EA: Battlefield's rocky launch did not "damage" the franchise

CFO Blake Jorgensen says "We haven't seen any damage" as a result of technical woes; Battlefield series continue to be "critical" to the company.

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Electronic Arts' multiplayer shooter Battlefield 4 suffered through a rocky launch where server woes and technical issues caused widespread headaches for players. Some of these issues continue to linger as developer DICE works on new updates. These problems, however, have not "damaged" the Battlefield franchise overall, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said today.

"We haven't seen any damage," Jorgensen said today at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media &, Telecom Conference in San Francisco. "Clearly we're very focused on protecting that brand." The game has sold well and continues to sell well, he added.

Jorgensen went on to say that consumers have been "very responsive" to some of the game updates/patches that DICE has released so far. He also noted that regularly releasing content for Battlefield 4 has kept player engagement at solid levels.

"We've also tried to provide extra content to the consumers to make sure they keep coming back and playing the game and we're finding that it's working very well," Jorgensen said. "I don't see that there's a damage issue. I think for us it's making sure that we're providing great gameplay for the consumer and we'll continue to do that."

The reason why Battlefield 4 suffered through some extreme challenges, Jorgensen said, was because of the "complexity" of the game (64-player online, tablet support), as well as the fact that DICE was working with new consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Finally, Jorgensen said Battlefield will be a "key" franchise for EA going forward and teased that the franchise will be "critical" to EA's fiscal year 2015, which begins next month. A Battlefield game for 2014 has not been announced, though a police-themed entry in the series from Visceral Games is rumored to launch this year.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

226 comments
rivierariding
rivierariding

With BF2 I could play with bots at any time, learn the maps, and the MP game was excellent (and still is btw). With BF3 the solo campaign was too boring to finish,  I missed thebots and it took time to have good servers. When BF4 came out, no bots and people complaining about the servers, this just made me buy other games. Sale figures on http://www.vgchartz.com tell enough: BF4 seems to be 50% of BF3 sales. EA is such a nice company that it can sustain a 50% drop in sales and consider not being hurt.. I won't buy another BF game until bots are back, at least they can help if it is required to wait to have good servers.

gamespotpanayis
gamespotpanayis

Definitely damaged the franchise in my eyes.. I even can't remember the last time I actually insisted on a refund for a game. 

chisei_fuuma
chisei_fuuma

Conclusion of this thread: "Bye-bye EA" :D

swim2383
swim2383

As a long time player/purchaser of Battlefield games, I'm going to assume Mr. Jorgensen has been affiliating with Rob Ford.


Dice has a track record of producing excellent games with extremely horrible multiplayer experiences for the first several months post-launch. Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 (Both of the Metal of Honor reboots). It has become a consistent pattern with the studio.


I play their games, I have purchased DLC for their games, I intend to purchase their future titles, but I'll wait three to nine months (and save 20 to 40 bucks) while they fix the unending bugs that their titles have proven to have over the years. 


EA has decided to have a team dedicated to developing their games engines, they should follow Activision's example and devote a team to handling their games backend too.

Netmeister
Netmeister

Are they hoping that if they say it's not damaged, it won't be? Or is this just a display of how disconnected they are with their customers?


It DEFINITELY is damaged. They've got to do a lot to get me to buy another BF game.

Alsax
Alsax

Yes, yes it did.  They'll also be voted America's Worst Company again, and not really deserve the actual title since Fannie Mae, Bank of America, and Freddie Mac are much worse, but they still deserve the embarrassment.

And uh, fuck EA.  I hope their offices burn down (with no one hurt, of course).

My parents always taught me to take pride in what I create.  Apparently no one at EA has good parents.

troll_eat_troll
troll_eat_troll

bought BF4 + premium and it will be my last BF game.

lookshyknee
lookshyknee

Shows how well they know there customers. 

Kalifornia
Kalifornia

BS.  Where are the sales numbers?  I haven't seen them and usually BF or COD are so proud to tell about their record sales.  Not this time...anyone?  I haven't seen them.  Who cares what Morgan Stanley says, you think they want the stock to tank?  Of course they will hype up the game.  duh!

The damage comes when they launch their next game.  BF4's sales were built on BF3's success.  EA/Dice's next launch tell BF4's success...which can't be good.

Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

I think you will see the damage when the next BF comes out. 

Hurvl
Hurvl

No damage to the IP, you say? That better be true for your sake or it will come back and (frost)bite you in the ass later on.

XxXDarkness0XxX
XxXDarkness0XxX

what ever makes you sleep at night EA,,,, im sure alot of people are gonna be cautious on BF5 i would try to play it safe and just give us BC3 first

djpetitte
djpetitte

The frostbite is now an will be someday be the most advanced FPS engine ever created. Congrats Dice. Don't listen to the naysayers.  

quidditch3
quidditch3

Yah! ok! EA! keep believing in the fantasy world that you live in, I on the other hand will be extremely cautious about buying the next BF or any EA game at that. I am buying Titanfall because the performance of the beta was 100x better performing that the current version of BF4 and it is FUN!

xwestsdeaznx
xwestsdeaznx

just release bfbc3, the new BFs all got cod-ified. 

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

Is it safe to play Battlefield online yet? I have it but i'm just so afraid of bugs! The single player worked okay for me tho so there is that.

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

Battlefield 4 was a complete mess at launch because EA rushed the shit out the door before it was ready to compete with Ghosts. Ghosts wasn't amazing or anything, but damned if it didn't work and function pretty well. Either EA are oblivious to reality, or they are in damage control.

domxnik
domxnik

I am not veteran like some people, but having played the Battlefield series since Bad Company 2 beta, I can assure you that this has damaged the Battlefield series. Battlefield is only alive right now because it's basically the *only* good shooter out there unless you want to go play Call of Duty. Battlefield 4 has been the most frustrating and unstable game of the year. In my opinion, we need another Battlefield 3. In terms of gun play and netcode, it was way better than Battlefield 4. As DICE and EA continue to put out shooters, the last will always be better than the current. BC2>Battlefield 3> Battlefield 4

themc_7
themc_7

This definitely hurt the franchise. My friends and I are huge Battlefield junkies and have been for years, but since the launch of BF4, we hardly ever play. Many people who own the game don't play and people who consider buying it don't want to cause all the bugs and problems they hear about. People will be very apprehensive in the future about buying a Battlefield game imo.

galactic88
galactic88

How can they assess damage control now? I mean they'll know when they start putting Battlefield 5 out there won't they?



Oh wait....I'm not a shareholder so this doesn't apply to me.

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

You can't see the damage that is in the hearts and minds of gamers, only look at your financial report.

Weskerzx95
Weskerzx95

I think it certanily did hurt the franchise. Not as many people are going to pre-order Battlefield 5, or buy Battlefield 4 in its current state, I know I'm not going to. Well, Bad Company 2 is on sale on steam so I'll be buying that instead.

grenadehh
grenadehh

This exact article has now been posted for the 2nd time.


It most definitely damaged the franchise.

simc1
simc1

Publically traded companies care about only one thing : satisfying their shareowners. Every single gamer could hate the company as long as there are people buying their games out there and EA turns a profit, nothing will ever change.

HapiJoel
HapiJoel

Well I've lost faith in DICE, and I've stopped playing the Battlefield series as a result, no intention of buying further titles. so theres that.

assaslin
assaslin

They will relaese it next time under the name Battlebugs, only in battlebugs can you fight bugs that prevents you from enjoying the game.  Battlebugs will be only 59.99$.  Not that much to experience hundreds of bugs.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

The obliteration maps(excluding the DLC Maps) are all messed up now after this latest patch. The vehicles are gone, yeah gone. No tanks, no Choppers. And all of the objectives are bunched together for each team. Its like its loading the small team maps for the big team game types.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

This was my first pre-order and last pre-order of an EA game. No matter how good the next game looks I will not buy it at launch. And buying digitally will definitely not be choice.

bernard978
bernard978

I pre-ordered BF4 because I hadn't done so before with a DICE/EA game, needless to say it will be the last.

S001_PRIMAL
S001_PRIMAL

we'll see about that when the award for worst company of the year is given out to EA again.... pre ordering an ea title is a big no no. my only fear is what will become of star wars battlefront

Richmaester6907
Richmaester6907

@Kalifornia  It has sold around 8million copies since launch but that's quite bad since BF3 doubled that without even trying. So while the game has sold well its sold poorly for a new battlefield title. 

Darthree
Darthree

@Kalifornia True I hope EA cleans up their act by then......oh wait its EA. EA needs to give more control to the developers thats the only way they could fix this from ever happening again.

quidditch3
quidditch3

@djpetitte I don't disagree but DICE needs to learn not to release a half finished game with major issues

djpetitte
djpetitte

@quidditch3

yea titan fall's engine doesn't do half the things the frostbite does. Source is a good engine no doubt, but I can't imagine playing a titan and not being able to level buildings.  

galactic88
galactic88

@Weskerzx95  I got the game as a gift with my PS4, so I'm certainly glad I didn't use my own money considering the mess that is associated with this game. Having said that the hype over Titanfall should be shadowed by the fact that EA will be backing that launch too, and the pc version will be running on Origin servers.........god help us.

galactic88
galactic88

@simc1  Don't lose hope. For every gamer out there, if you truly want things to change just VOTE WITH YOUR WALLETS. This is a billion dollar industry, because the CONSUMER has made it that way, so vote for whats RIGHT by not buying the CRAP that passes as roses.

themc_7
themc_7

@assaslin  I must step in and defend battlefield here. Up until this release the Battlefield series has been amazing and almost completely bug/problem free. EA forced DICE to launch before they were ready, they simply didn't have the time to test/fix as rigorously as they usually do. 

djpetitte
djpetitte

@quidditch3 @djpetitte

You must learn this well never be the case anymore. BF games have been patched for years since the beginning. this is not something new, but it general it has been a PC title only.  2142 was patched for almost 2 years after release. BC2 was unplayable the first week.    It is now part of the software development process, and that is NOT just games. It is software across the board. This is what's tricky about being a software tester. It is nearly impossible to catch every single bug before it hits the masses. Especially with EA's timelines and deadlines.

I have nearly 200 hours into bf4 since the beta and I have not come across one major issue outside of the sound bug on railway. that has been fixed. If you know what you're doing, have a good pc and good internet connection it is very playable. I should know. I'm level 66 and play with friends that are all higher levels than me on a nightly basis. There was never once I couldn't join my favorite server play and have fun.

Keep up the good work Dice.

assaslin
assaslin

@themc_7 @assaslin  I agree with your statement until BF4 of course.  But my experience was so terrible and EA's attitude so terrible that I will not pre order next time and will think long and hard before buying it.  I feel like on BF4 they stole money from us.  As for the other battlefields, I totally agree with you.

djpetitte
djpetitte

@rossmwphillips

Blame the internet.  At that point the system were more standardized and there was no ability to patch games after release. Obviously engines like frostbite are much more complex then the good old 16-bit era.  We live in a era of windows updates and buggy software with several flop and or patched versions. This is the name of the software game. Again, I should know, I work for a very well known software company and it is no different here than say a game like BF4.  A new release is always just around every corner, and often time introduces new problems while fixing the some old ones. 

rossmwphillips
rossmwphillips

@djpetitte @quidditch3  I would point out that games from the 16-bit era (stuff like Zelda IV & Super Mario World spring to mind...) couldn't be patched and were tested properly. First party Nintendo games were flawless. Why should we accept second rate testing now?