About a week before the Battlefield 3 beta began, the game's community manager had decided he'd heard enough shrill complaining about the fact that "Operation Metro" and not some other map would the only one playable. And so he went off.
Rewind: Operation Metro was revealed to be the beta map on September 20. Apparently, large numbers of forum goers thought some other map would be used, like one that allowed up to 64 players. The choice of Metro did not sit well with many, and the Battlefield forums were filled with great anger and profound disappointment. This is what Daniel Matros, DICE's global community manager for Battlefield 3, had to confront at the end of the day.
"Right now, I am not in the mood to even browse in here and check out most parts of the forum," Daniel Matros began on September 20. Saying that "the beta is a privilege, not a right", unless you got a key with a pre-order, Matros ripped into users, still with a measured tone that suggests he had to choose his words carefully.
"The vibe I'm getting now is just that tons of ungrateful people don't understand how much work we are putting on this game how many overtime hours we are doing and also how many meetings we are in to ship a game like this."
Matros thanked those who did provide constructive feedback. "To the rest of you — grow up."
Two replies later, proving his point, someone wrote: "Why aren't you releasing Caspian Border in the beta?"
As for why they went with Operation Metro, not something else, well, it's a beta. "We have already showed this map and made some big changes to it to enhance gameplay as well as get it more fluent than in the Alpha," Matros explained later. "Lots of new things have been added in closer to launch. Our rank progression system as well as customisations have made their way into the beta and it's very important for us to test these things before we launch. That is the purpose of the Beta as well as combining it with Battlelog and all of the features there. If you feel that this isn't the right map for you, then perhaps we don't really agree on what maps we want to see."
It is indeed hard not to be sympathetic. These games are not made by elves. We've heard plenty about "crunch" at the end of a development cycle, I'm sure the last thing anyone wants to deal with, amidst all of that, is inconsiderate sniping and snide questions from some entitled user who is unhappy that the free thing he's being given isn't optimised for his comfort.
It is, however, rare to see this kind of thing play out — which is probably why the thread is gone. The Battlefield 3 beta runs until October 10. I hope everyone survives.
Battlefield 3: Ungrateful Fans Get an Earful from DICE [Game Bandits]