Battlefield 4's Rocky Launch "Absolutely" Damaged Player Trust, Producer Says

"I think we have to earn that back," producer David Sirland says.

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Battlefield 4's rocky launch "absolutely" damaged the trust gamers have in developer DICE's ability to release a game smoothly. That's according to DICE LA producer David Sirland, who told me in an interview today that future installments won't suffer the same fate because DICE has changed its processes.

"I can absolutely say that we lost [player] trust in the game's launch and the early parts of the year," Sirland said. "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."

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For upcoming Battlefield games, Sirland said, "I am certain that [Battlefield 4's troubled launch] won't be repeated because we've changed the way we work." Part of this change is developing games more out in the open and letting gamers play new titles earlier in the development process. Sound familiar? That's the message EA CEO Andrew Wilson has been repeating in seemingly every interview he's given since he was named top executive at the company last year.

"It's just a giant project, any Battlefield game is a giant project," Sirland said. "And the more input you can get early, the better, and the more you can be open with changes you're making or ideas you have, the better, I think. Because our community is much smarter than we probably give them credit for."

EA is already putting this idea to work. The company held a public beta for Battlefield Hardline on PlayStation 4 and PC back in June, and a second beta is coming to all platforms (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC) later this year. The game was originally pegged to launch in October 2014, but is now scheduled to be released in February 2015. EA delayed the game not because of game-breaking bugs, but rather because players were calling for more innovation, according to Wilson.

The issues Battelfield 4 faced at launch were numerous and significant. Some gamers could not play at all for extended periods of time, and EA was even sued over the bugs. This was somewhat of a "curveball" for EA, Sirland said, in part because the beta went quite well and was very stable.

"We were stoked to release the game and we thought it would be a great launch," he said. "Sure, there would be issues; there's always issues. But we didn't think there would be issues to this degree."

At the close of my talk with Sirland today, I asked if he thought the Battlefield franchise had been damaged at all by Battlefield 4's...memorable...launch.

"I think from a trust perspective, absolutely," he said. "I think we have to earn that back. That's why I'm here. That's my end goal. I want to earn our trust back and I want to make them happy and like Battlefield again."

Check back later for GameSpot's full interview with Sirland, which touches on Battlefield 4's major fall patch, the importance of the game's Community Test Environment, and more on the title's fifth and final DLC expansion, which is appropriately titled Final Stand.

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Lazurkri

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HAHAHAHAHAH **** YOU EA. You lying sacks of shit only NOW admit problems when they hurt your profits, don't they!!

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DanielL5583

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I'll believe your words, EA, when - and ONLY when - they start getting games out without compromise and at the very least prove that they are taking this to heart and wanting to improve their image.

They may have lost out on that magical hat-trick of Worst Company in America of the Year, but they're still proving to be serious contenders.

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the_real_VIP

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"... letting gamers play new titles earlier in the development process."

So they want us to be unpaid testers.

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GLlamas

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<< LINK REMOVED >> It is better than making US pay for early access, imagine if they did that.... LOL

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Max_160

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It took them over a year to figure that out, just like it took them over a year to fix the damn game.

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daBrokenFace

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I hope the sales of Battlefield 4 are terrible because of their reputation

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GLlamas

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<< LINK REMOVED >> A bit late for that....

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XxXeroxX

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*Yawn*

I feel like I heard this line before. Anyone else? F what this guy is and what he stands for, all he cares about is how much $ he brings in per game. Win back your franchise players, make the game cheap as hell so when we play it and it's bugged to hell, at least we can say it was cheap. :)

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hosebeast42

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Rocky Launch? Really? How about today? I tried for quite some time to wade my way through the morass that is the BF4 interface- couldn't get it out of windowed mode, couldn't even get on a game in multiplayer and for the real slap in the face, every time I thought I was going to get on was told that what I wanted to play was a "premium content" item and I had to drop more money for that- as in, over and above the $60 I did at launch. Putting it in perspective, no, $60 isn't that big a deal- but I don't have a lot of free time to enjoy games the way I'd like to and having it utterly wasted by this effort is my biggest beef. So, I quit whining, went back to BF3, was on in seconds and having a good ol time. It's going to take more than flashy art, hammering the gaming sites with interviews and same ol same ol to get me to roll with this company again-- a whole lot more- that, and this as a setting for gaming has been done to death- like to see some innovation instead of this years iteration of the same

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waffleiron88

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Dont worry EA, Cops n robbers will do just fine.

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DonGibon

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Words are cheap. Pove it.

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GLlamas

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Especially when you skimp out on letters ;)

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ecurl143

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There are still quite a few people defending this game but honestly, it was a colossal mess from day 1 and I don't think any amount of damage control can pull the battlefield franchise away from the cliff edge at this point in time.

How anyone would even consider purchasing another battlefield game is beyond me.

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crystalredearth

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<< LINK REMOVED >> 2 words, Bad Company

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urall

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then give bf hardline everyone who bought bf 4 premium.

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earielmb

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"rocky launch"?? it is still broken today even with the latest patch...

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deactivated-5c79c3cfce222

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"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."

<< LINK REMOVED >>

I don't doubt that Sirland is genuine with his comments, most everyone who creates a thing wants to do a good job of it and make people happy with the end result. But these are things that he has to say. His job is also to sell you the game. And I bet if history was to repeat itself, EA's CFO would say the same exact lines again. The bottom line is the bottom line. I better not hear any of y'all preordering this. I'll kick you in the nards.
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FuzzyPancakes

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they should make another battlefield 1940-ish game, and maybe call it Battlefield 1940ish :D

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pidow

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They should allow those of us who was not able to play or enjoy the game after paying for it, something in return. Many , like myself, was unable to play until months after. I am at this point in time, not buying BF, until I am convinced that the product meets strict quality control measures, not a dollar control, but a quality control, before I would consider buying let alone playing BF. I have always supported BF in the past, the future is pending!.

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drysprocket

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Amazing......don't forget to check out today's GS news of them announcing the new $60 BF 4 Premium bundle 24 hours later.

QUITE- the coincidence.

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LordTrexGuy

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Bad Company 3 pleez.


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BigBadBanther

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If they want to earn my trust again let me trade in my copy of BF4 (currently used as a coaster) for the new game for free.

This is the only way i will play the new installment and if its 1000% better then i might consider buying the next one.

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JalalBlack

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It's difficult to believe you EA , but you'll be forgiven if you'll manage to save a beloved franchise like Battlefeild .

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kryotech

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man I miss Bad Company...

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phloyd74

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My BF4 game is still crashing in the menus on my PS4 frequently. The framerate also drops horribly when on 64 player maps, and still getting a lot of rubber banding on certain maps. Overall it performs much better on the xbox 360. In my mind this game is still broken and they are still charging people for premium and dlc? If you want to get my trust back admit you sold me a turkey and give me a refund, stop trying to sell me add ons for something that doesnt work properly!

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NL_Skipper

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Sounds like more PR nonsense... they didn't need player feedback to realize how shoddy BF4 was, all they needed was some damn pride in their quality of work.

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chuckles471

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I love it when developers are trying to shill the next game, they will finally admit problems with the last one.

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commander1122

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just a another DLC by EA....just let EA die please everyone....i stop buying EA after game after the first Bf 3...and now when i see EA release new game...either just download for free or dun even care anymore

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k1DBLITZ

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"Because our community is much smarter than we probably give them credit for." It's about time they realized this. The gamer demographic has changed. There are many of us in our 30's and 40's who grew up gaming and are now professionals with our own careers working in IT, engineering, etc. We are mature adults who are willing to help, you just have to be willing to listen.

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jellyman68

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They need to sort out the pay to win weapons as well. I bought basic Battlefield 4 without any of the DLC and 8 times out of 10, if I get shot dead it's by someone with a Deagle. I don't have access to that gun as I haven't paid extra for the DLC yet people are still able to use it against me.

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blackothh

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EA lost my trust years ago and is not even close to getting it back.

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nomadsalt

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I accept your apology and believe you are sincere in your words. Put me down for a premium edition of the next release.

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DarkLord

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I played the beta for BF4 and Sirland says that it "went quite well and was stable." Was he playing a different beta than I was? The game crashed constantly, was buggy as hell, and I honestly thought it was a miracle that I made it through a full round without it crashing. That's pretty much how BF4 was at launch too! I think I successfully played two rounds that first night and then the game crashed.


That being said, it's gotten profoundly better! Yeah, the occasional crash happens but I've had that happen with other games as well. The game is a lot more stable and having played it since the recent patch I can say that it is even more improved! The CTE is the real beta that should have been done a year ago and not 6 months after launch! I may not go out and preorder Hardline due to the launch of BF4 but I'm not going to write it off either.

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Indiexanna

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<< LINK REMOVED >> BF4 beta wedged my decision on not purchasing BF4. The beta stuttered like hell to the point I was afraid to buy the game.

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beowulf1211

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Battlefield 4 is an amazing game. It wasn't DICEs fault. EA forced them to release the game at launch to tackle COD.

BF4 is a huge game and very ambitious and it'll be very sad for us gamers to lose such ambition for the likes of COD or Destiny.

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JrSlacker

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@beowulf1211 But it's the responsibility of the developer to meet deadlines. If a publisher puts down a deadline for a game, it's the responsibility of the development team to stay on schedule.

All EA does is ad campaigns, distribution, and providing money to their divisions. Any buggy game mechanic, unfinished item, or horrible story falls upon the devs.

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itchyflop

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<< LINK REMOVED >> i agree, though i think if your a cod fan u will be long term and it doesn't matter when bf4 gets released, its a different game entirely, EA are always looking (as they should) for more business. Dice have a great franchise here. i hope it does as well as the enjoyable series b4 it

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WarFox89

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<< LINK REMOVED >> You are absolutely right sir.

I hopethat both EA and DICE learned from past mistakes and it won't happen again.

BF FTW!

PS - BF VET since 1942-

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yngsten

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@beowulf1211

That's just naive, DICE is EA, same as Bioware.

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beowulf1211

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No sweetheart. Brush up on your corporate knowledge. EA is the publisher, the cash cow. DICE creates the game and bends at EAs will. Comprende?

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collingtonuk

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Nope, your wrong, DICE is part of EA, they are the same entity.

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yngsten

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<< LINK REMOVED >>

lol the CEO of DICE is an EA Studio General Manager and EA owns the whole company which is titled EA Digital Illusions CE and have remained a part of EA since 2006, no sir, my corporate knowledge is fine. DICE is an EA studio, so you just got pwned.

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silversix_

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Now they say that so we have piety and buy their next game? No b*tch, not buying it. You launched a game in worst shape than DayZ, FU.

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Gamer_4_Fun

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I don't care what people say, DICE have been working tremendously hard for almost a year now with constant fixes and improvements. All these enhancements actually took this game further ahead than would have been if the game shipped normally without much issues. Like the netcode is incredibly tight and efficient now.

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ecurl143

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<< LINK REMOVED >> That's not really what we're talking about here though is it?

It's about a product release not fit for purpose and still they're trying to fix it.

A year down the line and patches are still being rolled out to fix fundementally broken things just goes to illustrate how bad the game was on release. There is no defending this colossal mess of a game, no matter how die hard a fan you are.

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