EA taking lessons from Battlefield 4 for future launches
Perhaps the closest thing associated with Battlefield 4 is its shaky launch. Well, that and rendezooks, but I have a feeling that smooth performance is more important in the eyes of EA's investors. In a conference call held yesterday (transcribed by Seeking Alpha), EA's leadership discussed what it learned from BF4's release and that it's applying those lessons to upcoming major launches such as Titanfall.
"When Battlefield 4 launched, it was a very complex game, launching on two entirely new console platforms, as well as current-gen and PC," EA Games Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund said. "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."
Battlefield 4 has seen a few major patch updates in the last few months with fixes for server stability and lag issues. In December, DICE said it was stopping development on additional map packs to work on lingering fixes, a move that didn't go over that well with shareholders unhappy with the game's quality.
Söderlund added: "We released multiple software updates across all platforms to resolve the primary issues, and game stability has significantly increased. How are we learning from this? The challenge that we've faced with Battlefield 4 is 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 lessons into our development process for future products so we don't experience the same problems again."
Though EA says it's on the case, it's had similarly rocky launches in the past. I'd much prefer to see an equalization of worth on the entirety of the game's weapon selection to bring more variance in gunfights. It gets a little stale seeing the same three guns show up no matter how big fights get. On the other hand, kill-trades and other hiccups associated with server latency feel much smoother lately, so DICE is definitely taking steps in the right direction.