DICE Halting Future Projects Until Battlefield 4 Is Stable

No, I can still go on! I can still fix one... more... bug.

Like Battlefield 3 before it, Battlefield 4‘s launch hasn’t exactly been graceful. If our baseline metric for grace is a lithe, ethereally beautiful swan, then BF4 thus far has been said swan getting squashed into a writhing mass of meaty chunks by a thousand levolutions. Bugs, glitches, crashes – you name it, BF4 has grappled with it on PC and consoles. DICE, unsurprisingly, is aware that its flagship shootyblam has issues, and has – in the wake of new issues stemming from the China Rising DLC pack – dedicated its full developmental force to making the game, you know, work.

An EA rep made the startlingly all-encompassing statement to IGN, explaining:

“[We are] not moving onto future projects or expansions until we sort out all the issues with Battlefield 4. We know we still have a ways to go with fixing the game – it is absolutely our #1 priority.  The team at DICE is working non-stop to update the game.”

“We know many of our players are frustrated, and we feel your pain. We will not stop until this is right.”

When questioned about how this will affect Mirror’s Edge 2 and Star Wars Battlefront specifically, the rep was a bit cagier, but reiterated that the team currently has all hands on deck for the sole purpose of fixing Battlefield.

Which is a bit outrageous, really. I mean, I absolutely appreciate the sentiment (the state of the game is inexcusable, but better late than never), but upwards of 300 people on bug fixes? Really? I find that notion difficult to swallow. Generally speaking, that’s not how game development works. At some point, globbing handfuls of people onto a project like it’s some kind of macaroni art monstrosity becomes highly inefficient. Dev teams are made up of many people in many roles. Bug squashing is only a single part of the process – albeit an extremely important one.

I’ve reached out to EA for clarification on that point, which issues DICE is targeting first, and a few other specifics. I’ll post an update as soon as I hear anything back.


  1. medwards says:

    So they likely had two teams with some overlap, one working on the base game and once it was more stable they spun up a second team to work on the DLC in rough parallel.

    Post-release one of these two teams was either on a well-earned vacation or had already had it and was getting ready for another project, but they probably aborted that plan and are bringing them in for bug squashing.

    That is the “this is a rational approach” theory. Alternatively you could be right that they just throw random devs at the project (many inexperienced managers think this is brilliant). Here the Mythical Man Month is considered clairvoyant by anyone who actually works on the ground.

  2. FlattestGuitar9 says:

    link to i.imgur.com
    I find this funny. You can laugh now.

  3. Werthead says:

    Nuke the bugs from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

  4. BobbyDylan says:

    Ok, so now that they have our money, they’ll actually finish making the game? Wow, thanks EA. Best company in America!

    • Ernesto25 says:

      I sure hope someone will get to the bottom of why we hate them so much

      • chris1479 says:

        I didn’t understand the hate for EA until Battlefield 4. Now I hate them for taking £54 off me for a shoddy, bug-ridden, bloated CoD knock-off.

        The reviews for this game are shallower than a puddle and do not discuss any of these aspects.

        • Ernesto25 says:

          ME3 was a turning point for me but i tried bf 3 and died a little inside as the previous bf games described to me [played nothing like bf3 which was the reason i went to my default cynic mode when 4 was announced and people said how “great ” it looked. Not saying i’m smart but just a sad reflection of the times.

          • SuicideKing says:

            Yeah, it was BF3 for me too. Didn’t touch any newer EA game after that.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Someone tag Graham, quick.

    • bstard says:

      Seems the geniusses @ EA have figured out this new strategy: you hype, let player pay before you release and.. oh wait, this has been done 1000x before. People still pre-order? I can only reply with this well formulated respons: lolz!

    • derbefrier says:

      Yeah if they wanna release buggy unfinished games they should just give origin its own early access program like steam then releasing unfinidhed games suddenly becomes acceptable!

      • Reefpirate says:


  5. zafnel says:

    “and we feel your pain”

    No you don’t.

    • danijami23 says:

      The only thing those dick heads can feel is that waxy paper sensation of all those dollar bills between their greedy fingers. Imagine if a cart game had that many bugs in it in the old days, it would have gone the way of et or pacman 2600.

      The gaming industry really needs some sort of regulating body who can penalize people fucking their customers over, because even if we are silly for buying these products, it’s only due to loving a franchise with great roots.

      Ultimately we’re still being swizzed, and if this happened in the vehicle industry for example, a slimy pile of turds like those working at EA would be facing heavy fines and major litigation like they fucking well deserve.

      • moisan4 says:

        I agree, these are unacceptable business practices in any other market, and they should be legally held liable for such unusable product releases.

      • Stardreamer says:

        I also agree. This should be regulated and penalised. It’s happening far too often these days.

        But we should also work on the buying public who are, by all accounts, incapable of learning extremely simple lessons: 1. DON’T BUY IT DAY ONE. 2. READ REVIEWS. 3. IGNORE METACRITIC SCORES, etc, etc.

        Blindly throwing money down at the first opportunity then raging on forums when you find out you’ve been conned is how stupid people do things.

        • Ernesto25 says:

          Problem is with 2 is really the state old reviewing games is pretty terrible in itself. Also reading previews/ reviews that spoil parts of the game never appeal to me. Alot of people are stupid or careless and i know alot won’t even care for the broken game and defend it to high heaven because of buyers remorse or brand loyalty. im speaking in general terms here not just games

          My best example is how wrong every reviewer pretty much was about the mass effect 3 ending

          • AngelTear says:

            Because you play Battlefield for the storyline, and you wouldn’t want a reviewer to spoiler it?

            Also, any sensible reviewer will put a spoiler alert on the reviews if it’s appropriate. RPS certainly does that, if another website does not people should change who they trust with their reviews. If they are let down by said reviews, they should also change who they trust with telling them where to spend their money.

            *Everything* is a consumer problem, insofar as the consumers don’t learn from their mistakes, and don’t demand for more both from their developers and from their game journos. Change is possible, but only if people actually work towards it. I read RPS, I’m really happy with their work, and there are very few games I’m interested in that don’t get reviewed here.

          • Ernesto25 says:

            Which is why i speak in general terms not about battlefield and no didn’t buy BF4. I’m still happy with rps but they are not infallible gods who view games from the same bias and references that i do.I like to think and judge for myself reviews should be a guideline not a yay or nay. Well at leats for me people cna do whatever the hell they want. Viewing consumers with such distaste does not help the problem.

      • Talon2000uk says:

        It already does. Its called your wallet. Stop buying their games on Preorder, wait for the reviews. Hell stop buying their games all together until they get their shit together. I have and I’m so much happier now. :D

        Oh and also this.

        • Perkelnik says:

          Or, more simply, stop buying EA Games. Because there is always, always something fishy. Requiring you to be online to play offline game, microtransactions…. you name it.

          • Ernesto25 says:

            Pretty much this , bar mirrors edge ill give mirrors edge 2 a go then probably call it a day. Not like EA would notice.

        • SuicideKing says:

          The video and desctription below sum up very well what i was trying to explain to a friend recently, and failed i think.

      • mouton says:

        The only thing those dick heads can feel is that waxy paper sensation of all those dollar bills between their greedy fingers.

        You are talking about the representative, right? Because the devs themselves are very unlikely to be paid very well or work in sensible conditions.

        • danijami23 says:

          Of course. I wouldn’t exactly sag DICE off, since they’ve likely been unfairly pressured by EA to release this turd, which is so broken it couldn’t even give of any steam if it wanted to.

          I genuinely feel sorry for DICE; this franchise is their baby, and no one deserves to get their pride ruined.

          And I’d like to say this to those who say “well just don’t buy it”, or “stop trusting metacritic reviews” in the comments above: I get what you’re saying, but that is not the point! Battlefield is a long running franchise with a lot of fans, and a lot of power to get people to buy it. Why wouldn’t a shit ton of people that loved 1, 2 and 3 buy 4, given their previous experience with it? Same goes for SimCity, the others were great, and we hoped this one would be. But again, thanks only to EA, we get the short straw.

          It’s shitty of EA to inhale every developer they can get their hands on, then sit and wait for all the existing fans of these franchises to empty their wallets into sub standard products. They are the only ones in the wrong here, not those of us spending our lovely money on games we thought we loved; they are using established trust with gamers and developers to fuck us over. It’s wrong and twattish no matter how you look at it.

          Whether we are spending money erroneously or not, they should still burn in the fires of fucking hades for their business practices.

    • Apocalypse says:

      It seems like many of the dice devs do, even more than you. But I guess the PR guys don´t ;-)

  6. iainl says:

    Really? I’m so glad they’re pulling Mirror’s Edge 2’s art department off working on assets. They’ll do a brilliant job of chasing down stack overflows in the netcode.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      HA. Last NIGHT my STACK really OVERFLOWED with your MUM. WOOF.

      Not a personally aimed comment by any means. I just felt like being twelve.

    • Stupoider says:

      You don’t understand a thing. If we all give our energy and believe in Battlefield 4, the bugs will fix themselves.


      Anyway, this is a pretty clear indicator that they rushed the PC port (yep, that’s what Battlefield is now) out the door to meet the release schedule for the new consoles.

      • President Weasel says:

        It would be, if the console versions weren’t also troubled by their own slew of bugs.

        It’s actually a clear example of the release schedule being prioritised over game quality; hopefully whichever VP of marketing wouldn’t let them delay to fix the game has been canned, but that’s extremely unlikely.

        • SuicideKing says:

          I think BF4’s problems were also amplified by the fact that it was targeting 5 platform instead of the usual 3, and now DICE wants to throw Mantle in there too.

  7. UmmonTL says:

    I would assume they are using all of their programmers for bug-hunting and not the other departments. Anyways, depending on how well their debug tools are set up, brute forcing might be an efficient way to track down the source of the bugs after which most of the people would be able to go back to other work while some actually work on the fixes. Other than that, developing several solutions for a problem in parallel and using only the best result is an effective if expensive way of getting good results.
    Basically I would not expect this sort of singular focus on fixing BF4 to last longer than maybe 2 months.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      It’s probably more of a PR movement than anything else. I mean, most people out there have no idea how game development works, let alone how things actually work at EA, so it can certainly pull off saying “WE’RE GIVING THE 300% TO END THIS IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM” as an advertisement of their “commitment”. They’re fighting fire with fire, I guess, since it’s all about their image as a company, and after all that crap about being super worried of being named ‘worst company in the US’, it would make sense to shift perceptions to ‘oh, look, they care so much about their customers and games they’re willing to SACRIFICE EVERYTHING IN THE NAME OF’… you get the point.

  8. Don Reba says:

    — We have been getting some very unusual reports and we traced them to your commit, Liam.
    — Well, the free running animations did not work, so I fixed them.

  9. Turkey says:

    We’re committed to making Matt LeBlanc look even more like Matt LeBlanc.

  10. Freud says:

    Getting a game out in time is everything these days. Ship it now, fix it later. This is especially pronounced when new consoles come out and it’s October/November.

  11. EOT says:

    I’m confused as to how the game ended up in the state it did. It’s pretty much a £40 map-pack for the execrable BF3 isn’t it? How does one break a copy/paste job?

  12. SkittleDiddler says:

    The longer this drama goes on, the sillier it gets. I guess since they can’t use the excuse of “DDoS attack” again, EA/DICE finally decided to eat some humble pie and tacitly admit they did a shit development job with BF4.

    I’m so glad I didn’t buy into this mess.

  13. cylentstorm says:

    Honestly, maybe DICE is just sick of making Battlefield. You know–like Infinity Ward and Call of Dookie. That’s why Treebark took over after the IW creators and company jumped ship. They don’t mind making the same old shite, just as long as the monkey masses keep buying it, which keeps the whip-wielders of Activision at bay.

    I say: screw Battlefield, and tell EA to go have their corporate circle-jerk somewhere else. Then, maybe DICE can try to do something new, or at least work on the games that they want to make, not just cookie-cutter cash cows utterly devoid of any real creativity or artistry.

    Then again, maybe they should just give games a rest and take up knitting or something.

    • cylentstorm says:

      Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh. BF4 isn’t completely lacking in the artistic and creative departments…but it does have a gaping hole where its soul should be. Of course, that isn’t altogether uncommon these days, is it? Games, movies, music, books…it’s as if everything is being slowly devoured and crapped out as faded grey corpses, or the victims of some virulent and wasting disease… Sad…

      • chris1479 says:

        I think I know what you’re getting at. BF4, to me, somehow lacks a certain charm that previous Battlefields had. I’m not sure how to sum it up but ‘soulless’ isn’t a bad descriptor, as in, everything just feels slap-dashed together and smothered in DLC despite the game only being out a few weeks.

        Basically it feels like they are bored of Battlefield and EA has put a huge amount of pressure on them, and the game feels rushed and claustrophobic as a result. The game feels like it’s pushed towards the Call of Duty gameplay style and away from the bigger maps/teamplay/cooperative side of Battlefield.


        I also feel the Beta was misleading… The beta was hugely fun and I really liked the small shanghai map version… but the new maps really don’t do anything for me. I swear they actually feel small e.g when you fly your plane around and you literally have to be banking hard left/right just to keep within the combat zone.

        I am severe disappoint. Wish I could have my money back.

        • Bishop says:

          “I really liked the small shanghai map version…I swear they actually feel small…I am severe disappoint.”

          • chris1479 says:

            Yeah I get what you mean, let me explain, I just mean that 1 small/close quarters-style map was great. Just like a single chocolate bar is great.

            But what is not great is finding that the cupboards are bare and there’s nothing to eat but more chocolate bars. Close quarters combat should be about a third of the game or a little more, not what feels like 80% of the game right now. It feels like a classic CoD meatgrinder with instant spawns, no downtime, tiny maps and everything sodding console-optimised.

            I hate EA for doing this, as well as several other major AAA companies like Blizzard.

        • NYMinuteMan says:

          Attributing older games a kind of “soul” is actually what a friend of mine does regulalry, and I agree on that. Contemporary AAA games are products of extensive market research, focus group-analyzing, and PR. Just assume for a moment working in such a company. I truely don’t expect any form of creative spirit to develop there, and therefore the game lacks soul – creativity or challenge to previously established norms just isn’t appreciated. Oddly enough, Battlefield 4 is a huge game with a sheer endless number of assets put into, and hell of a lot of work – but it’s precisely this: High production value, great graphics, rather good gameplay (sic). Indies, or the occasional stand out title, offer a glimpse of “more” over their often limited technical presentation by drawing up a creative potential, that is either to be filled by the player’s fantasy, or at least kept open as a lookout into the future. That’s why there’s a ton of really good fan art etc for Hotline Miami, but either infantile or humorous/sarcastic contributions to game like BF: there’s just no room left. “You blew it, you fools!”

    • Apocalypse says:

      The engine guys did something new with mantle, question is why the mess was released NOW. And the answer is EA.

  14. Bull0 says:

    You’ve drawn a whole ton of inference here that isn’t really backed up by the original statement

    • cylentstorm says:

      Sorry, I forgot–this is quantum astrophysics, not a quirky little blog site where opinions on video games run rampant.

      If what you meant to say was that my little rant was irrelevant, then I must beg to differ, because if one assumes that the common opinion is that BF4 is actually worth a colossal implied effort to fix, then a counterpoint based on inference and opinion is equally as pertinent to the conversation.

      Or something similarly wordy and/or pedantic. Cheers.

      • Bull0 says:

        I was talking to Nathan, not you, psychopath. Comment replies are nested on RPS.

      • Bishop says:

        That’s embarrasing. Also Bull0 I thought you got banned from RPS?

        • Bull0 says:

          Yeah, I did, then my account started working again. I behave myself now. Getting away with it so far…

  15. Eviscerator says:

    Nice of them to take it so seriously, but in all honesty it doesn’t change the fact the game shouldn’t have been released in this state anyway.

    Fixing a screw up doesn’t magically mean you should be forgiven for making the screw up. If there was some genuine mistake, fine. People, companies, processes- everyone makes a cock up from time to time. However I find it next to impossible to believe that the game could unknowingly be released in this state. EA or someone within EA made the decision to go to market- knowing full well the game was not in any way ready.

    That’s not a genuine mistake. That’s getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

    In short, what assurances do we have that this isn’t going to happen again? Or are first day buyers just paying extra for the privilege of being beta testers?

    • Stardreamer says:

      We’re very sorry. Have a free copy of Sim City. *sad, earnest face no#23*

    • Wedge says:

      “Or are first day buyers just paying extra for the privilege of being beta testers?”

      If you’re buying a major title rushed for holiday release, then, yes, duh, of course. That’s been industry standard practice ever since consoles started being able to take patches like PC games.

      • Eviscerator says:

        It’s an attitude that needs to change. Digital distribution should not mean that we need to accept that the quality of games has gone down and we need to wait a month before the game is even stable.

        If they were going the route of some of the ‘buy in alpha’ indies and were just honest about the policy I’d have more patience. But then again I can’t see EA doing anything so honest as saying “Yeah you’re paying £40 for early access to the Beta.”

        Maybe I’m just crazy but I don’t think it’s beyond reason to expect a product that I buy to actually work properly.

    • SuicideKing says:

      This BF3 being repeated all over again, so yeah, it HAS happened again. Sad, really.

  16. chris1479 says:

    I should bloody well think so. The beta ran perfectly for me and ironically the full release version + patches have been a disaster, BF4 is a crashy/buggy mess and is smothered in hateful nag screens for DLC even though I thought I’d covered all my bases by preordering the deluxe edition. I asked for a refund yesterday but naturally EA told me to go f*** myself.

    • Gwyddelig says:

      This kind of mirrors my experience. I was involved in the Alpha also and came away from both looking forward to a (reasonably) stable release, certainly better than BF3’s collections of “launch” (ie well into 2012) SNAFUs. Even with the launch, most of the really awful bugs for me didn’t manifest themselves until after the first client patch a few weeks back. Now it crashes constantly, leaks memory like a drunk leaks bodily fluids (irony of ironies, this is solved by running BF4 in W7 compatibility mode…) and generally falls over at the least provocation.

      And it’s a crying shame because beneath it all is a game that has an awful lot going for it. I like what they’ve done with the squad system, commander is a good (re)addition that I had feared would be a total mess and broadly speaking it’s well balanced.

      • chris1479 says:

        Yeah I agree BF has a lot going for it but like certain other games I could mention, I feel like the game has been manufactured from the ground up bearing in mind the superfluous and ridiculous amounts of DLC and supermegadeluxe-premium bundle additions that are going to be tacked onto the game. Additionally it feels as if there was a conscious design choice to push into Call of Duty’s territory. And consqeuently… I’ve been playing the maps and… I’ll be honest I don’t know many people who have voiced this… but they feel claustrophobic and meatgrinder-ish.

        I don’t know what it is exactly, perhaps a blend of several things, but BF4 really has come across as a charmless moneygrab rather than a fun and deep game.

        1. The game has been built from the ground up with consoles in mind, that’s why the maps are smaller than they would otherwise be.
        2. The game has been built from the ground up to be more like CoD and less like Battlefield, resulting in endless churning mindless brainless meatgrinds.
        3. The classes feel virtually superfluous. What is the point of handing out medipacks when you respawn instantly and you can take such a tiny amount without dying in the first place?
        4. I don’t like 3/4s of the maps. Full stop. Shanghai is great (funnily enough the one they beta’d….) and the rest feel like cheap CoD knockoffs.
        5. Like yourself the game was stable until the repeated emergency patches started rolling in. Frustratingly the game just kicks me to desktop after/before matches and I frequently have problems with the server browser.

        If I could simply sell this game I would.

        • evilsooty999 says:

          As a fan of the older Battlefields (up to 2142) I know how you feel. BF3 was a soulless, dumbed down game heavily influenced by COD so I didn’t expect BF4 to be any different which is why I am not going to buy it even if heavily discounted. The series is ruined so we better just get used to it.

          Give up on Battlefield and move on to Planetside 2 which is what Battlefield should have become by now were it not for EA wanting to take on COD.

          • chris1479 says:

            You’re right about BF4 being no different. The thing was that, to me, rightly or wrongly, BF3 felt sufficiently original and different from CoD and other shooters. BF4 on the other hand has done its level best to shed its BF heritage and stick to the coattails of CoD like clingfilm and in doing that has pretty much thrown away it’s unique selling point: Big Maps, PC, No Compromises + Excellent Teamwork.

            Those are what I feel BF is fundamentally supposed to be about. BF4 makes the laziest most cursory nod towards these things, mainly as if they feel they’re some inconvenience and have to be in there, while what they’d REAAAALLY like to do is just make it into CoD, annualise it and retire to a private island and if you don’t like it well you can sod off and die.

            This is BF 3.5. It is basically a map pack with with map packs to go with your DLC map packs, dawg.

        • Gwyddelig says:

          I agree and some points and disagree on others.

          While I agree entirely that BF4 was designed with consoles in mind, this is not quite the problem it was with BF3 given that the XB1 and PS4 are tremendously more powerful and can take most of the things a decent gaming PC can. The only map that I would happily cast in the The Pit of Hades is OP. Locker – that’s an abomination of a map. I quite like Shanghai (though I’m on a break from it after the Beta and Alpha!), and Rogue Transmission.

          In terms of “CODification”, sure there’s an element of that but BF2 gets eulogised a bit more than it should. Some of the larger maps were just plain boring, especially with lower player counts. I’m no fan of twitch shooter 360 noscopeballer gubbins or clusterflock spam maps but I like to feel close to the action too. Many of BF4’s maps get this balance pretty much right and it is virtually unheard of to be spawn trapped on any other map than Op Locker (hack, spit).

          I agree somewhat on the classes. Why anyone would bother with defibs (and indeed the assault class more generally) now is beyond me and the DMRs are borderline useless.

          • Emeraude says:

            The way I like to put it; old games – and now indie games – where the product of Artisans (even if only by accident, because the necessities of development of the times shaped things that way). Modern games are factory products (this is known and wanted too; “Factory method patterns” and all that).

  17. Donkeyfumbler says:

    Aren’t most of the problems on the various consoles (especially Playstation), in which case do we care? I only got the game a couple of days ago but I’ve not had any problems at all. BF3 used to regularly crash until I underclocked my GPU but BF4 seems fine to me at the moment. Certainly the people I play with aren’t reporting any more problems with BF4 than we all had with BF3 (or any other freshly released game for that matter)

    • Gwyddelig says:

      PC has plenty of hideously annoying bugs to keep us from getting too snooty about the situation of our console cousinage…

    • Dude (Darloc) says:

      Well it is EA and DICE and battlefield, and they ruined it and it is not like bf2 and the maps sucks and its bf3.5…
      All this what do you expect? People will rage about it when 3/4 of them have not played the game.
      I myself enjoy it a lot, more than bf3 and more than bc2. The maps are good save for operation sausage locker and dawnbroker, the classes are more balanced and I have not crashed since the last patch. Now there is still some bugs but nothing game breaking.
      But hey, EA so lets get the pitchforks out.

  18. Perkelnik says:

    This coming like a week after EA cries all over the internet that they are not (that) evil…
    Makes me question whether this is real or if this is some kind of twisted reality show.

  19. int says:

    The Duality of the Crash

    If your team has been doing well,
    the game will surely crash to hell.
    And when you actually do rejoin,
    join losing team with kick to groin.

    If your team is bad, with no capture and hold,
    you will linger, suffer and die from the frostbite so cold.

  20. AngelTear says:

    Wait, people bought another EA game?
    *laughs, comes up for air*
    One with a strong online component? On day one?
    *laughs, rolls on the floor, dies choking on her own laughter*

    *from the tomb*: well, shame on you. It’s really all your fault if you still spend your money irresponsibly. You have lawful right to complain, but honestly, it’s your fault more than it is theirs. It’s not like there’s lack of good multiplayer FPS either (PS2, NS2, Rising Storm, CounterStrike, Arma, etc)

    • Ernesto25 says:

      Devils advocate here but maybe people wanted a different multiplier fps experience to the ones listed above.

    • Dude (Darloc) says:

      Yeah exactly, I had fun in NS2 for a while but the gunplay is lacking, PS2 is too floaty for me, the weapon mechanics lack the weight that they have in BF, also it can take ages to get into an interesting fight, BF is more instant action. Rising Storm, arma are more for the purist of military FPS, I am sure they are interesting but more slow pace and less “michael bay” than BF. CounterStrike is kinda a the moba of FPS, play the same small map over and over and over to get perfect aim and reflexes.
      You did not mention CoD? I think bf4 at least as innovated more than ghost as for the CoD franchise, still the same close arena with the streak system that make good player completely dominate lesser player.
      So yeah laugh all you want but it is not as bad as you think it is and the RPS group is having fun. I do not regret my purchase so far, and your suggestion that it is our fault for buying the game is ridiculous. It is their responsibility to provide a working game not ours to not buy a game that we will probably enjoy. Sure I could have waited but after a taste at the beta I could not go back to bf3, I think a lot of players fell that way.

      • AngelTear says:

        Even if it was the most unique game ever, my other points still stand. It’s an EA game with a strong online component which you have bought on day 1 or pre-ordered. As I said, the law is on your side (you should get a working product) but as a responsible consumer it’s actually your fault for being so naive to think that this time it wouldn’t happen. Waiting a couple of weeks wouldn’t have killed you, I’m sure.

        What’s more, is that since everyone bought it anyway, next year with BF5 (or sooner with another game) the same thing will happen, people will still buy it, EA will treat their customers the same way, and you will complain only after buying the game. And it will happen again, until people decide to be respected by the company, to vote with their money, wait for reviews and stop buying games from unethical companies.

        If Mirror’s Edge 2 turns out to be half as good as it is hyped, but it is full of the same problematic business practices of pretty much every EA title, people should still not buy it in my opinion. Maybe pirate it, if you really want to play it.

        I did not mention COD because as far as I’m concerned it’s a terrible game, and it engages in the same unethical practices as EA and Battlefield. (Mountains of DLCs, Lying to customers, etc)

        • Dude (Darloc) says:

          This is not a strong argument, bf3 was working almost fine at launch, there were no as much issue as they were with this one. BF4 was not unplayable for me, I had some disconnect which is annoying but it happened the same in a lot of game with an online component at launch.
          And having played the beta, given the improvement after the first week there were no way of knowing that the game would have those issues after launch. You don’t like EA, everyone hates EA, I get it. I love BF, it is one of my favorite game so I can overlook some issue because I still enjoy it a lot. BF is a fairly unique franchise where you have a strong gunplay and a lot of vehicle to play around, sure PS2 has this but to me the gameplay is not as strong. There is no real alternative to this game at the moment.
          Compared to bf3 we already had several patch, another thing that most people ignore completely is that they changed a lot the way the game handle the online side. Almost everything is server side now, which is a first in the franchise which I guess is why we have teething problems. This allow them to deploy patch to tweak things more indirectly for the client, weapon tweaking, balance… All that can be done server side now. They still have client side issue, like the sound bug but I think it a step in the right direction.
          They might have released it a month before it was truly ready, I give you that, but given the huge amount of money and the arrival of CoD it was probably more a publishing decision than a dev one. Such is the video game market nowadays.
          I also doubt we will see the next battlefield next year, they seemed to be on a 2 year cycle.
          Anyway there is always so much hate when it comes to DICE and EA, makes me sad, I rarely see people being so vocal about a game they don’t even play.

          • SuicideKing says:

            BF3 was NOT a smooth launch, and they were rolling out multi-GB patches for months after that.

            Most of the hate is for EA, not DICE…i think most of us know that under a publisher like EA, devs can’t do too much.

      • Bull0 says:

        Urgh, Cod had nothing to do with it. Why didn’t they bring up Cod in their list of games that are better than battlefield, because in your opinion it isn’t as good as battlefield?

    • jakonovski says:

      Victim blaming? That’s kind of sad, but I guess it’s representative of gaming and the state of solidarity in the hobby. Laugh at those who get taken in by fraudulent companies.

      • Bull0 says:

        A TON of that goes on here. Some go even further and say that those are actively harming the industry by buying the wrong games, etc.

      • AngelTear says:

        You are the victim the first time, maybe the second time and the third time too (you know, when they swore it’d never happen again). After that, even mice learn that they shouldn’t go there if they get electrified every time they do.

        Consumers do not (want to) learn. So, it’s their fault as much as it is EA’s. EA for being a fraudulent company (but this is old news) and them for being irresponsible/forgetful/naive or what have you.

      • Emeraude says:

        Some go even further and say that those are actively harming the industry by buying the wrong games

        I do say so. When, having been warned of the consequences, you chose to financially support a company whose practices are bad for the industry, you don’t get to complain when faced with their consequences. Or more exactly, you do, but don’t expect much pity from those whose warnings you laughed off.

        Those “victims” have been warned, ignored the warnings, and in so doing are pissing in the well water for all of us – they’re contributing in shaping the industry for the worse.
        Certainly, feeling a bit of charity for their woes would be humanely better, but I do understand the schadenfreude: at least you get some positive affect out of the whole bloody experience.

      • Stardreamer says:

        “…solidarity in the hobby”

        Best laugh I’ve had all day. There’s nothing in my Gamer contract that says I have to endure idiotic buying practices that support idiotic publishing practices.

        As to the victim-blaming, it really does get frustrating to watch. On just about every X-Rebirth thread on RPS, for example, there were warnings from people like myself not to run out and buy the game. “Wait”, we said, many many times. “This is Egosoft: caution is advised”. And yet even here – on a website populated by specialist hobbyers – we have people complaining of “being burned” by the launch. And X-Rebirth, one of the most broken games in the X-series, apparently (anecdotally) sells more than any other previous title on launch day so what reason do we have to suspect Egosoft won’t do the same next time? Or EA? or Ubisoft? Or any other publisher for whom the hype-and-release seems to work, time and again, because people out there don’t listen to advice that is repeated regularly by websites, magazines, friends…

        So yes, I’ll express my frustration with people who fall for the same shit time and again whenever there’s some shit-storm on the internet about gamers being ‘mislead’ and not getting what they paid for. Yes, the companies doing it deserve a kicking but the consumers are equally part of the problem, and don’t escape responsibility just because they appear to be “victims”. A minority will genuinely not have been able to evaluate the product, but if you’re a gamer you’re probably already flooded with advice on how to purchase responsibly and know where to find trustworthy reviews.

        • Bull0 says:

          How sad for you that others’ misfortune frustrates you so. You’re the real victim.

          Not everyone’s as experienced or informed as you, and the publishers/developers have a responsibility not to put out products of unacceptably poor quality. When you’re buying a product you have a reasonable expectation that it will be of good quality. Regardless of what the comments on some blog you probably haven’t read say. Etc, etc.

          • Emeraude says:

            I love how we’re breaking the solidarity when we refuse to align with them, but they’re not when they refuse to align with us.

            When you’re buying a product you have a reasonable expectation that it will be of good quality

            We mostly abandoned any right to that when ubiquitous patching became the norm. Companies don’t have to fear recalls/reimbursement that much now they can get away with the promise of a later patch.

          • Bull0 says:

            I don’t really think the “solidarity” thing goes anywhere, I’m just not big on kicking people when they’re down / being coldly unsympathetic / making everything about me (“Because you bought a crap game, that’s going to damage my enjoyment of good games because the crap games sell well, so your misfortune is actually my misfortune, even though I can’t prove I’ve come to any harm at all as a result of your misfortune”).

            You’re right about day 1 patches, etc. Things are in a really dodgy state right now. So what do we do? Turn on eachother instead of the developers! Classic.

          • Emeraude says:

            So what do we do? Turn on each other instead of the developers! Classic.

            Well, we advised doing something, and others aren’t interested in doing anything. Because they’re not, nothing changes.

            That’s where the whole aggressiveness towards them comes from.

            I can’t prove I’ve come to any harm at all as a result of your misfortune

            I can, I just gave you an example with ubiquitous patching. Some of us were warning about this from the start. As always, people called us alarmist and laughed it off, and here we are.
            And those things are harder to mend once the structure is in place than they are when you’re fighting to make things right *at the start*. So the people who didn’t listen (or weren’t interested in doing so) made things worse for us doubly so.


          • Bull0 says:

            Even that’s just conjecture, though. Patching software post-release is cost efficient, so they’re doing it. But yeah, I guess, if people had stopped buying games entirely, or something, maybe there wouldn’t be day 1 patches now.

            …or a games industry

          • Emeraude says:

            Patching software post-release is cost efficient, so they’re doing it

            I’m not saying it doesn’t make technical and financial sense (as with, say, mandatory DD installation for consoles, as soon as they added a DD to consoles, we knew it would come to pass).
            But that’s dodging the issue that now the release of the patch absolves the company of its responsibilities, because now the it is the customer who is *expected* to be able to patch. The responsibilities have been swapped.

            And that’s one of those issues where working the legal angle with consumer associations *could* have given good results.
            But of course there is no point in doing so, the only form of working issues is boycott !

            That being said: if people *had* boycotted companies that *continuously* deliver products that are released in sub-par condition, I guess you could expect most companies would be doing less of it. Unless your argument happens to be that those release conditions are the only thing keeping companies afloat and they just can’t do without, I do think the industry would have been fine overall in the end.

          • Apocalypse says:

            “When you’re buying a product you have a reasonable expectation that it will be of good quality”, you do?

            How often did you buy EA games? Need a list of their launches this year? ;-)
            That reasonable expectation alone is unreasonable.

          • Bull0 says:

            Yeah, except it isn’t. I could be totally fresh to games, see one with a premium price tag, buy it, and expect it to work. That’d be totally reasonable. If anything the fact that EA want more for Battlefield than average PC price tag would be a fair argument that this is a game of superior quality – that’s usually how pricing of things works.

            I’m not saying I am that guy – I didn’t buy this piece of shit, so your attempt to ridicule didn’t work. I just don’t like people getting all snide with the poor sods that did. Simple really. Find a deserving group of people to pick on, SUCH AS THE DEVELOPERS, and stop getting your yucks from picking on people who were let down by a defective game from an unscrupulous developer for not being as discerning as you are.

          • Emeraude says:

            that’s usually how pricing of things works.

            Not at all really, not in current market practices (which is why, for example, you can end up paying *more* for bigger packages of food than for buying the same quantity in portions when buying from a supermarket; modern pricing is all about getting as much as the customer is willing to pay, not about any relationship between price and real value).

            Simple really. Find a deserving group of people to pick on, SUCH AS THE DEVELOPERS, and stop getting your yucks from picking on people who were let down by a defective game

            The two propositions aren’t mutually exclusive. The best course of action is to do both I’d say. Indeed, ridicule is one of the ways a society polices itself without resorting to physical violence: those misbehaving are hurt in their pride, and hopefully learn not to misbehave. Mocking those who refuse to inform themselves and/or act upon those information to better their lot is an acceptable strategy (hopefully not the only one, I agree that empathy works better overall – though not at all when only one group makes the effort of understanding the other, which is sadly the end result when people don’t want to get informed).

          • Bull0 says:

            Good/better/best is at the heart of retail culture, at least in the UK. It’s *very* well established that in theory, you pay a little more for a better product. So yes, price being proportional to quality is a thing, in terms of what a customer can reasonably expect. Yes, of course in reality the £6 jar of coffee and the £3 jar of coffee come from the same plantation, but the store banks on the consumer not knowing the difference – and when EA charge extra for their game, and release it at a shitty standard, people can legitimately be annoyed, regardless of the fact that some commenters on RPS saw it coming.

            As for the thing about mocking people being a legitimate tactic, yeah, that basically settles this one for me. Enjoy wallowing, because that’s a horrible way to see the world.

          • Emeraude says:

            Good/better/best is at the heart of retail culture, at least in the UK.

            It is in consumer *perception*, which is why it is being abused *in practice* by the companies that set the prices.

            Enjoy wallowing, because that’s a horrible way to see the world.

            Well, I happen to think the world is a horrible place, and we’re trying to make it less so.
            What happens to be your miracle working strategy that is not physical violence or full dispossession of political power as far as overcoming a different with another party which is defined by its willful refusal to inform itself ?

          • Apocalypse says:

            What else than mocking should he do? Tell you downright in the face that you are an idiot for believing in nonsense stuff?
            Price is not related to quality. There is no link between them. NONE. That is not how markets work, that is not what our social contract of (social) market economy dictated.

            Price is dictated by supply and demand. And as long as people will demand (aka buy) stuff that has lower quality but better marketing there will be always low quality products with high prices. As long as there is high demand for low quality products with high prices they will be sold. If you pre-order from EA you are not the victim, you are indeed the offender. With your passivity you are actively fighting market economy and society. Irresponsible consumers are like little, evil versions of Gandhi and support slavery, ecological destruction of the planet, bad business practises, the killing of children and widespread antibiotic- resistance diseases which kill each year thousands, maybe even millions of people per anno.

            *smile* But the good thing is, that irresponsible consumers are in the majority. Helps me to sleep at night as I am one of them.

    • darkChozo says:

      It’s not a binary issue. Consumers certainly have a responsibility to make somewhat sensible decisions, and if you can’t afford to spend $60 on a game sight unseen, particularly a EA-published online game that’s almost guaranteed to have issues, then don’t. Corporations also have the responsibility to release a working product, even if it means delays. If you preordered BF4 and are now disappointed in the game due to the bugs, both you and EA/DICE are at fault, at least in part.

  21. lucasdigital says:

    So this brief press release is marketing speak for “There’s so many issues across so many platforms that our release schedule for future developments has been blown away. Sorry!” A message that’s quite easy to turn into “We love you all so much that we won’t do anything else until we make this right.”. The idea that nobody is working on anything except for bug fixing is preposterous — only marginally more silly than the idea that all the developers not engaged in bug fixing have started a candle-lit vigil in the hope that their prayers will speed up Dice’s journey through PR hell.

    For the record I’m loving Battlefield 4 — I’m going to be playing it for a long time, although I have also howled with rage and took the DICE lord’s name in vain on numerous crashy occasions. Childish rants against EA (historically known as “the man”) are just pointless and not actually very accurate. Twenty + releases in 2013, for the record, 3-4 train wrecks (I never did, probably never will buy SIM City) with no clear evidence that the publisher’s undue influence was the cause of problems. if you’re going to back a lot of horses, you’re going to end up losing a lot of races. Accusing them of cold money-grabbing tactics shows a total lack of understanding of how the world works or what it looks like from the top of a billion dollar mountain of money.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Corporate culture counts. I personally dislike EA and haven’t bought a game from them in years, mostly due to them not delivering games I care to play. EA has also fired scads of friends and acquaintances from studios they acquired and then ran into the ground. Their tales of corporate drudgery, bad management, and poor design decisions pretty much ring true.

    • Baines says:

      No, this press release is market speak for “Our game has issues. We will try to fix some of these issues. But we know that claim alone will not satisfy upset gamers or news-seeking press, so we will instead exaggerate the amount of our dedication and efforts. Also, we will carefully imply, and will not correct any ‘accidental’ misinterpretations, that we are so focused on bug fixes that we have stopped all work on all our projects.”

      It is PR/spin. It is a step above the bold lies and blame shifting of MW3 Infinity Ward, but only a step.

  22. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    Just FYI, the new SW: Battlefront is being produced by DICE LA, their new studio, so I doubt Battlefront’s development is being in any way affected (well maybe they’ll try to have a stabler launch hehe).

  23. Excelle says:

    I have to play devil’s advocate here. The news I read about BF4 seems to suggest the game has many gamebreaking bugs and no-one can play it without crashing.

    Well, other than a few crashes I had in the original release (which were all in loading and so didn’t really affect my gameplay), the game has been pretty smooth for me. I’ve put 30+ hours in and it’s been a pretty slick experience – it could do with a bit of performance polish, and the load times are a bit sluggish (but then I do have a slow hard drive), but other than that I’m very happy with my purchase. The other 63 players on the full servers I’ve been playing on seem to be doing OK too.

    In fact, I’m a bit miffed with this news as I bought premium and now will probably have to wait longer for the release of the second DLC.

  24. The Random One says:

    When even Flintcock Mannugget has failed, only one man can succeed: Flagship Shootyblam.

  25. xcession says:

    My biggest problem with this whole debacle is working out who to blame. I’ve bought a product at some expense, it patently doesn’t work, I therefore seek redress.

    EA took my money, but it’s DICE’s game that doesn’t work. EA are suits, not programers, yet DICE don’t have my money. I can’t get a refund from EA because online download apparently just doesn’t work like that, and there’s no real channel to contact DICE directly (or at least, in a way you *know* has been heard).

    Despite this, DICE have the temerity to offer players double-XP for a month (or whatever it was) by way of an apology. Are they fucking high? Gamer’s aren’t annoyed that they haven’t achieved a certain rank by a certain date! They’re annoyed that they’ve apparently bought a pig in a poke and can’t begin to fathom the relationship required to get their money back!

    Giving people double-XP as an apology is like a drug pusher giving a junkie talcum powder to compensate them for the crushed up aspirin they sold them previously. (That analogy ran away from me somewhat.)

    They should have apologised, using the actual word “sorry”, explained what steps they are going to take to prevent the issues occurring in the future, and given everyone £5 back. Reimbursement says “We fucked up, we’re embarrassed, we are keen to retain your custom, we accept our product did not meet your expectations”.

    Double-XP says “Quality doesn’t matter to you, we don’t care who you are, just keep snorting our product”

    “We feel your pain” my arse.

  26. Euphoric says:

    Anyone who actually believes this at this point, one word – gullible.

  27. Sigh says:

    I feel really bad for the players that are experiencing bugs and I have had my own share as well, though about on par with Battlefield 3. Since that last patch I have seen huge improvements and can actually play more than 2 matches before a crash.

    However I have been having a complete blast playing Battlefield 4…some of the most fun since Bad Company 2. Battlefield 4 seems to revive the balance that gives infantry a chance against AFVs and Helicopters that we last saw in Bad Company 2, which I really appreciate. The level design is phenomenal and only Planetside 2 rivals Battlefied 4 in scale and I find Planetside 2’s environments a little bland.

    The other night I was playing on the Parcel Storm map as a gunner in one of the attack boats circling the islands. Then the storm brewed up and the waves intensified to the point where I would be submerged briefly under the water and then lifted out (I imagined my character gasping for air) while I would desperately try to level my gun on the shoreline. The light design during the storm is fantastic; the way the lights streak through the torrential rain and subtly elongate. I actually sat back in my chair for a moment to gape at the spectacle playing out before me. I felt like a child again experiencing an FPS for the first time. I really never imagined playing anything like this before.

    Sure some of the bugs and problems might be due to a forced schedule or corporate mismanagement, but it is also hard to fathom the complexity underlying this whole design.

    I know it is fashionable to deride EA/DICE and I am certainly speaking from a position of naiveté, but Battlefield 4 (alongside Red Orchestra 2/Rising Storm and Planetside 2) is one of the few recent games that made me sit back and realize how far we have come…games that actually replicated the feeling I used to get when I was young and game experiences were brand new.

  28. Emeraude says:

    Edit: Reply fail.

  29. enderwiggum says:

    DICE’s games are always buggy. Too late to fix crap code after it goes out the door. Is BF4 still cone-of-fire like BF2?

    Seriously, they suck.

  30. limbo12 says:

    This is fantastic. I hate these pro-military commercials for U.S. imperialism. Now we just need the same thing to happen to Call of Duty.

  31. namuol says:

    What’s Joey from Friends doing in that BF4 screenshot?

  32. Osi says:

    I’m actually more concerned for the projects that are being sidelined to fix this. I guess they either get screwed on quality or features, or outright delayed.

  33. velocerator says:

    I haven’t had any problems with BF4 at all, nor has anyone I know? What is this about? This is the first time I’ve heard of anyone having problems with it…

    When it first launched it was crashing and wouldn’t save my progress but since that very first patch it’s been flawless for me, I haven’t crashed one single time since. They need to work a little bit on balance for the Rush ticket counts in China Rising but otherwise that’s been fine for me too.

    Edit: I kind of wonder if these people complaining about crashing are even playing the game, or even own it. o_O