Battlefield Heroes retreats to 2009

EA DICE's free-to-play cartoon-styled shooter temporarily shuts down closed beta; testing period to resume next year.

It has been a busy year for EA DICE. In addition to the first console installment in its defining Battlefield franchise, the Swedish developer has pushed out the door (or perhaps window) Mirror's Edge, a parkour-inspired first-person action adventure game. On top of all that, DICE had also planned to inaugurate EA's new Play 4 Free label with the launch of Battlefield Heroes, an online shooter with a cartoonish, Team Fortress-like aesthetic supported by microtransactions.

EA had initially planned on launching DICE's shooter this summer, but the publisher had to settle for a closed beta in May with the promise of the full version by year's end. However, that will not be the case. In an update to the Battlefield Heroes official Web site this week, DICE senior producer James Salt said that not only would the game's closed beta be taken offline as of November 14, but it wouldn't be opening back up until early next year.

"We have received lots of great feedback from our beta testers," said Salt. "So much so that we are now ready to enter our next phase. On Friday evening (6 p.m. CET) we will be closing down the current closed beta and moving our focus to polishing the backend."

Salt went into a bit more detail on what that means for the game. "You know the old saying about icebergs being 10 percent above water, and 90 percent below," he said. "Heroes is a little like that. There's the 10 percent game part you can see, and the hiding 90 percent is what we call the backend. The backend does a lot of things. From running the website's features and looking after the items you have, to collecting the results from each Heroes game and matchmaking players into games."

This week's announcement runs slightly counter to sentiments expressed by DICE executive producer Ben Cousins in August. At that time, Cousins told GameSpot that as far as DICE was concerned, "We've already released the game."

"We're ramping it up slowly over time, and if you're a hardcore gamer and a fan of Battlefield, you will absolutely be in the closed beta at some point," said Cousins. "We'll be opening that up very wide in the next few months, so there will be plenty of opportunities to play the game. Then the release that makes sense to [EA executives] would be when we start selling items and release restrictions of access, and that would be toward the start of next year."

For more on Battlefront Heroes, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Discussion

79 comments
jcmmc
jcmmc

If only people realised the amount of work effort and expert input required to create this game you would not be grudging them a few extra months if it was ready they would have released it already give them a break theyre working as hard as they can.

damaster101
damaster101

I'm not complaining the fact that i can have a free game is good enough for me, good job guys.

acsam12304
acsam12304

man i think the people behind this game at DICE dont really have a game in the works. i think they are just hyping it to get PC gamers all hype about it and wait for it. Yeah and all those betas they keep getting out (and i signed up to win like 3 keys never did.) are just nothing but face out lies. they keep delaying this game which tells me they have nothing. only fake post saying the "beta was fun". if you even go to the web site, the web site it self is really badly build you get lost on where you want to look at and all the post most say the same thing over and over. and the pics they clam they have are not pics just pics we seen from a year ago.

Lpedraja2002
Lpedraja2002

No surprise on the delay. Seriously Dice has to be the slowest working company in the video game business. They usually take 6 months to a whole year to release patches for the buggiest games on multiplayer. Even though they're very good and enjoyable their support for their games is horrible or maybe they only have a staff of 30 people? that sure will explain a lot.

punkologist
punkologist

hahaha wayanbros maybe the drugs are causing the delays :)

starmanuk50
starmanuk50

when is pc version of battelfield 3 coming out? as much as i like free games i like hardcore realistic battlefield settings and the battlefield series is great at this. Battlefield 3 please :)

Atrobasinnu
Atrobasinnu

"This is ridiculous. EA have really dropped the ball here. What was summer 2008 became "2008" which became "2009"." This game is completely free of charge. All you need is an EA account to use it. The fact that they are doing this at all with a game of this size should give them the leeway to take as much time as they need to polish the game and make it presentable on release,. I owned BF2, BF2142 and Bad Company within their first month of their releases and these game and compared to other online games they had relatively small problems. I'm willing to wait for this free game, which looks and sounds like it will be just as fantastic as all of the other BF installments. Not to mention I probably wouldn't have time with all the PC and PS3 releases in Nov/Dec to take enough time for another online game.

naylor182
naylor182

This is ridiculous. EA have really dropped the ball here. What was summer 2008 became "2008" which became "2009".

uberjannie
uberjannie

whyyy? I had so been looking forward to playing that game xD Oh well.. Better late than never, with the finance crisis and all.

wayanbros
wayanbros

Ben Cousinss... any aussie should get this...

FrodoZHobbit
FrodoZHobbit

WHy worry over a free game. Not gonna be good anyway.

onemileperhour
onemileperhour

i've been playing this game since pax. rest assured, at this point you aren't missing much

onething77
onething77

Meh...plenty of other great games to keep me waiting. It's not that bad.

tudyniuz
tudyniuz

Bad Company was great,this should also be great:D

kweeni
kweeni

mm sad, game looked really fun. they could atleast release an open beta... oh wel i'll just play bf2 till its out

flameducky
flameducky

This is another case where you need to decide... Quality or quantity? I was looking foward to this game. P.S. Does anyone know when Playstation Home will be out?

gordanfreeman53
gordanfreeman53

I do not see why such an easy-to-make looking game would take more than a year to produce.

fudgiebrown1
fudgiebrown1

I'm starting to question this games existence...

omrikk87
omrikk87

despite the fact that this game will be free,they realised it should be more immersive and deep rather then "two animation per character,few weapons and 2 maps" agenda,its just not enough these days when you have big games online.

devil-skater
devil-skater

Anti-cartoony guys? Wtf guyz? do you now wtf i fun?

DGLRadio
DGLRadio

eh?! is this good or bad news?

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

Damn, lot of anti-cartoony style guys here. I didn't know so many of you kids were still going through your, "I'm 14 years old now, so I need to look mature by eschewing cartoony fun for gritty bloody action" phase. As fun as the past BF games were, I'm really looking forward to BF:Heroes. It's stylish, it's colorful, and it clearly doesn't take itself too seriously (I mean really, how AWESOME is it that you can ride the planes of a wing?). I'm disappointed that DICE keeps getting our hopes up only to dash them again for next year. Ah well, Team Fortress 2 has started to bore me a bit (been getting around to mastering almost every class and memorizing every map) so hopefully BF:Heroes will still be enough to sate my hunger for games with style.

Helloiseeu
Helloiseeu

Why play this EA free load of advertizement junk when I can play Combat Arms for free?

Rhen_Var
Rhen_Var

You Dice, if you're gonna release it next year, the least you can do is make an OPEN Beta =/

KA12NAG3
KA12NAG3

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

siiixon
siiixon

SysDefect: WHO CARES, not every one is obsessed to be a team player, dont like it DONT PLAY simple as that ! if you/anyone want to run around with a sniper rifle, and give a dam about team play all day long thats what you do...simple as that... and there is nothing wrong with this at all

Carbon_
Carbon_

I was looking forward to this, but now I lost interest, and could care less about it. It hasn't been updated in like 3 months.

lathan94
lathan94

I wish that dice would spend more time on something like another true battlefield game thats priced and everything. Im not opposed to Hero's just craving another true battlefield game. Bad Company was awesome partially due to destruction. But if they combined battlefield 2 and bad company they would have something special.

tmacman
tmacman

BFH has gotten to that stage of where it's been kept away from the general public for too long. As Everyday goes by it's now appearing to LOSE interest.

jeffgordonfan24
jeffgordonfan24

Dang, I was looking forward to playing a free PC shooter when my parents shut off my PS3 and put me in my room at 1 A.M!

SysDefect
SysDefect

It's strange how some people are so averse to the cartoony stylings of BF Heroes and go as far as to remark on how gritty and realistic the previous Battlefields have been, but oh wait, let's take a trip back to BF42... Half the people on a team running around with sniper rifles, the other half with LMG's (of course, the main assault weapons for all armies), everyone bunnyhopping and chucking grenades every which way and tanks that had the most measly of cannons ever, I'm pretty sure the muzzle velocity on the rounds fired out of tanks in that game were about the velocity one could throw a baseball, combined with gravity meant that you had to arc upwards into 20 degrees just to scratch 100 feet. Also, the expansion Secret Weapons of WWII is another can of worms best left unopened. Face it, Battlefield 1942 was pretty damned arcadey, 2 maybe not so much, but that's beside the point. This is coming from someone who has played Battlefield since Codename Eagle (not actually a Battlefield game, but it was a forerunner), even 2142 and has pretty much enjoyed all of them. So unless you were playing a mod like FH then you'll pretty much be getting the same thing, except this time they're fully acknowledging its nature and embracing it. You'll see me on this and FH2 whenever they hurry up and get that Normandy expansion out, woop woop!

XFireCrossX
XFireCrossX

cant wait for this game to come out!

sircyrus
sircyrus

I doubt they'll make you pay for it rather than it being free, but I have no doubt whatsoever that they'll only give the free accounts the most basic load-outs. They'd charge for everything else. Maybe even charging for access to more maps.

freako7
freako7

i wouldn't be suprised if they made you pay for it instead of it being free.

scar4ever
scar4ever

Disappointed. First summer, then winter and now 2009? What the hell? Don´t give away release dates if you´re not sure about it. It only serves for creating false expectations...

monco59
monco59

Sounds like it was just too crappy to release. Kinda surprising, given EA's corporate mantra.

Boricua3971
Boricua3971

canolgon Posted Nov 14, 2008 11:00 pm ET "Civfan333 Posted Nov 15, 2008 3:57 am GMT "the first console installment in its defining Battlefield franchise" ..............so Battlefield: Modern Combat never existed?" Read again, notice the IN ADDITION TO in front of that sentence? In addition is referring to the fact that they are making mirror's edge also...the game dev's are always full of crap...like the call of duty website said that world at war was the first CoD game to introduce vehicles...

sprinter6
sprinter6

Anyone else see the Battlefront Heroes typo at the end? ;) O:-)

PuhJesus
PuhJesus

Honestly, is anyone surprised? I lost intrest in this game because they kept having contests for closed beta when it was obviously in an open beta state.

Civfan333
Civfan333

yeah canolgon, obviously this year DICE has made Mirror's Edge, and it's SECOND console release Battlefield: Bad Company, it's also making Battlefield Heroes.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I wish I could be in the beta

OneNeo1
OneNeo1

Well, me for one, and my oldest for another are looking forward to this, albeit a great deal disappointed in the constant delays, not to mention the lab rat in a maze run around they were giving people for open beta keys... Ya, my patience is wearing thin; though again, I will play this with my kid, just because she is looking forward to it still.