Battlefield 4 launched with all kinds of problems including the dreaded server crash issues. Why was this?
It has come to light through correspondence (now deleted) on Reddit/r/battlefield between a QA tester and a moderator that it was EA that pushed DICE to get the game completed to beat Call of Duty: Ghosts to market. In the message exchange the DICE QA tester wanted to convey that it was not all the fault of DICE and the testing team but also the pressure of the release deadline.
“First you have a company culture that always wants more and more in the game until the very end of the project which put an enormous strain QA to test everything.
“Then you have EA that wants us to release 2 weeks before COD to avoid competition”.
“We want to talk to people about this but the Internet hate machine is such a tender thing and saying nothing and just fixing seems the safest way to not stir up an even worse shitstorm.”
The comments come as no huge surprise but it sounds like there could also have been an element of feature creep that was piled on the QA team as the launch date closed in.
“We do test everything, we really do.Let’s say we test the SPAS-12 in June before we release. Then a sound guy makes a change in July which breaks it. Do you test everything again? Do you forbid anyone to work on the SPAS-12 after we’ve tested it? It’s a hard question and something that we in DICE QA struggle with a lot.
It’s not uncommon these days for AAA titles to ship with all kinds of horrendous bugs that can be game-breaking as we have seen with BF4. It’s understandable that a game wants to beat its competitor to market, but what is not so understandable is why they aim for a launch window that is only weeks or days apart.
Whatever the reason, the game’s issues did play a part in how we scored Battlefield 4 in our review. Serious bugs as we have seen in Battlefield 4 should be taken into account when critiquing a game. Videogame publishers and developers need to be made aware that releasing a faulty product to market is not acceptable.
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Thanks B4central for the tip.