Battlefield 4 – The Land Of Broken Games And Broken Promises

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Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful game. That released on October 29th, aboard PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. No, this isn’t Gilligan’s Island, but it sure as hell is a shipwreck.

EA was poised to gain some major ground on the Call of Duty series in 2013. EA and DICE touted the power of Frostbite 3 and promised an experience found “Only in Battlefield”. While the former wouldn’t come to fruition, the latter would, and are both due to the same set of circumstances.

The many issues that have plagued Battlefield 4 since its October 29th launch are well reported. What started off as “launch day blues” became launch week, then launch month. Now we’re sitting 60 days after release, and we’re still staring down the barrel of an unfinished product. BF4 has been bogged down by everything from run of the mill multiplayer connectivity issues and strange “one-hit kill” bugs, all the way down to single player save files going MIA. As of right now, 22 major issues have been reported to the official Battlefield 4 “issue tracker“, 15 of which have been fixed. It’s now been ten days since the last time DICE has updated the thread.

Sadly, the problems facing Battlefield 4 don’t stop there. Today, AMD announced that it was delaying the hotly anticipated free BF4 Mantle update that was due before the end of the year. The patch is tentatively re-scheduled for January 2014.

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As most of us know, DICE has been pulled from all future development until Battlefield 4 is deemed “satisfactory”. Who will be the judge of that ambiguous benchmark remains to be seen. The issues BF4 faces are so widespread and damaging that some of EA’s shareholders have taken legal action against the publisher. Apparently, EA stirred their investors into a frenzy with a variety of promises that weren’t kept, but those aren’t the broken promises that directly affect the gaming community.

The offense we’re referring to is something that EA has remained ignorantly silent about. One of the more alluring promises of buying into next-gen early was the promise of an inexpensive upgrade to PS4/Xbox One if you’d already bought into select titles. Publishers like Activision, Ubisoft, EA, and even Xbox Store and PSN offered gamers the ability to upgrade their Xbox 360 or PS3 copies of select titles for $10. Certain games, like EA’s Battlefield 4 even promised that Pre-Order bonuses would transfer from previous to next-gen platforms.

That promise fell flat when several users reported their China Rising DLC wouldn’t transfer from last to current gen. After contacting EA support, these gamers were told that the only way to obtain the DLC would be to pre-order a next-gen (PS4/XB1) version, or to be a Battlefield 4 Premium member. Which is an outright betrayal of the loyal customer base that decided to buy into Battlefield 4 even before it released. This should be viewed as nothing less than an egregious lack of ethics at best and a severe case of false advertising at worst. This issue could easily result in more legal action being taken against the publisher. As it stands, the Battlefield series has taken a series of dings that have resulted in a loss of reputation.  The franchise, and EA, have drawn the ire of the gaming community and the investors who ultimately pay for the games production alike.

On the whole its hard to discern if the series will see annualized installments in the future. But it’s my stern opinion that it shouldn’t. Realistically, if EA ever wants to have a chance at dethroning Activision’s Call of Duty series, they’ll have to give their developers the opportunity to fully bake their goodies before they leave the oven.

My hope is that EA’s disastrous 2013 leads to some changes internally, because let’s face it; these practices are anything but consumer friendly. The problem with seeking change lies in the fact that businesses ultimately make decisions with their bank roll. If you think EA needs to make good on their promises and publish finished products; speak with your wallet.

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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  • Mike Jones

    people just kill me these days….if you are stupid enough to still be trusting ea to deliver you high quality products then you deserve to be swindled out of every penny you have plain and simple…the sooner morons realize that your only voice in these matters stems from your wallet,and not some stupid petition,twitter campaign,articles like this,or any of the other nonsense that pops up in situations like this,the better off you will all be

  • Matt

    The Gilligans Island reference is going to go over a lot of heads.

    • dirkradke

      Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
      A tale of a fateful trip
      That started from this tropic port
      Aboard this tiny ship.

      Ah.. the memories. Of course I was actually too young and saw the re-runs in the early 70s.

      • Matt

        Most of them were dead before I even got to watch it for the first time.

        Came on right before The Munsters.

        • Lol, that reference was more for me than anyone else. I do that sometimes…

  • dirkradke

    Informing EA that you no longer trust there competence to be a Publisher is a good thing no matter what venue you choose: tweets, comments like this one, feedback bugs, forum posts, etc. However, if you truly want to send a message don’t buy the products they publish. Wait for the reviews next time.

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