It came in stealthily, like a Navy SEAL on a night mission. And now Battlefield 3: Aftershock 's been dishonorably discharged after seemingly falling below EA's expectations.
"EA Mobile is committed to delivering mobile entertainment experiences that are on par with the content and quality users have come to expect from their favourite EA gaming brands. To this end, we have decided to remove Battlefield 3: Aftershock from the App Store and are currently re-evaluating the app in response to the consumer feedback we've received. We thank all the fans who have downloaded the game to date."
Aftershock's launch felt like a misfire immediately, with many commenting on their inability to join matches in the multiplayer-only game. I tried to connect to Aftershock matches for a solid week after downloading the game but was never able to fire a single bullet. Now, two weeks after its debut, the overwhelming majority of users gave the iOS FPS a one-star — the lowest possible score — on the App Store.
Offered for free thanks to sponsorship by the upcoming Act of Valor movie, Aftershock felt like a quickie crash release meant to strike between the release of Battlefield 3 and the real-life-influenced action movie. However, the reality is that the game was shown at E3 2011 — with singleplayer content that never made it into the final release — and had to have been in development at Spanish studio Digital Legends for a good period of time prior to release.
With titles like the successful Dead Space and the upcoming Mass Effect Infiltrator, EA's increasingly tethering mobile games to their big-ticket console and PC games with the publisher's Origin network linking users into their content ecosystem. The first thing I was prompted to do after starting up Aftershock was to log in into Origin. Misfires like Aftershock could sour people on not just the games themselves but the idea of signing up for yet another service.