Wall Street taking notice of Battlefield 4 issues as EA stock falls

[UPDATE] EA clarifies original statement, saying, "The work being done to stabilize Battlefield 4 does not impact our release schedule for future titles."

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, an EA corporate communications representative reached out to GameSpot with a new statement that indicates work on future projects continues unabated.

"The work being done to stabilize Battlefield 4 does not impact our release schedule for future titles," the representative said.

The original story is below.

One day after Electronic Arts put all DICE projects on hold--including new Mirror's Edge and Star Wars: Battlefront games--the publisher's share value fell more than 6.5 percent today. Shares are currently trading at $20.81 after closing yesterday at $22.34.

Development on those DICE projects and future Battlefield 4 expansions will remain on hold until EA and DICE can fix the numerous technical issues that are plaguing Battlefield 4's online multiplayer mode.

In a note to investors today, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said the longer the server issues persist, the more financial pain EA is likely to endure. According to Bhatia, Battlefield 4 sell-through so far is down substantially compared to Battlefield 3 last year.

"The server issues further exacerbate this and create risk to full-year estimates," he said.

EA today released patches for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, while a general stability game update is currently in the works for a release sometime later. Addressing the game's issues, EA said yesterday, "We know many of our players are frustrated, and we feel your pain. We will not stop until this is right."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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156 comments
UKFX
UKFX

It's about time EA started getting some negative press. I'd been tweeting Gamespot and Danny o'Dwyer regarding EA and DICE's atrocious and obvious exploitation. For example, because EA lost out in the PC market in 2013, to recoup costs they dropped support for Official DICE servers in Battlefield 4 - relying solely on 3rd parties and consumers. That doesn't seem right to me.

Next up, many PC players were strung along with promises of fixes, but the purpose of this was to extend the period so games were void of a refund. Then after that was clear, we get patches that don't actually do anything and everyone is out of pocket. Battlefield still has the exact same bugs in it that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 does - for example, Voice-Overs being spoken in foreign languages instead of English, even if English is the chosen V.O language in options. Now unless you press and hold Q for commarose, if you quick Q on a person to issue a request for AMMO, a MEDPACK or a ride, it'll be spoken in a language that most people do not understand. This is a ancient bug, so why it still present several years later?

Moving on to the BF4 "beta", we were tricked once more by what was a player / server load test. This was to test out and see how EA's back end held up. As a result of this, a earlier stable build (noticeable by the change in saturation, lack of features, lack of bugs, lack of sound issues and lack of crashes - which is now most common on Siege of Shanghai) was used to encourage people to try the game out and ultimately fool them into thinking that it was a relatively stable game.

2 weeks later, the game is released and it is different. Of course we have unlimited access to the game, the game itself looks brighter and more colour saturated, but then show things that were not present in the beta - abundant crashes, sound loops, general instability, an a whopping number of bugs, all of which were present in the "beta" but were not fixed.

Example of a Beta problem, yet is still present:

Not able to look around inside vehicle or outside windows using RMB. To solve this, you must cycle to 3rd person, then back to 1st person using C, before you are able to do so. I sympathise with hardcore players because they will not be able to bypass the problem.

Now with the full game, I've discovered other bugs - such as: Heavy Machine Gun, blocks main 1st person aimer/view, again cycling the view to 3rd person and back to 1st fixes this, but again Hardcore folks cannot sort this unless 3rd person viewing is allowed in the server.

Glitchy viewfinder on AC-130.
Glitchy scopes.

DMRs making a whipping sound at short range, with every spammed bullet.

An now a major one, let us not forget the crashing and hit registry problems. I've never had packet loss on any game, an my hardware and network are set up very well. My signal quality is -45dBm on InSSIDer my Jitter on Pingtest.net is commonly 2ms (over wireless), and I have no NAT or port issues. Yet somehow, over the last 3 years (using this hardware), BF4 is the only game to have packet loss problems, which seem to randomly occur from time to time and in some instances get progressively worse. I'd say that was Frostbite 3 misbehaving.

Then of course, let's rewind a tiny bit to look back at BF3. The volume on complaints regarding MAVs on BF3 was extensive, an it was understandable. A person could sit in an untouchable location and literally exploit the MAV, killing people whilst never damaging the craft or receiving damage themselves. Rightfully so, it was sorted in BF3 much to everyone's liking but unbelievably (and probably lazily, due to the amount of Copy & Pasted bugs from other BF games that have come over to BF4), they have added a number of aircraft like the SUAV, which can be guided and collided with players, killing the enemy player but not damaging the plane at all. This is just laziness quite frankly and should never have got into the game.

Finally let me just add that whilst BFBC2 was a better game, it had a similar launch to BF4 and many people several months down the line cancelled server subscriptions and/or quit. This was due to the patching process being incredibly slow, an when patches arrived they were pretty poor or didn't fix the problems (just like in BF4). On top of all this, on one occasion I clearly remember DICE postponing a patch because "one of the guys had a cold and couldn't come into work" - I'd wager that was Mr. Alan "useless" Kertz (aka Demize99 on Twitter). Now currently Mr. Kertz is somewhat busy with Wedding preperations and what not, so for the past few weeks and coming weeks the PC experience has suffered and will probably continue to suffer.

The last patch (Dec 3rd) was a testament to how lazy and how ignorant DICE can be. Now it isn't just EA forcing them to do this that and the other, but it is they themselves who are not focusing enough on PC patching.

So far the entire situation smells of cost cutting, money saving and prioritising the 4 other consoles, which is where most of the money lies.

The game is good... great in fact but only when it works, but due to the bugs, connectivity performance and crashes, it is pretty shit and unless sorted will go down as one of EA / DICEs greatest flops, outdone by it's own predecessor and will ultimately effect or extinguish EAs declining market and faith in the PC platform.

Note: you didn't have to read all of this, so if you don't like it, tough. I would of expected Gamespot to say something about the 2 patches which did nothing for PC and the general lack of care in the PC sector, but of course that isn't worthy news for a console priority website.


DamnRightAlan
DamnRightAlan

The good thing is that I love the game when it works. That is very rare. I simply exceeded level 46 and well it's boring as it's missing a lot of things I enjoyed the most in BF3. I wish I could finish campaign, but every time I close the game and boot it up again, the saved files are gone. I have never experienced the amount of bugs and crashes in a game like BF4. It's a shame because it's a great game rarely when it works (and is still better than Ghost), but DICE can't just get things done at the moment.

gregrout
gregrout

Seems like the wheels are coming off at EA. It's becoming clear that release schedules supersede all quality and testing processes. They were ill prepared for SimCity. Now we have multiplayer issues with BF4. If there's one title out there that needs a fully functioning multiplayer before release it's BF4. The series single player campaigns have a history of being horrible. If reviewers are to be believed BF4 is no exception to this legacy. Right now EA's probably regretting their new refund / satisfaction guarantee.  


You may return EA full game digital downloads (PC/Mac) purchased on Origin for a full refund within 24 hours after you first launch the game, within seven days from your date of purchase or within seven days from the game's release date if you pre-ordered, whichever comes first. This is in addition to your standard return or refund rights."

randomkidlol
randomkidlol

Hurry up and get the game refunded. Although if you bought this shit in the first place, you kinda deserved to have your money blatantly stolen from you anyways.

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

EA deserves it. Maybe now they'll reconsider the importance of consumer confidence and quality control.

noandno
noandno

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA

SATAN WILL NEVER WIN!

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

EA should have given DICE more time in the first place. Altho in turn DICE should learn from past mistakes for once. In BF Bad Company 2 the first few patches introduced more bugs then fixing, same for Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 is also a mess. LEARN for once DICE. If it wasnt for the bugs BF4 is very enjoyable.

arqe
arqe

When DICE going indie like Crytek ? Then we can play some Battlefield ... ( Actually on PC i've never experienced crash or any bug seems like everyone elses game is crushing , but not the ones that im playing with ... )

Merseyak
Merseyak

hahaha YOU TELL THEM STOCK MARKET! we wont have there waffle

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

"We know many of our players are frustrated, and we feel your pain. We will not stop until this is right."

Translation: "We have your money, suckers.  You sheep will eat any shit we shovel at you.  Now here, suck on this PR."

Ironfist66
Ironfist66

How about this little problem you can't properly group up with a bunch of friends before a match you have to join them and hope the server has room for another 

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

AHHHhhhhhhhhhh! Sorry but they deserve it! 

They sell a product and it doenst work!!! I am sorry but if you bought a DVD player or a watch and it didnt work, you would take it back and get your money back!!! 

I paid 50 EXTRA dollars for premium membership. China Rising will not work! Do I get a refund? hell no! I have been in contact with EA 3 times and still can not get it to work! They said I would get an email from their "eliete team" what ever the hell that means! 20 hours. and nothing! I am work so have to wait a little longer to contact them for a 4th time! 


Not to mention my SP file has been deleted 3 times!!!! I downloaded the back up from the cloud, and there was no SP data in the file! WTF. If you bought a watch that reset a few times a day, it would be worthless. You would take it back! 

Will EA take this game back? nope! 


Its criminal that they sell a product and sell a servce and when that service and product do not work NOTHING happens to them. Well. I hope their stock falls more. Its just a game, and its not that big of a deal. but its the principle of the fact. 

If you bought shoes, and the sole was falling off. you would get you money back ASAP with ZERO questions. 

I asked EA when I was going to get a refund or a partial refund, they totaly ignored my question, but in ANY other sector of the comerical world it would not be ignored, it would be honored with out question. 


stepping off soap box now. 

sniperwol_basic
sniperwol_basic

EA said yesterday, "We know many of our players are frustrated, and we feel your pain. We will not stop until this is right.". You don't realize pain bi*ch EA. I want EA fell down to the dust. Please fellows don't make miss-take like a lot of ppl did including myself.  Don't buy BF4. It is unplayable. The last patch didn't fix things.

GalvatronType_R
GalvatronType_R

I love it. There need to be consequences when companies purposely release broken unfinished games. Maybe a healthy decline in stock price will be a deterrent.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

Say what you will about cod, this shit never happens on those games

Dasim64
Dasim64

Finally some good news. I really can't stand what EA does to gaming. They have ruined every series they've touched. They force stupid deadlines instead of working towards quality. There is absolutely no excuse for a console game to release in this condition. It's a couple of platforms with set hardware and they don't even get that right. I could understand issues on the PC where you're dealing with an infinite number of hardware and software variations but consoles? EA should be ashamed but I know they aren't. The only thing that hurts a company like EA is taking their money and maybe this is a start. Bunch of greedy bastards won't care otherwise. 

dogman7
dogman7

Funny. They're worried about the halt on other projects because it might screw up their release schedule which in turn might screw up their financial reports for those future years, but this game they rushed out to meet financial estimates for this year is the reason they're in this problem in the first place. So instead of pushing a game back they release it broken and get screwed on two fronts.

Shango4
Shango4

Its been leaked that DICE where going to have BF4 finished by December the 17th and release it then, but EA wanted the game to compete with COD. So they rushed it out, and considering how much can be done in a day of game development. Them losing 2 Months of work , really explains the disastrous level of problems- I however. Have been lucky and had minimal suffering.

benz1980i
benz1980i

I have only had one crash in the week since the ps4 launch. Last night I went to play and it was too unstable and crashed 3 times. I thought i would play the campaign mode to discover my game progression removed!???

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

Wow.  

Pity I didn't even consider buying it because of a myriad of other reasons.

This just adds to it.

UKFX
UKFX

Yet we were falsely promised fixes - aka making people hopeful of a working game, thus not requesting refunds, which ultimately meant that EA kept most of the money and people were unable to return the game.

This among many other things, is unacceptable.

The game still doesn't work, the bugs from previous BF games and the BETA are still present, an the updates are slow coming. I foresee in the next few years, EA dropping support for Battlefield on PC.

streamline
streamline

Some people here blasted me for predicting that EA's practices are likely going to start having a toll on their on their business. Maybe they owned EA stock? Hopefully this news will get EA to make better decisions for a better gaming experience than just trying to maximize profit.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

If they didn't learn it from the last sim city, I doubt they will now.

telaros
telaros

Pancakes are more fun anyways. That's why I avoid their waffle business. It's kinda creepy how it traps all that syrup in little square prisons. Pancakes let the syrup run wild and free. Support pancakes, you can make awesome smiley facemasks with pancakes.


True story: Waffles don't smile.

monkeypukefight
monkeypukefight

@Ironfist66 yep, that's my biggest problem with bf4 aswell.... why for fucks sake would they leave that out???

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

And yet you keep buying it.  


Stop buying their products.


You want change, kill the beast.  Starve it.


Understand, I am with you.  But we are only enabling them by keeping them alive.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

Chapter 7 and liquidation would be a better one.

Aelfredus
Aelfredus

It's the same game since 2007... of course they have fixed any technical issues.

nurnberg
nurnberg

@b74kd3th I am sort of a Battlefield fan, but what is the point when they keep releasing totally broken games?  I think I am going to switch to COD in the future.

jZangetsu21
jZangetsu21

@b74kd3th It's because CoD is the same game over and over. Battlefield has a lot more programming to it with all the features.


Sadly, EA forced DICE to push the game even though they wanted to fix it first, stupid EA. Oh and at rann89, best comment ever.


500 lines of code xD

sniperwol_basic
sniperwol_basic

@Dasim64 "The only thing that hurts a company like EA is taking their money and maybe this is a start"

I 100% agreed. There is no other way. Don't bug their shit buggy games. BF4 is buggy as a hell. You ppl will pull your hairs when you play this sh**t

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

@dogman7 yeah. what about idiots like me who paid for premium members, essentially already paying for the timely release of DLC. Do we get a refund. HELL NO! 

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

At least you acknowledge the disaster.  Too many people who have had little problems have adopted the "It doesn't affect me, fuck everyone else".


The more that comes out, the uglier it gets.  They released a broken game, and Gamespot still fellates it with a glowing score.


Then soon after Cam releases a video about "conspiracy theories regarding game reviews."


Just stop, Gamespot. 


You're about as transparent as Eddie.

monkeypukefight
monkeypukefight

@benz1980i last night i wanted to play with a couple of buddies.... but after about 40 min of trying to join up together (lost connection to server, being kicked out of the game entirely, etc...) we gave up and did our own thing... and i still got booted from the servers 4 times IN HALF AN HOUR!!!!

Whiskey3romeo
Whiskey3romeo

@benz1980i Not removed...just gone.  That bug happens on all platforms.  Broken game is broken.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@Poodlejumper Yeah, I'm glad I haven't bought any EA games on PS4.  It's funny how a company so bullish on the internet can't master the art of having servers that work.

godonholiday
godonholiday

@TheWatcher000 Its not easy when the game, when it works, is a lot of fun with your mates.


But this time, my mates all decided enough was enough. Some actually got refunds, but we all decided to move onto different games.


In fact, we started having more fun on the new games we played together, realizing that we had got into the grind of BF and it was nice to be out of it.


No more EA for us now.

PetJel
PetJel

this is the ONE instance where I don't mind using that word

sniperwol_basic
sniperwol_basic

@YukoAsho @Poodlejumper You are luck bro you didn't buy the game. I am crying why i waste my precious money on sh**th like that. This is not with PS4 every platform  have issues. I bought for PC. Well there are infinite issues

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

@YukoAsho @Poodlejumper As a PC Gamer I try to only buy off of Steam, GoG, or Dasura.


EA tries to force us to use their distribution site "Origin".  A site that only caries EA titles.  UFF DA.


I have not bought an EA game since they put their new releases exclusive to Origin.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

Comment of the day?


Such little vision.


Comment of ANYTIME EVER.


Only problem is COD is shit as well.