to appeal to be told I was trying to hack the software or the PB servers. That was it. All future requests just got closed as soon as I opened them.

    2 other computers got the same treatment shortly after. It appeared that a new router was not letting packets flow the way they wanted to. I would have guessed I would have got kicked(they have many errors for lack of communication) not hardware banned from ALL PB games.

    Either way, at that point I figured since I have a friend who had been cheating on PB servers all the time(for real. every now and then they would get kicked for cheating, but never banned this the extent I was) that non PB servers are just as safe in this case.

    To this day PB's actual catch rate is limited to older cheats that very few users still use and people who pay to win(not the F2P kind) still slide right by PB.

    Lets hope EA is trying to make right for the latest game releases that have been less than smooth.
  • 1 Hide
    ubercake , June 23, 2014 9:14 AM
    I will stop playing EA games before I resort to playing on the cheat-able servers.
  • 1 Hide
    Murissokah , June 23, 2014 9:14 AM
    What is unacceptable is having the very features that are meant to protect legitimate users become a problem of their own. How many more cases of DRM, unnecessary online authentication and cheat protection fiascoes do we need? Which big EA game launch hasn't been plagued with issues in recent times?

    This is specially frustrating since EA has many great tiles under its distribution.
  • 3 Hide
    ddpruitt , June 23, 2014 9:15 AM
    Quote:
    Hardline has had three years. Last year was a very unique situation.

    Quote:
    What was happening with Battlefield 4, even as we were pushing all of this innovation, was a lot of it we couldn't test until really late in the phase


    Clearly EA is talking out of there collective asses again. How does testing a sequel start earlier than the testing on the game it's built on top of? This is the same thing that happens every 6 months with one of their big launches. This is just another example of EA's being greedy and not comprehending why they're losing money. Instead of some BS PR and money grabbing DLCs and micro-transactions, maybe they should actually develop games.
  • 7 Hide
    jojesa , June 23, 2014 9:18 AM
    What a bunch of horse manure. The game was not ready at launch and it isn't ready now.
    I won't believe all these BS...he is trying to pave the way to the new Battlefield: Hardline coming in October.
    Since EA delivered a unfinished product, how about giving us some money back or giving us a discount on a future title of our choice.
    Wilson (EA / DICE / Origin) put your money where your mouth is.


  • 2 Hide
    ubercake , June 23, 2014 9:19 AM
    Quote:
    What is unacceptable is having the very features that are meant to protect legitimate users become a problem of their own. How many more cases of DRM, unnecessary online authentication and cheat protection do we need? Which big EA game launch hasn't been plagued with issues in recent times?

    This is specially frustrating since EA has many great tiles under its distribution.


    Add to this the fact that when you have a problem, EA says DICE, Origin says PunkBuster, PunkBuster says EA, EA says Origin, etc...

    Too many cooks are spoiling this broth.

    EA needs to give customers a single point of contact for support and own up to all of the companies they own.
  • 2 Hide
    derekullo , June 23, 2014 9:24 AM
    EA GAMES DRM EVERYTHING

    EA GAMES FRUSTRATE EVERYTHING
  • 3 Hide
    rantoc , June 23, 2014 9:41 AM
    Quote:
    EA GAMES DRM EVERYTHING

    EA GAMES FRUSTRATE EVERYTHING


    EA GAMES OVER-DRM EVERYTHING. There corrected, some drm is fins but when it starts to become inconvenient for the paying customer it have gone to far.

    How many pirate today due to the insane DRM schemes? I know i bought more than one title that had to be cracked before it was playable... does that encourage me to buy software from that company? Hardly!

    I hate pirates but at the same time i can understand it when its to avoid a ridiculously painful drm scheme that strangely always only torment the paying customer... the pirating one get the premium game-play in those instances and can that be considered fair?? Piss off with insane drm schemes or you will lose me as a customer permanently!
  • 0 Hide
    nikoli707 , June 23, 2014 9:53 AM
    on the pc with more than enough cpu/gpu horsepower on release date…. a few crashes here and there, small graphical glitches, and the random server problems. coming from a bethesda fan, i wasn't too bothered by it.
  • 9 Hide
    frelled , June 23, 2014 10:31 AM
    Let me translate:

    "Think about what Battlefield 4 was: 64 player multiplayer, giant maps, 1080p, Levolution that was changing the gameplay design in an emergent way," Wilson said. "There is a chance there are things you are going to miss through the development cycle. And you end up in a situation we had with Battlefield 4."

    I am going to remind you of what features we graced you and ignore any complaints.

    "He said that the team has worked tirelessly since then to make the game what it should have been at launch. They are currently focused on that, and to add value to the player base."

    We thank you for participating in our Alpha launch. We are happy to announce you are now a part of our Beta development. Though since we have this new game coming out soon, we may drop development and leave the game in it's current state.

    "But when you do things like that you can never guarantee," Wilson said. "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."

    We are pushing boundaries. We decided to eliminate the boundaries between Alpha, Beta, and Release states. Gamers everywhere should love that we are removing these boundaries so we can give you our broken ass game earlier and save ourselves money paying people to bug test the product.

    "The interviewer later on points out that gamers are accusing EA of rushing the game out the door so it could be playable on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at launch. Fans also claim that DICE should have been given more time to test the game before it was released. Wilson disagreed, saying that DICE had plenty of time to test the game."

    Again, why test when we can get you to pay us for the privilege.

    "DICE had a lot of time this time," he said. "Hardline has had three years. Last year was a very unique situation. 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."

    We know you don't believe us since we have a history of screwing you over by releasing unfinished games. We can't really come up with a solution and will keep doing it as long as you keep paying us like blind sheep.

    "What was happening with Battlefield 4, even as we were pushing all of this innovation, was a lot of it we couldn't test until really late in the phase. I believe it was unique," he added."

    Our EA overlords are pushing a bone crunching target date and we won't get our bonuses if we decide to have morals and actually finish our products before we sell them to you.
  • 8 Hide
    gsxrme , June 23, 2014 10:40 AM
    I'm standing extremely strong and I refuse to purchase EA games. EA has been and will always be <mod edit>. Clean house, shape up or fail. You get no money from me, for crap. RUSHED CRAP!
  • 4 Hide
    gm0n3y , June 23, 2014 11:13 AM
    Yet again validating my decision to never buy another EA game. They just keep dropping ball, time after time.
  • 0 Hide
    kyle382 , June 23, 2014 11:47 AM
    strange how all the gaming news I read shows up on toms about a week later with the same content. Lets be honest though, we can hate all we want as informed gamers, but the millions of ignorant players are still going to buy the heck out of anything EA cranks out with a flashy commercial. sigh
  • 0 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , June 23, 2014 12:09 PM
    Well... I've had a near flawless experience with BF4 since it launched. There was Punkbuster issues for 2-3 days in the beginning of December '13, but beyond that. Haven't had any issues.

    Guess I'm one of the few.
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