DICE Admits That Battlefield 4 Damaged Player Trust

DICE Admits That Battlefield 4 Damaged Player Trust

In case you didn’t notice, Battlefield 4 didn’t exactly have the smoothest launch. Now DICE LA producer David Sirland has admitted those initial issues have damaged player trust, and that future iterations will have to work to earn that trust back.

“I can absolutely say that we lost [player] trust in the game’s launch and the early parts of the year,” explained Sirland in an interview with Gamespot. “We still probably have a lot of players who won’t trust us to deliver a stable launch or a stable game. I don’t want to say anything because I want to do. I want them to look at what we’re doing and what we are going to do and that would be my answer. I think we have to do things to get them to trust us, not say things to get them to trust us. Show by doing.”

According to Sirland, the issues at launch surprised DICE, because beta testing was smooth, but the end result of Battlefield 4’s issues was a change of process at DICE, meaning that getting the game out earlier and testing it more extensively is paramount. This seems to be part of a sweeping change across EA as a whole, which makes sense, not just in terms of Battlefield 4’s failings, but the Sim City debacle also. EA seems to have learned some harsh lessons.

Battlefield Hardline is seemingly the first to benefit from these lessons learnt, with beta testings taking place as early as June this year. Considering the game won’t be out until 2015, that’s pretty early. Even the fact that EA delayed the game into next year, you would think, is a good sign of a publisher and a developer taking an “it’ll be ready when it’s ready” mentality.

Hopefully that mentality will filter its way into the final product.

Battlefield 4’s Rocky Launch “Absolutely” Damaged Player Trust, Producer Says [GameSpot]


  • Pretty much got sick of rubber banding, disconnects, and single player campaign resets, so haven’t touched battlefield 4 in 6 months. Had bought every battlefield since Bad Company. Will be giving COD another try for this years FPS, wont be buying hardline.

  • “beta testing was smooth” HAHAHAHA

    And the game is still broken, still can’t revive someone who’s body is on a set of stairs, still dying behind corners, textures still floating on walls that have been destroyed, still taking 50% of your deaths in M320/LVG spam, still impossible to play competitively.

    • Considering leaked devs talked about the testing as essentially being, testing while it was made. So they would test something. Add something that’d break it and never go back and retest.

      The game still does have problems. I am now constantly running and get stuck on something tiny which stops me dead in my tracks.

      I actually think the first day of the patch was great. Then since they did the server reset a day later, a lot of lag and problems game back.

  • BF Hard-line was the last straw, It’s BATTLE FIELD not cops and robbers you twats! First year ever I will buy COD over BF.

      • MW2 had me for about 12 hours, then it released in the US and I couldn’t get a local match for like four months.

        • Yeah I remember that but didn’t know what a server was at that stage and assumed it was on my end 🙁

        • Yeah, I’m never buying another CoD game unless they have server browsing – I hate match-making.

          • I could live with the matchmaking system, it worked well in World at War, and in MW2 they tried to do it properly but it was broken. The reason it soured me on CoD completely was the absolute brick wall they put up regarding the issue. I think it took a month before they mentioned they were planning on adding some geo-matching system, and even then it wasn’t an admission that the current system was broken or a response to the complaints.

            Personally I don’t see it as CoD vs BF, they’re pretty different games they just have the same theme. I’ll give Hardline a shot because I like Rainbow Six and Battlefield, but I’m wondering if some new franchise is going to swoop in and pick up the audience.

          • I hear ya. I actually use to play CoD a fair bit, and came over to BF3 and then 4. It was also a part of coming back to the PC realm, and CoD has never had a good port on PC. I play triple monitors and BF works flawlessly, so that’s the biggest reason I play that series over CoD. Titanfall suffered the crappy matchmaking as well. If match-making works, its fine like you said, but I like the function where the game at least tells you how many players are on, and playing a certain game type.

            I played Hardline beta and enjoyed it a lot, so I’ll be picking it up. You have to at least give EA/DICE props for sticking around with BF4 and fixing it. I don’t think Activision/Infinity ward(if they are still alive) and even Respawn would do the same.

    • I agree Hardline should not have the Battlefield name on it.

      Bigger problem for me is that this seems to be trying to turn BF into an annual franchise along the lines of COD. I much prefer the current approach (1 game every 2 years with ongoing DLC, balancing, etc in between). Any franchise that comes out every year is going to lose me to franchise fatigue pretty quickly, no matter how much I love it to start with (hello, Assassin’s Creed).

      • This also bothers me. I mean BF3 had some issues in the first six months, but after leaving it for a bit and coming back it was fantastic. The fact they had a two year run was always part of the appeal to me.

        • I’m certainly not interested in buying a brand new Battlefield game from them when the last one I bought still isn’t working properly.

  • Pfft, your launch wasn’t why we all stopped playing. The game came too soon and seemed to lose everything that was good about BF3. I played that game to death (for me anyway) and was still enjoying it until BF4 came out.

    BF4 makes you feel useless as infantry. It doesn’t have the amazing teamplay that BC2 and BF3 did on rush (although BF3 still pales next to BC2’s rush modes). Air is either useless to those who are starting out, or completely OP for those who are in the know. The guns don’t feel weighted correctly, the rubber banding is properly BS and the set pieces, whilst glorious the first few times you see them, end up being a nuisance. Oh and don’t start me on f**king marksman rifles. If you can’t hit me with a proper rifle, why the hell do you get the opportunity to do it with 10 more shots as you spam down a causeway. Oh and the community fell flat on it’s face. BF3 had an awesome local community but it just didn’t seem to translate across for some reason. Guess I’m just not too happy with it after all this time and explains why I haven’t played it for 7 months :/

  • Oh come on! It’s universally agreed that EA forced the game past QA while you were begging for more months to work on it. You’re only taking the blame because EA would fire you otherwise.

  • I’m really torn over BF4. When it works, it is absolutely brilliant and I’ll still play it for hours on end. The problem is it still doesn’t work all too often – the main issue being the servers. The lag and rubber banding too often make the game just plain unplayable. It seems to be mainly when you get foreign players (Japan and Europe being the main offenders) playing on Australian servers. I assume it’s because the server is struggling to reconcile information coming in from some players with worse latency than others, but I’m no networking expert so I can’t say for sure that’s the cause.

    The simple solution would be to have servers that only allow players from their own region or disallow connections from players if their ping isn’t good enough – even if these were just an optional setting for private servers. The other issue is that Quick Match doesn’t actually care about your region – often the reason these players get put into Australian servers is because they just select Quick Match and it just sticks them into a game without doing any kind of check on the location of the player vs the location of the server.

    Also – why did they nerf the SLAM in the last patch? 🙁

  • i picked up BF4 cheapish when it came out… got sick of stability issues in the supposed “Single-player” that i never touched online. havent played it since the first week it came out. and at EB EXPO i just avoided the hardline booth like it was the plague.

  • I cant believe that they pretty much gave up on fixing the instant death bug and just decided to fundamentally change the game by reducing the damage of every single gun to increase the time to kill.

    That’s not a fix!

  • It takes a friggen year to load on my PC it’s the only game that idles on that warm up page…

    No other game has that issue. I still only have standard and first xpack maps… But so bored…

  • I wasn’t even sure why they released Battlefield 4 in the first place. Everyone was still playing Battlefield 3 and it still had some kinks to work out. I was happy enough playing BF1942 and BF2 for YEARS without even really needing BF3. For BF4 to come out almost immediately afterwards was kind of puzzling. As if they wanted to make it some kind of annual franchise, which devalues your attachment to any one version, knowing that the next one is around the corner.

    • Perhaps because revenue for BF3 was drying up? Sales were dwindling and the server upkeep was still costly. My guess.

      • Heh. There should be some video-game-industry version of Ockham’s Razor – only the rule should read, “The most cynical reason is probably the correct one.”

        Edit: Also, this is one of the major flaws with only having official servers instead of allowing dedicated servers. If enthusiasts are doing the hosting, you don’t have to pay for it. *shrug*

        • If you look at the number of rented servers vs official servers in the server browser most of the time, I reckon there would be more than enough revenue coming from those rented servers to cover the costs for them and the official ones.

  • I enjoy how they finally admit to something that has been widely known for a while, as if that is somehow a huge revelation.

    “In other news, Jack Daniels CEO publically admits that their product may have a negative effect on your fine-motor skills and decision making. You may also feel that you have enhanced rhythm and imperviousness to pain.”

  • All the features, bug free, released on time: pick any two.

    I guess they picked (1) and (3) for Battlefield 4, and are picking (1) and (2) for Hardline. If they really want to go for a yearly subscription style franchise, then they’d need to settle for (2) and (3).

  • Actually what broke player trust was that DICE pretended there were no problems for months.

    We can understand a broken game, but the way DICE handled it was a big, ‘F… You’ to the players.

    Then we had months of, ‘halting everything to fix the game, no DLC until it is fixed.’ All which was lies to try and shut people up about the game being broken.

    Just under a year after launch we got the ‘game fixing patch.’ That is not acceptable. Even still the game doesn’t play as well as BF3 and still has many of the same issue. You play any match and there are issues.

    Starts out, no sound for the first few minutes.
    I have a beast of a PC, it still doesn’t load anything but the most basic geometry for the first 5 seconds. Why not load this during the new loading/start screen?
    You still get shot around corners, get traded kills, get instantly killed.
    You still get killed with the wrong weapon displayed. ‘I just exploded, apparently by an assault rifle from someone back in spawn.
    Still issues trying to revive someone.
    Still fire rockets which explode on someone, or a vehicle and apparently do no damage.

    There’s still lots of little things which point to a game of no polish. Yet it seems they are now all done with it.

  • My least favourite bug was the one where the ONLY MAP AVAILABLE IN THE BETA (and my favourite of the base 5) would crash when the building was brought down, often kicking half of the server. And it would also crash a lot randomly.

    And I feel like I’m in the minority to say it, but I have enjoyed Battlefield 4 a lot since launch. The constant updates finally bringing it to a level it should’ve been at launch have been appreciated. It’s a good FPS if you want to go shoot some dudes. Everyone who plays it is still trash, but that comes with the territory.

    What? No, really! Pretty much everyone (on the Australian servers) who uses voice chat in that game (barring me) is that bogan sort of gamer with that deep drawl who sticks with the old tried and true mum jokes or gay jokes. It’s always comes as a shock to me, because I forget that those people are still out there. And they all seem to play Battlefield 4.

  • Wish i could comment on the beta testing for the last few Battlefield games.

    Wont be buying another game from EA apart from maybe Bad Company, either way will be waiting at least a month to ensure their “OMG i cant believe we have so many people playing at once” (getting enough servers and patching netcode) break in period is done.

    Disappointed with BC2 netcode (great feel and game), lost me at BF3 and no way i was going to get Hardline etc.

  • At least they admit it. This year is pretty much the first where I don’t Lemming CoD. It’s usually a birthday present to myself every year but I think I’m all CoD’ed out. I wish someone would make a new IP and start something from scratch rather than reskin, rename and use an old moniker to milk the cash cow. Never got into BF even though I know I should but I really wanted to like a lot of FPS games only to be disappointed.

  • I had enough of the spin. These swedes, and ignorant, greedy ea repeat the same lie everytime.

    Ea rushes Dice to release a game, and the plan backfires. Now there’s 40,000 players whole in Battlefield 4?

    They stopped mod development back at Battlefield 2, and they kicked the people who made their games (The ones who created Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942), so I don’t trust these people to hold their own. Their game is buggy, and they need to collect details about their game aka work on their debugger to find out problems.

    The netcode needs to be fixed. It results in hitboxes (Think of it like invisible squares on the enemy or player that lets the system know when there’s been a contact on those squares) not registering and players who got shot with a full clip still live. It’s not present in any other AAA game titles, so why these games?

    Luckily for EA, they have Battlefield 4 for free for 1 week. And i’m not going to buy any future titles when they focus too much on graphics and DLC. I’ll stick with the oldies like Battlefield 2 with the revivebf2 alternative online servers.

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