Report: EA Executives Blame Halo, COVID For Battlefield 2042’s Failures

Report: EA Executives Blame Halo, COVID For Battlefield 2042’s Failures
Image: Electronic Arts

While the game has its fans (hi!), there’s no escaping the fact that in a wider context Battlefield 2042’s launch has been a disaster for Electronic Arts. Fan reception has been hostile, playercounts have dropped like a stone and the company won’t even disclose how many copies of the game have been sold.

With the game having been out for three months now and things far from improving, a report on Xfire says that EA executives recently held an internal “town hall” meeting, where not only was the game described as a “miss”, but a number of reasons were put forward for its calamitous launch in order to try and plot a path out of this mess (remember, games this big aren’t allowed to die).

First up, here’s the kind of admission you don’t see very often in this industry about games of this scale, even if it’s an “internal” meeting:

Laura Miele, EA’s Chief Studios Officer, led the discussion on Battlefield 2042 by acknowledging EA’s wider successes, both past and present, but said “it’s really important to acknowledge when we have misses.” Miele continued, “This is certainly the case with the Battlefield launch, which failed to meet the expectations of our players, and also clearly missed our own expectations.”

Moving onto the factors blamed for the launch woes, Miele cites everything from the ageing Frostbite engine (“The Frostbite version they were on was so old they had to go back and update. So it was basically putting the game on a new engine”) to the pandemic (“…add a global pandemic halfway into the project, where the game teams had to work from home, we ended up with more new variables in development than we have ever experienced before”) to the bug count (which was at “historic levels for a DICE game”).

One final and very funny reason Miele cites is Halo: Infinite, a game that is not Battlefield 2042, which came out around the same time and apparently created a comparison for multiplayer shooter fans that “was not favourable because Halo Infinite was a very polished title whereas Battlefield 2042 contained bugs and wasn’t as polished.”

Some of those factors, like the pandemic, are completely understandable! Others, like troubles with the Frostbite engine, I have less sympathy with since it’s EA’s own engine. And bringing up Halo, a game that has had its own problems, is just very funny.

What’s interesting here is seeing an EA executive provide this handy list of things to blame for the game’s busted launch, and none of those things involve EA executives. Sure, everything brought up (aside from Halo) was a factor in the game being confused, or under-cooked, or buggy, but the decision to push ahead and release the game in late 2021 regardless wasn’t made by the people making it, it was made by the people selling it.

If blame is being thrown around internally then surely those who insisted it release in this state, rather than delay and try and fix/improve things, deserve their fair share as well?

The full report on Xfire has more, including stuff on mock review scores and needing to cast a wider net when soliciting player feedback in the middle of development.

Comments

  • Maybe our habit of pushing out broken and incomplete games is causing our IP’s to suffer?
    No….no, it’s clearly Covid and Halo that have caused this!

  • The people at fault, not taking responsibility, will only make problems again in the future. Hiding behind excuses says you haven’t learned from this.

    Whether that is execs, devs or the game director.

  • It was pretty horrible when Covid tried to get Dice to make some kind of hero-shooter BR game with the Battlefield logo on it. It also wasn’t very nice of Halo to then come along late in the project and change the design to a more traditional Battlefield game.

    I guess that would have been fine though if it wasn’t for Frostbite refusing to give them an adequate amount of additional time to facilitate such a major change in scope.

  • Blaming external factors and competitors for your failures, is a sure sign of a lack of leadership in the company.

    True leadership would accept the fault is the product itself and work backwards from there to make sure they don’t mess up again.

  • Covid is not to blame for you making Shitty design desicions DICE. 90% of the problems with the game are not accidents, They are intentional things you decided to do. Staples of the series you decided to either remove completely or fuck up.

    This complete fuck up of an entry is entirely on you DICE.

  • Oh fuck yeah, I too remember when COVID forced me to program some shitty, half finished games and release them to the public…

    • Yeah i forgot one effect of covid is it makes you CRTL+A all the good features of battlefield and then blindly press DELETE.

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