Battlefield Hardline Slips An Awful Lot

By John Walker on July 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Battlefield Hardlines, originally slated for 21st October this year, has now been given a significantly later release date. The Space Year 2015. “Early” 2015. On a slippy day for EA, which also saw the announcement of Dragon Age: Inquisition sliding into November, DICE’s cops-n-robbers reinvention of the Battlefield series seems to have taken a much more serious hit. Apparently in response to what maybe wasn’t that brilliant of a beta test in June.

DICE’s VP Karl Magnus Troedsson puts a much more positive spin on it. He states that “millions of you jumped in and had a great time.” But yet apparently not so great a time that the feedback hasn’t given them cause to delay the game by at least a few months. They’ve been “poring over the data and feedback”, which has given them cause to consider, “other possibilities and ways we could push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better.”

“The more we thought about these ideas, the more we knew we had to get them into the game you will all be playing. However, there was only one problem. We would need more time. Time that we didn’t have if we decided to move forward with launching in just a couple of months.”

It’s slightly more of a significant change than this upbeat statement suggests. It means EA isn’t going to have a Battlefield title this Christmas, to compete with Activision’s inevitable Call Of Duty offering. And it’s worth noting that the three highlighted areas they plan to improve upon in this extension aren’t described as innovative new concepts or inspired ideas, but, well, the foundations of the game:

“Here are a few of the things the new timing will allow us to accomplish:

1. Multiplayer Innovation: Coming out of our E3 beta, internal focus tests, and work with our community, we have received a lot of great Multiplayer thinking. We’re going to be adding some new feature ideas direct from the community that will evolve the cops and criminals fantasy into a truly unique Battlefield Multiplayer experience.

2. Single Player Story Depth: In order to ensure our Single Player experience delivers on player expectations, we’re spending more time polishing our core features, as well as adding a few new ones that will support a deeper “crime revenge” story experience.

3. Stability: This has been a focus for our team since day one and we’re going to be using the extra time to continue to optimize the game for a stable launch. We have learned a lot from Battlefield 4, are continuing to learn from our Community Test Environment and will learn more from another Hardline beta. More time allows us to surface issues that the team can attempt to fix prior to launch.”

So the multiplayer, the single player, and making it work. Good! These are good reasons to delay the game!

EA have some good news to accompany these slips, having just seen a 51% climb in profits in the last quarter. But despite their repeated claims that Battlefield isn’t aiming to be an annual franchise, not having it for their Christmas line-up won’t be helpful.

, , , , , .

36 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Premium User Badge

    Joshua says:

    Battlefield may not be claiming to be an annual franchise, it’s releasing titles at a very steady near-yearly pace since 1942.

    Regardless, this will allievate the whole “rush the game to beat cod” thing that got BF4 into so much trouble, so… that’s probably good.

    • PONPONWAY says:

      There has been a release under the Battlefield franchise every single year from the year that BF1942 came out. It’s been yearly longer than COD has.

      • Deadly Sinner says:

        That’s only true if you include expansions, dlc, a free-to-play game that barely has anything to do with the main series, and a bite-sized download only title. Which if you do, you can’t really compare it to Call of Duty, since they have put out a full release in that franchise every year since it’s inception.

    • Wulfram says:

      Pretty impressive, considering there was a war on the first 3 years

    • 0positivo says:

      Is it bad if I thought: “Wait, was there a Battlefield in 1943? And 1944? And 1945? And 1946.. etc”?

  2. Bull0 says:

    That’s a shame; I’d have enjoyed them launching with what they had, and the ensuing backlash. This is a better outcome for EA, they can either work it up into a better offering *or* spend the time building some hype and lying about how much they’re polishing the game, then release the same crap anyway (like Watch_Dogs).

    • BobbyDylan says:

      The detail hopefully means that the bugs that were patched out of BF3, and then repatched out of BF4 will be pre-patched out of BF:H4ardline.

      But not likely.

      • Bull0 says:

        Yeah, you’d really hope. Given the track record though, I’m going to assume we’ll be back to suppressed weapons muting the whole server for the remainder of the match, etc.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        BF4 really wasn’t a bad game a month or two after release. Listening to some people on forums like this you’d still think it was a barely working mess of a game even now, completely untrue but lots of gamers simply will not go back and try a game again, instead preferring to just badmouth it constantly due to their sense of being slighted at release.
        I like this move, I like it every time a game does this, it shows they are releasing a finished product, I will always point to games of the past and say that loads of them had delays, probably the majority. Some people seem to take it as a terrible thing when a game is pushed back as a sign of the game being bad or some other nonsense, it’s not, it happened to LOTS of great games. Either that or people just like to bitch about anything they can regardless.

    • fluffy_thedestroyer says:

      2 possible reasons :
      1. Either they listened to the feedback, went to video sites like youtube and dailymotion and more and figured out it wasn the impression at first so back to the drawing board
      or
      2. way too many bugs or not enough feature so they have to release it later

  3. Mittens89 says:

    It just saddens me that, no matter what, this game will sell really well.

    • 65 says:

      Will it, though?
      It seems the Internet as a whole (including you) has already decided to hate it.

      • Bull0 says:

        “Already”

        The last two Battlefield games have been buggy messes with overpriced DLC and this one looks like an even more cynical and content-short edition, AND it’s had a big Beta from which yes, lots of people attested to it being cynical and content-short. At what point exactly are you happy for us to start hating something if this is too soon?

        • sabasNL says:

          Let’s be fair here, shall we? BF3 had launch issues, esp. due to Battlelog, but that was patched quickly and it has been a good, solid game ever since.

          Now, BF4 on the other hand… I personally only had some minor lag the first weeks untill the latest patch made my game stutter to the point it’s unplayable. I paid €100 and been able to play 40 hours. That’s a huge loss of money in my eyes.

          Hardline looks good, sounds good, and the beta ran better than BF4 ever did on my PC. But I’m not even going to consider buying it untill I got my value out of BF4.

        • 65 says:

          “At what point exactly are you happy for us to start hating something if this is too soon?”

          When it’s actually been, you know, released?
          You’re right of course that BF3 and especially 4 were in no condition to be shipped, so scepticism is certainly not misplaced. But by the looks of it EA and Visceral are attemping to avoid another disastrous launch, by pushing the release date back.
          Condemning the game at this point, when it looks like they’re trying to do the right thing for a change, is thus sending the entirely wrong signal.
          Also, critizising a beta for a scarcity of content seems a bit divorced from reality.

      • toxic avenger says:

        Yes, but the “entire internet” isn’t exactly the entire gaming ecosystem or population. People who go to gaming sites or comment on gaming forums and watch video trailers or gameplay footage on youtube are such a small percentage of the population, compared to the shrieking behemoth of the casual gamer population.

        The same can be said about film. The “entire internet” hates Michael Bay films, like Transformers, yet they seem to gross more and more at the box office each year. To people who don’t take film or movies seriously, who view movies as just disposable entertainment, like a newsstand magazine (compared to a novel), Transformers is just enough for them. Besides, ‘the only people that take movies (or video games, or novels, or anything else for that matter) seriously are NERDS’, right?

        What I’m trying to say is what we perceive to be the entire internet is hardly indicative of consumer trends, as a whole.

      • Shooop says:

        “The internet as a whole” doesn’t include the millions of people who buy games or the internet as a whole is a massive hypocrite because year after year these games sell really, really well.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      It saddens me that so many people pre-judge games before they are released instead of waiting for release and making an intelligent, well researched decision on whether to buy it or not. Instead preferring to either hate or hype games, pre-order them, then bitch that they wasted their money.

  4. Hydraulic Meerkat says:

    Wonder how DICE managed to get EA to allow that.

    • -Spooky- says:

      “Ey, Bossman! We need more time for this DLC, so called Retailversion.” *duh*

    • sabasNL says:

      “Master, please, we need more time! We can’t meet the deadline!”
      “Oh DICE… You were my only posession I did not expect to turn against me…”
      *EA throws DICE and Visceral in the dungeon untill Hardline is released*
      *DICE sees the rotten pile of corpses of Westwood, Pandemic, Origin, Bullfrog, etc…*

    • shutter says:

      Given that Patrick Söderlund runs non-Maxis/non-mobile game development at EA, probably pretty easily.

  5. Turkey says:

    Speaking of bad video game names: Hardline is pretty stupid. It sounds tough, but I don’t think the term has anything to do with cops and robbers.

    • P.Funk says:

      “Hardline – In politics, hardline refers to the doctrine, policy, and posturing of a government or political body as being absolutist and sometimes authoritarian. The hardline position is often extremist and uncompromising.”

      Seems fitting for a game about American crime fighting. However I think this game will play out with about as much realism as would be necessary to prefer a different title: Live free or Hardline.

  6. botty says:

    Also, the original release date was the same as Evolve, was 4 days after the release of the next Borderlands and 2 weeks before the next COD. Releasing it later is wiser, economically speaking.

    • Moraven says:

      Yah, CoD and BF have a lot more shooters to contend with this year.

      Evolve, Borderlands, Destiny, Far Cry 4, Halo Collection + 5 beta

      I’m sure there are a couple others I missed.

  7. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    “/…/ a deeper “crime revenge” story experience.”

    Wow, we’re really breaking new ground here.

  8. Premium User Badge

    soulblur says:

    Well, that’s one great thing about EA: they’re always learning.

  9. Distec says:

    Oh man, I don’t think I can handle all that innovation. Can a game be too innovative? Hardline’s pushing the limits.

  10. kevmscotland says:

    Rainbow 6 Siege anyone?

  11. Chuckleluck says:

    Meh, call me when they announce the robbers will have different weapons from the cops. “But it will break the balance!” they say. Last I checked, a fight between cops and robbers never was terribly supposed to be terribly even.

  12. guygodbois00 says:

    Their deadline wasn’t as hard, I guess.

  13. DanMan says:

    I don’t like to be called a “fan”. I’m your (potential) customer, Dice. How’s that for your perception? You haven’t even released the thing.

  14. vahnn says:

    Holy shit… You mean EA is going to delay a game’s release to improve on it instead of shoving it out the door and saying, “Fuck it, go go go!” ? ? ?

    Impressive.