Battlefield 3 PC patch delayed by console certification. "It's very frustrating," say DICE

Battlefield 3 - don't worry, the PC patch is right behind you, soldier

The gargantuan patch packed full of balance changes and tweaks that will hopefully fix many aspects of Battlefield 3 is hitting the Playstation 3 today , but we'll have to wait a little longer to get it on PC. That's unusual. With no arduous certification process to deal with, patches are typically much easier to deploy on our open platform, which means we tend to get small, incremental updates regularly. Tim recently asked DICE executive producer Patrick Bach if the Battlefield 3 PC patch was being delivered in one big lump because of console manufacturer's requirements.

"Yes," said Bach.

Isn't that a frustrating way to deliver a patch?

"Yes, that is correct," he admitted, adding "there are benefits to it, because you get proper testing. There's a lot of process that is there to guarantee a great gameplay experience."

"We have had problems with patching in things like Battlefield 2 where you had to patch the patch because the patch screwed it up and then you have to apply a patch to the patch to the patch. And that's, from a player perspective, that's not a great experience - “Oh is this the 6.8 patch or the 6.9? Because the 6.8 broke the game and now you need to unbreak it!” So getting focus and testing and all those things is actually a positive."

But, let's say the huge new patch that's about to arrive breaks the game, doesn't the certification process make it harder to release a fix?

"It's very frustrating when it comes to... you have the fix, it's done but you can't roll it out. But again, it's not unique to us - everyone lives in this reality," Bach continued.

"Our problem with support is we have a very big and complex game, so if something needs to be fixed, we need to be sure that it doesn't break something at the other end and again, like I said, we don't want to do emergency fixes to compensate for a problem in a specific area."

The Battlefield blog has the full patch notes, along with a promise that the patch will land on PC "soon."

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.