The launch and subsequent weeks of Battlefield 4 multiplayer have been less than stellar. Glitches, connectivity issues, crashes, and weird exploits have plagued the title on all platforms. Although the most egregious issues have been addressed, the launch was something of a black eye for the franchise. It was bad enough that DICE promised to not work on anything other than fixing the problems. Meanwhile, EA is being sued by two separate firms over the damage the title may have caused to their stocks. In fact, EA’s investors are asking questions about Titanfall. There’s a lot of money riding on this next-gen game, and the money-men don’t want a repeat of Battlefield 4’s rocky performance.
In yesterday’s quarterly earnings call, EA executives tried to put investors’ fears to rest. Patrick Soderlund, EA’s executive vice president of EA Games label, took some time to address Battlefield 4’s issues, the lessons learned, and how EA and Respawn will apply that to Titanfall.
I’ll cover Battlefield 4, and I’ll quickly touch on kind of what happened, what we’ve done and how we’re learning from it? So on the first segment, the what happened part is 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. We released multiple software updates across all platforms to resolve the primary issues and game stability has significantly increased. To the final point, which is how are we learning from this? The challenge that we’ve faced with Battlefield 4 were different from anything that we’ve seen before with other games. There were different issues that only manifest its scale in the post-launch live environment. We’re taking multiple steps to evaluate what occurred and incorporate those learnings into our development process for future products, so we don’t experience the same problems again. I would close on the fact that Battlefield 4 remains an amazing game with massive innovation, and we’re confident that gamers will be logging on to play for a long time to come.
They have their top men working on it now. Top. Men.