Battlefield 5 players in Australia and New Zealand are reporting difficulties getting a match in the game's Firestorm battle royale mode. According to widespread player reports, both on Reddit and the official EA troubleshooting forum, long matchmaking waits and high ping have wracked the mode since its launch in late March.
One of the most popular discussions on the official Battlefield V subreddit claims that the game is "effectively discontinued" in the Oceania region, and the complaints issued by its author mirror a lot of the concerns elsewhere.
"What began as 10+ minute wait times for each match and a minimum of 190 ping has finally reached the point of it being essentially impossible to play the game at any time of day in any mode," user CiaranDoherty wrote. "For all intents and purposes, there is no such thing as Firestorm in this continent and to EA/DICE, your marketing material should reflect this. Please do not advertise Firestorm here, there are no players, no functional servers and no possibility for anyone buying the game for Firestorm to actually get what they paid for."
An EA Community Manager, EA-Atic, issued an official response to widespread complaints in the EA troubleshooting forums. According to that statement, the company is investigating ways to solve the problem.
"As you know, we released Battlefield 5: Firestorm on Monday, March 25th, 2019. Since then we’ve been listening to feedback from our players around the globe," the community manager wrote. "One of the key points we’ve focused on is the matchmaking in specific regions – particularly Brazil, Australia/Oceania, and South Africa."
"Matchmaking in Battlefield V: Firestorm requires a certain amount of players to be connecting at the same time to initiate a server," the statement continues. "Unfortunately, in some regions with lower player populations, this increases matchmaking time or forces players to connect to pingsites that are more populated.
"We are continuing to look at options to improve this situation without having players connect to empty servers, and we’re always listening to your feedback. We’ll keep you posted on any updates or changes as we identify and roll out more solutions."
It's a tricky situation, both for EA and Firestorm players: if Firestorm's playerbase is small in the region, players might find themselves in matches hosted on servers further afield, which inevitably affects ping rate.
DICE has demonstrated a willingness to shepherd players into more popular modes in order to expedite matchmaking: That's no doubt the motive behind the recent removal of duos. Whatever the case, I've reached out for further information on the Australia situation and planned solutions.