EA CEO: Battlefield 4 Launch Was "Unacceptable"

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EA CEO: Battlefield 4 Launch Was "Unacceptable"

Battlefield 4 screenshot

In a lengthy interview with Eurogamer, CEO Andrew Wilson and DICE general manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson talk about what went wrong with Battlefield 4 and how they're using those lessons to improve future games.

If you were one of the many players burned by Battlefield 4's bug-ridden launch, EA CEO Andrew Wilson actually agrees with you. "For me, the situation we had was unacceptable. For the team it was unacceptable," Wilson said in a recent interview with Eurogamer. "We have worked tirelessly since then to make sure the gameplay experience got to where it absolutely should have been at launch and we're focused on that and we continue to deliver value to that player base."

Wilson states that the main problem with game's multiplayer mode existed client-side, not on the servers. These problems originated due to the game's ambition, Wilson said. DICE was creating a game with 64-player multiplayer, gigantic maps 1080p and was being developed for at the time unfinished PS4 and Xbox One hardware. Wilson wanted to be clear that the game was not rushed to meet the launch of those two new consoles, as some have suggested.

"DICE had a lot of time this time ... 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."

Wilson stands by EA's choice to push the boundaries of Battlefield, adding in a thinly-veiled swipe at Activision's Call of Duty: Ghosts, also released last year, which had been criticized for being too similar to previous entries.

"You could go down the really conservative path, which some people did in the industry, and your game didn't have any of those problems, but you also got the feedback of, it just feels the same as it used to.

DICE general manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson adds in his thoughts as well, saying that the reaction to Battlefield 4 actually hurt DICE's reputation. "Was I surprised at the reaction? No. Were we a bit surprised by the state of the game? Yes. For sure," he told Eurogamer. Interestingly, Troedsson's comments practically refute a statement earlier this year from EA's CFO when he said that the Battlefield brand was undamaged by Battlefield 4's launch.

Troedsson has said that the problems EA had with Battlefield 4 has triggered a new development process for the company, one that DICE's follow-up game, Battlefield: Hardline is benefitting from.

"How stable is the server? What state is the client in? That's one example of a thing we changed based on what happened with BF4," Troedsson said.

The entirety of the interview can be read at the link below. How do you feel about Wilson and Troedsson's statements? Are you willing to give Hardlinea chance when it launches later this year, or are you still turned off from the problems with Battlefield 4?

Source: Eurogamer

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Hopefully this means something to the BF fans that are sticking with the game. I feel its far too late for this to sway me though. I've spent so much time trying bug fixes with 3 and 4 to care about Wilson acknowledging the problems.

Damage control, DAMAGE CONTROL! Give me a report!

Here we go again, EA and DICE promise it will be better next time, even though every Battlefield launch since it was called Codename: Eagle has been a total mess and they've been getting worse.

With EA's refusal to give a straight answer on who is developing which bits of Hardline (is it Viceral or DICE, does DICE mean DICE or DICE LA aka Danger Close?) it's very hard to take them claiming to be fixing anything seriously. It's even harder when the beta for Hardline is mashed full of re-used assets and bugs from the last four years of Battlefield that still aren't fixed. Public testing five months before release is hardly reassuring when it took seven months to halfway fix BF4 and over a year to truly fix BF3.

I'll file this statement from them under B for Believe it when I see it.

its cool though because now you can buy battlefield hardline....

Are we really sure they made those statements? Because I won't be fooled again.

fix-the-spade:
It's even harder when the beta for Hardline is mashed full of re-used assets and bugs from the last four years of Battlefield that still aren't fixed.

Everything I've been reading and hearing says "DLC quality for full-game price".

Remember when DLC used to be called "expansion packs"?

How do you feel about Wilson and Troedsson's statements?

It's nothing that they haven't said before. Because talk is cheap.

I wonder what they'll say when they also fuck up the Hardline launch.

"You could go down the really conservative path, which some people did in the industry, and your game didn't have any of those problems, but you also got the feedback of, it just feels the same as it used to."

So uh.. what about Hardline? You had the opportunity to do something unique with that but its still just feeling like Battlefield with different uniforms on the soldiers, pot <-> kettle?

It was so unacceptable that they released it for full price!

Y'know, if they actually learn from their mistakes, that's great - more power to them.

But lets not forget that the BF3 launch was far from plain sailing too, yet the BF4 launch ended up being considerably worse.

The Rogue Wolf:
Are we really sure they made those statements? Because I won't be fooled again.

fix-the-spade:
It's even harder when the beta for Hardline is mashed full of re-used assets and bugs from the last four years of Battlefield that still aren't fixed.

Everything I've been reading and hearing says "DLC quality for full-game price".

Remember when DLC used to be called "expansion packs"?

I also remember when those 'Expansion Packs' contained a lot of content and typically cost abouthalf of the price of the original game. It's embarrassing a game Like Hardline exits, my all accounts a re-skinned version of a broken game. The Battlefield name being further dredged into the generic shooter box. "It's not the same game we promise! We added cops and robbers skins!"

Come off it EA. It's. Too. Fucking. Late. "Objectively Wrong" is what the critics of the game were initially called. There was defense of the game through launch, through post launch and broken season pass content. And now you have a new battlefield to market finally there is the apology that should have been there in the first place along with a fix

That's the real gaulling part, they took so long to acknowledge and fix any of it. If you buy Battlefield games you are in an abusive relationship with EA. "Awwwww c'mon baby we can change! we're sorry. It'll be different this time"

Huh. BF4 sales must be slowing for them to admit this now.

In any other industry, knowingly releasing broken products would be seen as fraud. In any other industry, the consumer would have some means of recompense. In any other industry, a broken product can be returned at the makers expense.

The games industry is sorely in need of a true consumer advocacy group. The ESA and it's ilk try, but they are underfunded and end up typically just doing the counter-point to nonsensical news stories that are only made for people who already feel a certain way. You're not going to change the minds of the Fox News set and suddenly have them accept gaming as an artform. They should be focusing on things like this. Filing charges against these big companies who continue to defraud the public with broken software and then handing out these mealy mouthed "oh our actions were unacceptable" press snippets later in hopes of assuaging the consumers before their next big release.

There was a time when I gave EA the benefit of the doubt. But how many times has this sort of thing happened? At some point it stops being "unforeseen issues" and it becomes straight up deception. And we passed that point with EA a looooong time ago.

The Rogue Wolf:
Remember when DLC used to be called "expansion packs"?

I remember when they came on CDs... and had their own intro videos and separate launchers and everything! I can even remember when patches used to come out attached to discs on magazines.

Oh God, I'm old!

"Problem wasn't our servers, it was your game disc which we made. We didn't rush the game for the console launches, it was just buggy because it was unfinished because the consoles weren't out yet. We are going to fix these issues by making another game. We had lots of time to make this game, but it came out shortly after BF3 was almost fixed."

Fix your software. Don't rush your games out for console launches. Release expansions for BF3 (honestly all that DLC for BF3 and BF4 and it's DLC could just be 3 - 4 expansions for BF3), BF4 really shouldn't exist yet. Don't release another game just fix the current one.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.842131-EA-CCO-Says-SimCity-Battlefield-4-Launches-Werent-That-Bad

Talk is cheap. Release a game that's properly bug tested, gives value for money, and don't insult the consumer in your marketing and analysis. Then I might start buying EA games again.

Scrumpmonkey:

Come off it EA. It's. Too. Fucking. Late. "Objectively Wrong" is what the critics of the game were initially called. There was defense of the game through launch, through post launch and broken season pass content. And now you have a new battlefield to market finally there is the apology that should have been there in the first place along with a fix

That's the real gaulling part, they took so long to acknowledge and fix any of it. If you buy Battlefield games you are in an abusive relationship with EA. "Awwwww c'mon baby we can change! we're sorry. It'll be different this time"

So much this.

The game was unacceptably buggy for a supposed full price, AAA release. They finally admit that, but what it doesn't excuse is their conduct up until this point, which was to treat their customers as if they were in the wrong.

Insulting the Beta testers. Promising they'd fix the bugs before releasing content (which more than 7 months later they are still bug fixing - http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf4/forum/threadview/2955065670203355766/) but all the DLC has been released.

Claiming the release of Battlefield 4 and Simcity still "weren't that bad" regardless of all the crap that happened.

They have even had the gall to add microtransactions to unlock content that they artificially held back in the first place.

As I said. Mend your ways Ebeneezer Scrooge -
If you want releases that are 'acceptable' change your corporate practices.

Somethingfake:
Huh. BF4 sales must be slowing for them to admit this now.

Depending who you ask (NPD, VGcharts etc) BF4's sales in it's first ten weeks are anything from two thirds to one third of what BF3 sold in the same period of time, but all agree that it's a lot less. Not bad considering BF4 was on five platforms to BF3's three.

Question have they EVER made a BF title that didnt balls up at launch ? Even my fave BF2142 had issues...

BUT for fuck sakes you should be kinda good at it by now Dice, you made a few MP games last I checked.
Seriously this is just BS, typical PR crap to cover arses that didnt care if they wipe thier shit on us or not, until it hits the bottom line then the BS really splatters... across gaming mags.

Hold the fucking phone! So is it that we were "objectively wrong", or did DICE "rush things" as they seem to be saying here? And "there are some things that can't get done until the very last minute because the platform wasn't ready to get done." I'm sorry! I cannot express how fucking insulting that it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but what he's saying is "we were working on the game right up until the very last minute of the console manufacturing process, and THAT's why a lot of the stuff wasn't ironed out?"

Is that how the industry works? Because it would be jaw-dropping to me if that were the case. Is what he is saying "the consoles weren't ready to go, so we couldn't finalize anything because we didn't know what the final versions of the console would look like?" Don't they get dev versions of the consoles to make their games? And what? Every game around console launch is manufactured on a wing and a prayer? And what about the tester that said EA pushed the game through quality control in order to beat COD out of the gate?

And let's say that the console versions got screwed because they were developing the game right up until the last minute, (as if Sony and Microsoft weren't done with building and manufacturing the hardware months before it was actually released), what's the excuse for the issues on PC? Or is the PC tech something new that they were working with up until the last minute as well?

I've really got to stop reading these articles because they make me rage so hard at my inability to do more than simply not buy these fuckers' product.

fix-the-spade:

Somethingfake:
Huh. BF4 sales must be slowing for them to admit this now.

Depending who you ask (NPD, VGcharts etc) BF4's sales in it's first ten weeks are anything from two thirds to one third of what BF3 sold in the same period of time, but all agree that it's a lot less. Not bad considering BF4 was on five platforms to BF3's three.

BF4's sales during its first ten weeks are irrelevant when discussion BF4's current sales.

I agree with Somethingfake here. This "we were so wrong" announcement smacks of rapidly declining sales and a panicked attempt by EA to get media coverage refocused on their game.

Edit: damned nested quotes... ;P

ASnogarD:
Question have they EVER made a BF title that didnt balls up at launch ? Even my fave BF2142 had issues...

BUT for fuck sakes you should be kinda good at it by now Dice, you made a few MP games last I checked.
Seriously this is just BS, typical PR crap to cover arses that didnt care if they wipe thier shit on us or not, until it hits the bottom line then the BS really splatters... across gaming mags.

They're all "look! BF4 WAS ahem...I mean IS a disaster. But Hardline...Hardline will be fine. Trust us."

MinionJoe:

BF4's sales during its first ten weeks are irrelevant when discussion BF4's current sales.

They are very relevant, sales generally do not go back up once they've gone down, if after ten weeks a game's sales have already tailed into the low thousands then four months after that it's probably close to zero.

BF3's biggest strength was that it just kept selling, until 15 million people had it (mostly on PC too), BF4 most definitely hasn't done that (and neither has Titanfall for that matter). Sadly there aren't any right now sales figures to talk about, so the opening months are all there is to go on.

...And yet, it was accepted...and for a very long time.

On the bright side, though, who gives a shit?! There's a Steam sale on! If you'll excuse me, I'll be buying and playing some actual good games at some ludicrous prices...

too late. im not going to spend any time on this game. its deleted, i have lost my money, but rather lose my money then losing my nerves about the problems this game has. even now its unplayable for me and im not going back to find out of its now playable or not.

even if they have learned form it or not, this should have never been an issue for the pc at least.

"DICE had a lot of time this time ... 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's their excuse on PC? Or for the PS3 and 360? For that matter, why do they think anyone should buy this excuse for next-gen consoles? The PS4 and XBone architecture isn't anywhere near as unusual and esoteric as the architecture in their predecessors. I might expect some issues due to a lack of time to optimize for those two platforms, but they're similar enough to PC's that there's no excusing the level of ass hattery that players were putting up with. And it certainly doesn't excuse fucking it all up for two consoles they should know well at this point, and the PC where Dice should definitely be able to have their shit together.

Dice may have had about two years to work on the game, but clearly it wasn't enough time. Clearly, when they released, it wasn't ready. They pushed an unfinished product out the door, and I have zero doubt that they did it knowingly, and expecting players to not find out or care until they'd made their money.

Lamenting the poor launch after the fact and claiming they "own up to it," is bullshit. If they wanted to own up to the game not being ready, the time to do that was before it was released unfinished. And the time to fix their mess was before they released ANY DLC for the game.

No one buys the bullshit spewing out of your mouth EA.

fix-the-spade:

Somethingfake:
Huh. BF4 sales must be slowing for them to admit this now.

Depending who you ask (NPD, VGcharts etc) BF4's sales in it's first ten weeks are anything from two thirds to one third of what BF3 sold in the same period of time, but all agree that it's a lot less. Not bad considering BF4 was on five platforms to BF3's three.

Selling substantially less isn't bad because it was on more platforms? You have a funny view of what constitutes good. And considering BF4 would have made the majority of the money it will ever make in the first few weeks, never mind the first ten, that's even worse than it seems.

If the fallout over a shitty Battlefield launch was this bad, I await the titanic mountain of shit to be heaped on them if they fuck up the Star Wars Battlefront 3 release.

Soviet Heavy:
If the fallout over a shitty Battlefield launch was this bad, I await the titanic mountain of shit to be heaped on them if they fuck up the Star Wars Battlefront 3 release.

the studio that is handling it, which I dont know which DICE it is, will be forced to close down with everyone losing their jobs from management down if they dare fuck it up.

which they will.

because it's DICE and EA.

Every game they make is a giant fuck up.

People that have been waiting for Battlefront 3 since it's original announcement will be demanding heads to roll when it gets rushed out the door.

I'll buy Hardline eventually. But not at launch, not again. I bought BF4 four months into release and the game was still a buggy mess. Maybe the PS4 version is better. Anyway, I've already got four games I'm pretty sure will be much stable at launch and actually be different than other games. The game isn't bad, but not worth a full sixty bucks.

I just borrowed my friends PC copy to test out my new PC and I only had 2 crashes the whole time. I gave up entirely on PS3.

I played BF2 like 2 years after it came out and encounter a gamebreaking bug in like the 2nd to last chapter where during a rail shooting sequence I get instantly shot down by an off screen helicopter. As for BF3 the game kept freezing during the load screen just before you play as the Spestnaz. Oh well...

What's that? Do I hear someone going for that triple turkey again? That coveted shit award they claim to hate so much?

Well, you're asking for it, palsy.

(/sarcasm) ...Nooooooooooooooooooooo, you don't say?!

Better late than never I suppose. Though as they say words are wind, doesn't change the fact that once again EA fucked up.

Vivi22:
Selling substantially less isn't bad because it was on more platforms? You have a funny view of what constitutes good. And considering BF4 would have made the majority of the money it will ever make in the first few weeks, never mind the first ten, that's even worse than it seems.

Sarcasm my friend, look it up in a dictionary.

It's funny EA/DICE mention they are owning the mistake; that the launch of BF$ was unacceptable, yet 7-8 months after launch the game is still a mess. Ok fine, you admitted that BF4's launch was unacceptable, that you've learned from your mistakes, however pushing focus onto Battlefield: Hardline when you still haven't corrected the problems with BF4 is not owning the mistake. It's a calculated PR move to get people to trust you again so they'll actually buy Battlefield: Hardline.

It's really hard for us to trust you when you cannot even fix the problems in the current Battlefield game, attempt to justify the broken state of BF4 at launch by stating you didn't have access to the hardware/software for the PS4 and Xbone until late in the development cycle and saying it wasn't server side, but client side. What's your excuse going to be when Battlefield: Hardline releases and it is also a train wreck? Trust is earned geniuses. If you want consumers to trust you again you'll have to change your corporate culture, stop trying to land the next C.O.D., play test and debug your games and launch games that actually work on day 1; instead of placing blame elsewhere for 6-9 months then admitting it was your fault all along.

EA: reminding us that while Ubisoft is far too in love with recycling gameplay aspects and Activision has forgotten what innovation is, the consumers are still in better hands than theirs.

So the problem was client side...

THEN GET TO KNOW YOUR CLIENTS!

**** this makes me so mad. It's him trying to make excuses for the incompetent handling of their game releases. Not only that but the problems persist even now and the ones they did fix were way way after launch.

I loved the Battlefield series, played the crap out of BFBC2 and BF3, sure for BF3 the launch wasn't perfect but the launcher was a freaking monstrosity. Inviting friends was painful, Battlelog and Origin were both clunky and useless at the time. (I've heard Origin has improved significantly, but I'm still staying away from it).

You have a great franchise that tons of people want to play. Stop being idiots... so much wasted potential...

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