EA Won't Work On New Battlefield 4 DLC Until Flawed Game Is Fixed

EA Won't Work On New Battlefield 4 DLC Until Flawed Game Is Fixed

Flagship first-person-shooter Battlefield 4 is so troubled that the game's development studio won't proceed on development of any new, planned expansions until the game's problems are sorted out, BF4 publisher EA told Kotaku in a statement today.

That update comes at at an awkward moment. Online connection issues have been frustrating some players of the late-October PC and console game. Those issues appeared to become more prevalent with the release of the next-gen versions of the game in November. EA and development studio DICE were supposed to issue a key patch yesterday but delayed it. Those parties did, however, release a new expansion to the game called China Rising yesterday.

EA wants it to be known, however, that business as usual won't continue. Future expansions won't be worked on right now. Bug fixes will. That is a reiteration of what the company said in late November, but is perhaps worth reiterating given this week's odd confluence of events.

Here's EA's statement:

First, we want to thank the fans out there that are playing and supporting us with Battlefield 4. We know we still have a ways to go with fixing the game — it is absolutely our #1 priority. The team at DICE is working non-stop to update the game. Since Battlefield 4 China Rising expansion pack was already in the final stages of development by the time issues began withBattlefield 4, we decided to fulfil our promise to deliver it this week, but we're not moving onto future projects or expansions until we sort out all the issues with Battlefield 4. We know many of our players are frustrated, and we feel your pain. We will not stop until this is right.

This isn't the first EA mea culpa for Battlefield 4. On November 22, new EA boss Andrew Wilson publicly apologized for the game's problems:

We have had our challenges with stability issues on Battlefield 4, and the DICE team is 100 per cent focused on understanding and resolving the problems that some players have been having.

That same day, DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson wrote on the Battlefield blog and mentioned that development was focusing on fixing the game's issues, not making expansions:

Millions of people around the world are playing the game and seeing the tip of the iceberg of what the next generation has to offer. At DICE, we are committed to you, the fans, and view the game as a live service. I am extremely proud of the people at DICE and everyone across EA that contributed to the development of Battlefield 4. However, I am less proud to see that the game has experienced some turbulence during the launch period. While some platforms have had only minor problems, others have had more than their fair share of issues. Resolving the launch issues is our #1 priority. In fact, we are so serious that we have the entire team working to stabilise the game and we will not move on to other projects until we are sure that Battlefield 4 meets — and exceeds — your expectations. It is the right thing to do.

As a sign of good faith, Wilson and Troedsson had also announced a double-XP week for Battlefield 4 players. That week ends tomorrow, December 5.

EA and DICE tend to support their Battlefield games for a long time and had initially pledged to release five expansions for the game. We're checking with EA to see if this change in development focus to problem-solving will affect that count.

Internally, Kotaku staffers have had varied success playing Battlefield 4 online. On Xbox 360, things went pretty well. We've had infrequent connection issues on PS4.

EA urges all Battlefield 4 players to keep an eye on the game's Control Room page, which links to status updates for the game across all its platforms.

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo.


    If EA wasn't so obsessed with beating Call of Duty and instead allowed their developers to create their games as they fully envisioned, then they wouldn't be voted the worst company in the world and EA wouldn't be an easy punchline to every single joke, with or without the right context. Maybe then they wouldn't skip QA for BF4 in order to beat CoD.

      I think you mean DICE vs Activision/Treyarch/Infinity Ward

      EA publishes both franchises and make money either way

        EA publishes Activision games? News to me...

        * Activision publishes the CoD franchise.

        The only reason I can think of for you saying that is you confusing Infinity Ward with Respawn (the studio started by former Infinity Ward employees when they left), as their game, Titanfall, is being published by EA.

          my bad

          i confused COD with the joke that was MOH

      All EA sees is the $$, they dont give 2 craps about their customers as long as the $$ keeps rolling in.

    If there's another 80s style game market crash they'll only have themselves to blame as an industry after the release bugged patch later maybe efforts this year. Of course they'll blame piracy though.

      A crash is one of the better things that could happen to the industry right now. Insane amounts of money needs to be taken out of the picture so the executives from other industries who ran over to video games with dollar signs in their eyes can leave.

      Only then will we have the people who actually know and love the medium and treat it like a creative industry in charge again. Only then will we have new IPs, sequels that actually take risks, and payment methods that are in the consumer's best interest, not the shareholders'.

    Wonder what this means for premium members who have already paid for the expansions in advance. Glad I haven't bought premium yet.

      As a premium member I'm happy about it, I'd rather they focused on fixing the game than delivering more broken content.

      Shouldn't mean anything really, Premium just means you get to play the DLC two? weeks earlier than nonPremium people, and all of them at a cheaper total price.

      I guess if your angle was a "I paid for this and now I'm not getting it until later, boo" angle then IDK, yes I guess. But if BF3 means anything, BF4 will be getting the DLC pretty regularly anyway. Premium will be far less regrettable than, let's say, BIOSHOCK INFINITE SEASON PASS.

      Last edited 05/12/13 4:13 pm

        I like premium because the point seems to be that you get everything. It also means less fragmentation than if they only sold them separately. Mostly you will have premium players and non premium, not 10% of people having one map pack 30% having another leading to a whole ton of maps that never have any players.

          Yeah. It's also nice to just get the bundle price from the start rather than having to choose between holding off on buying any DLC until three months after all the packs are released (to get the bundle price) or spending extra buying them all as they come out.

          [Edit: Not that they couldn't stand to reduce the price of everything across the board.]

          Last edited 05/12/13 4:08 pm

    But isn't Second Assault already out on Xbone?

      Thats China Rising isnt it?

        Xbone BF4 Premium got 2nd Assault a month early.

          You mean the other consoles/PC get it a month late.

            My bad

              It just really annoys me that MS thinks I will be more likely to buy their console knowing they paid someone money to take something away from me.

              Re-reading my comment however I come across as a massive ass :p

                No need to apologise, I'm in total agreement with you. To add insult to injury I know xbone players complaining that 64 players is too many!!

                  There are too many people! its like Walmart on Saturday... people driving around trying to park up front... Just park in the back and walk your fat ass up there.

      One has to assume that is finished and they aren't talking about it.... although who knows.

      Exactly.. does this mean that Second Assault wont appear on PS3/PS4/PC until they somehow fix the absolutely broken netcode (which might actually not be possible).

      Thankfully I refused to purchase premium and got China Rising for free anyway just have to wait 2 weeks *shrug*. Personally I've gone back to BF3 and GTA5.

    Wow, that's unlike EA to give up money making in the short term with expansion, to actually fix something....but here's hoping it really happens

    So far I can not play 2 games in a row on the One. I play one game then lag out on the second. Also the campaign is also buggy. It crashes then deleted my save once when I was getting all the collectables.

    I've put 130hrs into BF4 so far with only a few issues, but after yesterday's patch that didnt really fix the things it claimed to and very ordinary maps in the China Rising dlc, I think I'll hang up the boots for a while.

    EA fuck up the release and now promise to unfuckit...maybe...and we are supposed to think they are awesome and are doing us a favour???

    I've had with AAA titles that are released so broken its criminal for the price. Makes me think F2P is not a bad model as if you put a crappy game out, we all get to try it and if it sucks you can kiss any micro transaction revenue stream goodbye, rather than us pay you to try your beta code.

      Forgot to add...do these geniuses see the issue in a double-xp week if people can't actually play the fucking game???

        i preordered and had 4 weeks of crashes every 5 mins from launch

        after i fixed the issues myself, the game went on sale on amazon for $20 wtf

        Last edited 05/12/13 2:23 pm

          This is exactly how I feel. It's like a massive f**k you from EA.

    It's not that bad. I have seen glitches here and there but not enough to stop me having fun playing the game. But I suppose some of it comes down to how often you are on it.

    And while they're at it, bring back pre-game squads. The fact that it wasn't included and they have no plans for it really shits me off.

      New features is actually the last thing they should be doing right now. Hence the announcement. When adding features or making changes, you have to consider that you could break anything anywhere else in the application. Until they have the existing feature set fully bug free (and tested, released and accepted) adding features would be likely to cause more problems. You don't want to be adding features, modifying test plans and cases when your current code/testing is not in the right state.

        Well obviously you fix the game first before adding additional features (that should have been there to begin with).

    Yeah it's a bit crashy on PC. Just enough to be annoying whilst not enough to stop me playing. I guess we should be encouraging the open communication they are giving about the problems. As a programmer, I really do have some sympathy for developers under dual pressure from both owners and users. Fixing bugs can be one of the most frustrating parts of development, and very difficult to estimate.

    games run pretty much flawlessly on my pc.. i think it may have crashed once or twice, not enough for it to be frustrating.

    Boycotting EA games has never felt so good.

    I wouldn't trust them TBH. Just PR bs to keep the players happy for the time being.

    I can guarantee they'll be working on expansion stuff alongside the bug fixes. They have a whole studio and they'd have to lay off staff that couldn't help with bug fixes (design, artists, graphics)

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