EA's Frostbite April Fools' Joke Jabs at Nintendo, Flops Horribly - Update

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EA's Frostbite April Fools' Joke Jabs at Nintendo, Flops Horribly - Update

Battlefield 4 Naval Strike 310x

Frostbite "optimized for Mario and Zelda" strikes an eNerve.

Update: In case there's any confusion about an apology being issued, EA COO Peter Moore did issue one on Twitter. "Our apologies to partners @NintendoAmerica & fans: @Frostbite's poor attempt at April Fools was not condoned by EA; unacceptable & stupid"

There are plenty of good examples
of April Fools' jokes to be found online today (Razer is my favorite so far), but that doesn't mean a stinker or two won't pop up.

Case in point: EA's Frostbite team threw out some tweets earlier, saying that Frostbite 3 is now running on Nintendo's Wii U console. The aftermath didn't go so well for them.

Last week, EA formally announced that the next Battlefield game would not be coming to the Wii U, nor would any other Frostbite-powered EA title. One of the larger third party developers leaving Nintendo out in the cold is one thing, but cracking jokes about it only a few days later? Poor timing, and poor taste.

The tweets, all posted today, and since deleted by @FrostbiteEngine, were as follows:

  • "Frostbite now runs on the #WiiU since it is the most powerful Gen4 platform, our renderer is now optimized for Mario and Zelda." (original, now dead link here)
  • "Frostbite will power #HalfLife3, coming out summer 2014! #WiiU exclusive." (original, now dead link here)
  • "Good news, we have finally fixed and optimized our 'netcode'. Uses quantum entanglement for Zero Latency connections. Exclusively on #WiiU." (original, now dead link here)
  • Personally I like the netcode tweet, if only because the "netcode" in BF4 and BF3 isn't exactly the best. But there's plenty of fire and brimstone coming down on the tweets; EA COO Peter Moore called the joke "unacceptable & stupid," to give you an idea of what the EA top brass thinks.

    But others at EA hit closer to the funny bone with their jokes, like the Origin Boxed video that went up this morning.

    Frostbite "sort of" apologized some hours later. By sort of, I mean they cracked another joke, albeit at their own expense.

  • "Prepped for #GoT next week by beheading the programmer who ran this account for being mean and unfunny. He was a great programmer though."
  • You know what's funnier (meaning not funny at all) than Frostbite's EA jokes? The calamity that is playing Battlefield 4 on consoles right now, since the title still hasn't been completely fixed yet.

    Permalink

    You know the lack of HL3 confirmed jokes today makes that one almost funny.
    Almost.

    What? That game still isn't working properly after all this time? Mr. Head, meet Mr. Desk.

    This is almost like watching Olympic hurtling and one of the runners clips the top of the hurtle and faceplants really hard on the ground. You want to laugh, but you just mainly cringe and recoil from it all.

    Looks like someone was trying a wheeeeeeee bit too hard on their joke.

    This again? Nintendo tried to be the first at the next gen race and with that now is falling behind (tech wise). It sold what it could while it lasted, now it really wont be that easy and its understandable that the console probably wont support some tech that will be available for the other 2 consoles (with that said Frostbite 3 could easily run I think but either way it probably isnt all that worth it since Wii U owners dont really care much for games that arent Wii U exclusive)

    "One of the larger third party developers leaving Nintendo out in the cold is one thing, but cracking jokes about it only a few days later? Poor timing, and poor taste."

    Why would it be poor taste. Might not be the funniest observation but still true and amusing enough to poke fun at the ancient HW from the WiiU

    Honestly it was just lazy. They should have made some fake "16 Bit" screenshots, made a fake website, made a fake gameplay video. Put some effort into the prank.

    Barbas:
    What? That game still isn't working properly after all this time? Mr. Head, meet Mr. Desk.

    Yup.

    Here's the official bug tracker from Dice (created December 10th)
    http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf4/forum/threadview/2955065670203355766/

    21 major bugs across 3 consoles listed, and 5 months later they have 6 completely unresolved, and 1 still a problem on the 360.

    But it's ok, because the launch was 'good' and 'didn't damage the franchise' According to EA execs. And that's all that matters.

    EA/DICE/Frostbite making fun of anyone else's product right now is like being called an ugly idiot by a fat drunk who's lost his shoes.
    Do you ignore him, pity him or a punch his lights out?
    They don't seem to be able to do anything without creating some kind of disaster, major or minor.

    Speaking of which, Naval Strike came out on PC yesterday and here are a few of my favourite new features.
    *Certain enemy vehicles (notably Scout Heli, MAA and LAV) don't play or animate their weapons, so you get hammered and die in total silence with no fire or effects to indicate anything wrong.
    *The Attack Jet's main gun deals damage at an inconsistent rate (if at all). So sometimes you can hammer at a target for five or six runs and get no damage points at all, whilst other times the first shells that hit do full damage, disable and destroy in a tenth(ish) of a second.
    *The vehicle miniguns have been buffed, to the point of making targets melt.
    *Frame stuttering and hang ups that weren't present before (applies to all maps).
    *Rubber banding has returned, all hail the flexible God of death!

    I suspect it fell flat mostly because it's EA. To do an April Fools joke you have to have some sort of relationship with your customers so they're not just sceptical of everything you say and looking for a chance to say "Look what fuckwits these guys are, that they would say such things".

    "Frostbite will power #HalfLife3, coming out summer 2014! #WiiU exclusive."

    So I take it that they weren't trying to be subtle that they were joking. I don't think anyone would believe Valve would release an anticipated game on someone else's engine when they are developing their own or that it would be exclusive to the WiiU.

    Truly, EA are the April fools this year.

    I knew had some budget cuts in the past, but I'm pretty certain that the PR department needs some hiring.

    Why anyone thinks gamers have a sense of humor anymore is beyond me. Luckily, not being a nervous EA exec, nor a Nintendo employee, nor a Wii U fanboy..nor someone who has found any bugs in Battlefield 4 (because I hardly play it with the required religious intensity to qualify as hardcore, I guess) ...I was allowed to find these jokes funny. Yay!

    sneakypenguin:
    "One of the larger third party developers leaving Nintendo out in the cold is one thing, but cracking jokes about it only a few days later? Poor timing, and poor taste."

    Why would it be poor taste. Might not be the funniest observation but still true and amusing enough to poke fun at the ancient HW from the WiiU

    Yeh, don't understand why this would be poor taste. It's not like anyone died.

    I suppose on the plus side, it means the WiiU gets a mention, which I guess they could be grateful for.

    I thought it was funny.

    Toadfish1:
    I thought it was funny.

    What I just noticed was that in the article picture, it looks like the hovercraft passenger is trying to counter-productively shoot his driver in the head. Tacticool.

    ...Sadly, it reminds me of a lot of the games I managed to get into.

    I did quite like the Origin video, that was pretty funny.

    The tweets are pretty damn stupid though.

    "Good news, we have finally fixed and optimized our 'netcode'. Uses quantum entanglement for Zero Latency connections. Exclusively on #WiiU."

    Dammit! That one was actually funny. Listening to people talk about console and hardware stats does very often sound like geordi laforge talking about tachyon field dispersion on the deck of the enterprise. And it's often about as comprehensible.

    You can tell a lot about EA by the fact that they thought a good April Fools joke would be to pretend that they'd actually fixed a game after people had already paid for it.

    To those wondering why this is causing so much of a stir, I suggest learning the difference between "harmless joke" and "rubbing salt in the wound".

    Okay, EA. I don't know why it is you can't wrap your head around the situation, but I'll drop a little knowledge on you.

    - You're strongly hated (I'd say even reviled) by a large contingent of the gaming public.
    - You've made a series of missteps and gaffes in the recent past.
    - Your recent, heavily-hyped offering is still suffering from a swath of problems that you seem unable or unmotiviated to fix.

    From this position, the smart thing to do here would've been self-flagellation. "Latest quality assurance pass inserts twelve new bugs"; "Titans called in to rescue QA technicians found locked in closet"... maybe you could've even gotten away with some sort of "Frozen"/Frostbite gag. Show a little contrition, some sign that you know there's problems, and maybe- just maybe- you'll score a few goodwill points.

    But this? This is mean-spirited sniping from a company far better qualified to be the butt of this sort of joke than the originator. Valve and Nintendo both occupy a much higher seat in the arena of public opinion than you do. And the worst thing about these dumb jokes isn't how offensive they are, it isn't how hollow they ring... it's how well they show that you still just don't get it.

    Get over it people, this isn't some instance of sexism or discrimination, it was a joke about how weak the WiiU is and how a lot of big third parties are not supporting it. People like to get pissy about every damn thing.

    EndlessSporadic:
    To those wondering why this is causing so much of a stir, I suggest learning the difference between "harmless joke" and "rubbing salt in the wound".

    Yeah, there's ribbing and there's kicking them when they're down.

    Shamanic Rhythm:
    You can tell a lot about EA by the fact that they thought a good April Fools joke would be to pretend that they'd actually fixed a game after people had already paid for it.

    Oh EA don't ever change.

    As soon as you collapse under your own bloated weight the better the entire industry would be.

    let me paraphrase jim sterling here: do you still think it wouldn't be funny if it wasn't EA?

    personally i always think it's better to make fun of yourself than of other people but this is fine

    For those people who don't get why this is insulting: it's not funny to bash someone's failure, it's inmature and EA was supposed to be hire adults, not angry teenagers who pick on the weak. Also, this whole "Nintendo sucks" is getting tiring. Yeah, we get it that the Wii U is weaker, than PS4, yeah we get it that third parties don't care, it's been on the news since the Wii U launched, can we move on please? If we have to laugh at failures, then we should probably laugh at EA for s***** so much with BF4 and Sim City, laugh at Sony for nearing the point of bankrupty, etc. So... why we should only laugh at Nintendo? Ohh look I have a late April 1st joke: "Battlefield finally runs and didn't crashed after 5 minutes!" and another: "Sony is profitable again thanks to the fantastic sales of the PS Vita!"

    Robert Kalmar:
    For those people who don't get why this is insulting: it's not funny to bash someone's failure, it's inmature and EA was supposed to be hire adults, not angry teenagers who pick on the weak. Also, this whole "Nintendo sucks" is getting tiring. Yeah, we get it that the Wii U is weaker, than PS4, yeah we get it that third parties don't care, it's been on the news since the Wii U launched, can we move on please? If we have to laugh at failures, then we should probably laugh at EA for s***** so much with BF4 and Sim City, laugh at Sony for nearing the point of bankrupty, etc. So... why we should only laugh at Nintendo? Ohh look I have a late April 1st joke: "Battlefield finally runs and didn't crashed after 5 minutes!" and another: "Sony is profitable again thanks to the fantastic sales of the PS Vita!"

    And what is your problem with Sony, exactly?

    I don't see anything wrong with these jokes. Nintendo doesn't deserve half the love it gets.

    dear diary, today the internet was mad again, 5110 days and counting...

    i think EA's joke should the judged on the grounds of it being bad instead of it making fun of a piece of plastic

    the programmer joke was kind of funny tough

    First off, how is any of this humor?

    "Our game is coming out on the WiiU OH WAIT THE WIIU IS TOO WEAK HAHAHA"

    "We're making the next Half-life game using our engine OH WAIT HL3 WILL NEVER COME OUT HAHAHA".

    "We've fixed the problems in our latest game OH WAIT WE HAVEN'T IT'S STILL SHIT HAHAHA BTW THANKS FOR YOUR MONEY".

    Secondly, as has been said this really is comparable to some incompetent, arrogant little shit trying to make fun of the failures of those who have been far more successful and dignified than they have, followed by joke-pretending that they're going to make up for their own failures(I dunno, is that meant to be the punchline?).

    It's just an incredibly childish thing to be said by a company that isn't exactly held in high esteeM anyway, even on a day that's all about acting silly. Sorry, EA, but April Fool's day is NOT about flinging your shit at other people and screaming "THIS IS MEANT TO BE FUNNY!", ESPECIALLY not when your hands were long since crusted with it.

    It was never even funny to begin with.

    EA's starting the 2014 most hated company competition running...

    Seriously though, while these quotes don't seem particularly snarky to me as a Nintendo fan, they are a symptom of the larger internet condescension towards Nintendo right now. The Wii U's failure opened the floodgates for this kind of condescending dismissal, and in some cases xenophobic hatred. Dismissal of one of the biggest contributors to gaming culture is the real idiocy here. If Nintendo didn't exist it would be a great loss to gaming as a whole.

    I did laugh a little at the Half Life 3 tweet, though, since the speculation there was genuinely ridiculous.

    RealRT:
    Nintendo doesn't deserve half the love it gets.

    Wha...? You have actually played a videogame before, right?

    Barbas:
    What? That game still isn't working properly after all this time? Mr. Head, meet Mr. Desk.

    The more surprising thing is people are still playing, I abandoned it for dead before Xmas, it was such a shambolic display.

    People's jimmies are way too prone to russling these days.

    CriticalMiss:

    "Frostbite will power #HalfLife3, coming out summer 2014! #WiiU exclusive."

    So I take it that they weren't trying to be subtle that they were joking. I don't think anyone would believe Valve would release an anticipated game on someone else's engine when they are developing their own or that it would be exclusive to the WiiU.

    Truly, EA are the April fools this year.

    actually it was well places, considering Steams april fools joke was "EA bought steam, will publish HL3". So the two jokes reaffirm eachother.

    omegawyrm:

    RealRT:
    Nintendo doesn't deserve half the love it gets.

    Wha...? You have actually played a videogame before, right?

    Nintendo is serverely overpraised overdefended company. And yes, i have played eactly 124 games before maknig this comment. less than 10 of them were from nintendo till i gave up and stopped tryin to understand the undeserved praise for Mario games or why Zelda is more popular than plenty of others similar games.

    Robert Kalmar:
    For those people who don't get why this is insulting: it's not funny to bash someone's failure, it's inmature and EA was supposed to be hire adults, not angry teenagers who pick on the weak. Also, this whole "Nintendo sucks" is getting tiring. Yeah, we get it that the Wii U is weaker, than PS4, yeah we get it that third parties don't care, it's been on the news since the Wii U launched, can we move on please?

    Oh course its funny to bash failure. We have a whole genre atributed to it - slapstick. See, humor is not universal. some things are funny for some people, others for others.
    Oh, and we will stop with Nintendo sucks when it stops sucking.

    Strazdas:

    Nintendo is serverely overpraised overdefended company. And yes, i have played eactly 124 games before maknig this comment. less than 10 of them were from nintendo till i gave up and stopped tryin to understand the undeserved praise for Mario games or why Zelda is more popular than plenty of others similar games.

    Oh, and we will stop with Nintendo sucks when it stops sucking.

    So you played 10 games (and 114 on other consoles apparently)and used that to cast a net over the entire companies output to say that it sucks. While still not giving any actual opinions, evidence to back up your opinions or anything other than Nintendo sucks?

    I'm going to counter you by pointing out that in terms of now current gen games, the highest rated games of this gen according to metacritc are on the WiiU and mostly made by Nintendo. So how can a company that sucks make such highly rated games compared to the other two companies? And thats not factoring in that Nintendo are the only one of the 3 where if you take just the gaming department, has actually made a decent profit over the last few years, enough to keep them loss making for about 10years before they have to take out a loan (which they don't have atm, they have next to no debt according go there financials). Facts are fun!

    Anyway back to the topic and away from the Nintendo bashing that seems to happen to every single Nintendo topic on the internet. I know someone else mentioned the Jim Sterling "imagine if it wasn't EA" thing. Its true if it wasn't EA it would be different, it would probably be a "ok good attempt but not very funny" instead of an issue.

    This time its annoyed people because its EA because of their very public bridge burning with Nintendo after proclaiming the strong ties beforehand. I don't think many people actually believed the "slow sales" excuse for dropping all support when they dropped it (regardless of what sales are now the timing of the dry up of titles meant the decision was made month before numbers were known, as it was basically first wave of titles then nothing) so its an open secret there were other things they were fighting about, rumored to be Nintendo not wanting to use origin. And theres also the kicking while its down which people still look down upon.

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