Close
Are you sure? Are you sure you want to report this comment? I understand, report it. Cancel

EA: Innovation and tech problems go hand-in-hand

EA: Innovation and tech problems go hand-in-hand

Fri 20 Jun 2014 10:27am GMT / 6:27am EDT / 3:27am PDT
PublishingDevelopment

Andrew Wilson puts Battlefield 4's issues in context, new safeguards now in place

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has described Battlefield 4's profound technical problems as a calculated risk of innovation - and EA won't be abandoning that ideal any time soon.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Wilson made an implicit reference to Activision's approach to Call of Duty, which he believes sacrifices the originality of the experience at the altar of stability.

"You could go down the really conservative path, which some people did in the industry, and your game didn't have any of those problems, but you also got the feedback of, it just feels the same as it used to," he said.

"Or, you could push the boundaries and end up in the situation we ended up in. Neither is good. But I would like to be in the company pushing the boundaries."

Wilson listed Battlefield 4's 64-player online mode, 1080p resolution and the map-altering flourishes of its "Levolution" feature as examples of that ambition. When thrown into the mix with Microsoft and Sony's "unfinished" new generation console hardware, that ambition created problems that Wilson described as, "unique."

"When you do things like that you can never guarantee," he continued. "It would be disingenuous for me to sit here and say, 'we will never have an issue again,' because that would mean we were never going to push the boundaries again. And I don't want to be that company. I want to be a company that pushes to lead and innovate and be creative. But you can start to do things that give you a better handle and a better view about what the potential challenges might be."

Specifically, that means longer development cycles, earlier beta testing, and a larger window between the "final" version of the game being completed and its launch date, creating more room for testing.

All of this applies to the forthcoming Battlefield: Hardline, Wilson said.

5 Comments

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,509 1,283 0.9
Wilson listed Battlefield 4's 64-player online mode, 1080p resolution and the map-altering flourishes of its "Levolution" feature as examples of that ambition.
So... That'll be why the PC version was perfect, right? Because EA/Dice had practice developing 1080p/60fps/massive 64 player maps during dev of BF3, right?

Oh, wait. The PC version of BF4 was hit with as many problems as the console version. Silly me.

It is (to use his own word) disingenuous to say that ambition is to blame for BF4's woes, not only because all formats of the game were negatively affected, but also because a vocal group of fans claim BF4 should actually be renamed BF3.5. I'm not saying that the development wasn't troubled - for whatever reason - but this borders on sophistry.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 20th June 2014 12:33pm

Posted:2 months ago

#1

Steve Wetz
Reviewer/Assistant Editor

188 472 2.5
More time in QA fixes this. Rushing titles out for arbitrary timelines like holiday seasons does not.

Remember when it would rarely be considered to push a title out (particularly on console because there was no patching method at the time) if it didn't pass the QA sniff test? I miss those days.

Posted:2 months ago

#2

David Canela
Game Designer

43 78 1.8
Developing for 5 platforms (two of them new) and releasing simultaneously was just spreading themselves too thin. Battlefield is a hell of a lot more complex than COD, even just the way that bullets fly, but that's no excuse.

that said, it's been immensely fun on PC for many months now, and I even when my PC kept crashing lots shortly after release, it was more fun than many other games. Either I was extremely lucky, or the BF4-bashing has been something that internet people mindlessly repeat over and over without actually having played the game themselves for months because that narrative has become its own Thing.

Posted:2 months ago

#3

Ron Dippold
Software/Firmware Engineer

18 66 3.7
Popular Comment
Oh come on. Pushing the thing out to beat Ghosts to street date with almost two dozen known critical blocker bugs (I don't believe your QA people are bad enough to have missed them all - they're usually quite competent) is not an 'innovation' problem.

This was a business problem, not a technical problem.

Posted:2 months ago

#4
I am sure they are doing their utmost best to make sure the ongoing BF experience will run super smooth

Posted:A month ago

#5

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now