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EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4

Seeking Alpha transcribes the conference call conducted by EA following their latest financial reporting (thanks CVG). Saying there are lessons to be taken from the troubled launch of Battlefield 4, they plan on learning from this to launch future multiplatform titles like Titanfall, though it could be argued that they may have missed similar opportunities to take lessons from launching previous installments in the Battlefield series. Here's word from Patrick Söderlund:

I'll cover Battlefield 4, and I'll quickly touch on kind of what happened, what we've done and how we're learning from it? So on the first segment, the what happened part is when Battlefield 4 launched, it was a very complex game, launching on 2 entirely new console platforms, as well as current-gen and PC. We were pushing innovation heavily and we're delivering 60 frames per second gameplay for 64 players plus the ability to connect via mobile tablet as a commander into the product, coupled those with some very innovative features in the gameplay side. Based on our prelaunch testing, our beta performance, we were confident the game was ready when it was launched. Shortly after launch, however, we began hearing about problems from our player community, and the development team quickly began to address the situation. So what have we done since we encountered the problems is we were fortunate to have an architecture in place that allows us to adjust and update the game rapidly, and that's actually what we've done. We released multiple software updates across all platforms to resolve the primary issues and game stability has significantly increased. To the final point, which is how are we learning from this? The challenge that we've faced with Battlefield 4 were different from anything that we've seen before with other games. There were different issues that only manifest its scale in the post-launch live environment. We're taking multiple steps to evaluate what occurred and incorporate those learnings into our development process for future products, so we don't experience the same problems again. I would close on the fact that Battlefield 4 remains an amazing game with massive innovation, and we're confident that gamers will be logging on to play for a long time to come.

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33. doh. Jan 29, 2014, 14:54 Jow
 
I am both surprised and not that after all the vitriol and media coverage on this that this was the best they could come up with.  
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32. We need proofs! Jan 29, 2014, 14:40 Ant
 
Prove it, EA!  
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Ant @ The Ant Farm: http://antfarm.ma.cx and Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net ...
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31. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 14:33 Ozmodan
 
Now that is funny, EA worrying about releasing buggy software. Let's face it, not going to happen, release dates are far more important.  
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30. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 14:26 Prez
 
Veterator wrote on Jan 29, 2014, 14:24:
EA takes lessons from a lot of things. They just never seem to remember them when it'd be useful.

How many times in the last 5 years has EA said they were learning or changing things to improve anything? Probably as many times as they've had a big public problem, and it just keeps happening.

When it hits them in their financials and investors start grumbling loudly enough as they have with BF4 I think maybe they'll be a little more proactive in taking these particular lessons to heart. Often the best lessons are the most painful ones.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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29. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 14:24 Veterator
 
EA takes lessons from a lot of things. They just never seem to remember them when it'd be useful.

How many times in the last 5 years has EA said they were learning or changing things to improve anything? Probably as many times as they've had a big public problem, and it just keeps happening.
 
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28. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 14:11 Task
 
Primalchrome wrote on Jan 29, 2014, 11:47:
Wait.... A commander, 60fps and 64 players in a game is INNOVATIVE? Starsiege Tribes had that 15 YEARS AGO!!!

but "levolution" man
 
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27. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 13:59 DangerDog
 
EA DICE used to use Combattesting.com for proper beta testing and bug tracking, it's mostly an invite only unpaid testing service but many people would properly report bugs and issues and provide feedback. I believe now they've handed the task over to some Romanian outfit and the results are showing how big of a mistake that is.

It really doesn't help when you have the people responsible for making the game go off on extended vacations right at release.
 
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26. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 13:25 Steele Johnson
 
I don't understand how the excuse is based on the initial requirements for the game. He basically listed the requirements: new features (basic requirement), runs on new consoles (basic requirement), current gen pc (api is still the same), graphics engine and netcode need to support 64 player (requirement), etc. All those things just mean that they have a lot of work to do. You have all those requirements before you start developing and then you plan a timeline accordingly. How is that the problem of a "bad launch"?

Here's my translation of his excuse: rushed out the door by executive decision before the people who actually do the work had finished (i.e. to release about the same time as CoD). If he had just said that, I'm sure he'd get a bit more respect.
 
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25. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 12:57 JayDeath
 
Blah, blah, blah. It angers me that EA won't just admit that the game was released too early. This debacle has convinced me to never buy another EA Battlefield release ever again. I'm so glad I only paid 20 bucks.  
Steam: Henry Krinkle

I want a new Brothers in Arms game!
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24. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 12:53 jdreyer
 
Translation: We released beta code so we could beat Call of Duty to market.  
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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23. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 12:46 Tim Collins
 
Battlfield is a giant cashgrab just by the fact they released it WAY too early. Proof is in the pudding.  
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22. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 12:35 Cutter
 
Translation: We shoved it out the door to beat COD to market, plain and simple. The smart thing would have been to push it back another 6 months but that costs money, so no. The lesson here, don't listen to customer complaints and keep doing the same ol' shit over and over because they'll buy the steaming pile of crap anyway.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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21. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 12:04 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Ah, poor BF4. You're very playable now, but you were quite shitty on release, scaring most people away. Now, when you're finally ready, 85% of the players have already uninstalled.

The game is still a ton of fun, and it's gotten to the point where I don't crash at all. Kill trading with non-hitscan weapons doesn't bug me a great deal, just avoid servers with a ton of people with pings 280+ and it'll be fine.

*EDIT* My bad, RPGs do one shot kill attack and scout helos, unless the server or target is laggy as shit, and the hit fails to register as a direct hit(splash only). Confirmed after some testing.

This comment was edited on Jan 29, 2014, 21:02.
 
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20. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 12:01 Blackhawk
 
That was just awful.

Every sentence is one of two things:

"Look how amazing EA/BF4 is."

or

"The stuff that went wrong wasn't our fault."

They're not ignorant. They know what went wrong. They just can't speak without an over-active PR filter turning into disingenuous nonsense.

EA - here's a hint. Your PR isn't protecting your image. It is making you look dishonest.
 
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19. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 11:47 Primalchrome
 
Wait.... A commander, 60fps and 64 players in a game is INNOVATIVE? Starsiege Tribes had that 15 YEARS AGO!!!  
Avatar 56308
 
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18. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 11:28 H@P
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 29, 2014, 09:39:
Translation:

*wall of text with a million excuses why its basically not EA's fault*

> There were different issues that only manifest its scale in the
> post-launch live environment.

Here's an idea. How about making the "beta" an actual beta, where bugs and balance issues can be reported before the release. You had the opportunity. A whole bunch of people that pre-ordered and willingly downloaded your "beta"... a few weeks before release. Really? That wasn't a beta, that was some marketing dickhead checking off a checkbox, "Delivered 'beta' to pre-orders! Check!".

You reap what you sow.

This comment was edited on Jan 29, 2014, 11:42.
 
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17. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 11:18 Omni
 
EA learning ?

...and pigs can fly
 
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16. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 11:10 Acleacius
 
söderlund and smeadly should be locked in a room together so they can share their eternal love for themselves, forever.  
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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15. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 11:06 Creston
 
One giant paragraph, and nowhere does he say "Yeah, it was launched prematurely/poorly."

Fucking ass. EA taking lessons? When hell fucking freezes over.
 
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14. Re: EA Taking Lessons From Launching BF4 Jan 29, 2014, 10:39 Kegaro
 
I had no intention of buying this game because I knew it would suck, but a bunch of people in the clan I play with were playing it. So I pick it up about a month after launch. I managed to get about 12 hours of game play in before I completely abandoned and uninstalled the game. I should have stuck to my guns and never picked it up...
So what did I learn from this experience. Go with your gut, stick to your guns, and never trust that anything EA produces will be "innovative" and "stable".
 
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