The release of Battlefield 4 back in October was met with a lot of problems, and the launch woes for the game were so huge that the effects are still being felt today.
The game isn't as broken as it was when it first launched and DICE have done a lot of work to get up to standard - even halting DLC development to try and fix it.
Chief creative officer Rich Hilleman spoke recently at the D.I.C.E summit to say that "We did things wrong."
We know that. We’re gonna fix those things. We're gonna try to be smart about what customers want in the future. But I'm not willing to accept – and I don't think most of my customers are willing to say – "it's a bad product, I wish I didn't buy it".
Hilleman spoke to Rock Paper Shotgun about the issues that EA faced with both SimCity and Battlefield 4.
He said that Battlefield 4 had been an exceedingly good product from a gameplay perspective on the PC.
I think there was a lot of noise about the game, but some of that is a function of your surface area
The more customers you have, the more noise becomes available. I think what we're hearing is, "You made a game we really liked. We would've liked it a little better if it didn't have these problems". Many of those problems we can fix, and we have and will.
It is widely regarded that it is EA's fault for the game getting absolutely no internal testing at some points in development, but Hilleman isn't willing to accept that.
I don't have the numbers off the top of my head, but my impression is that BF4 had more than 10,000 beta testers before it shipped. Now, some of the problems we had were related to systems that were not released. Beta testing on an unreleased system is difficult.
The obvious and glaring issues - the ones we heard most about from our customers, the ones that matter most to them - we’ve really gotten on top of those and they’re fixed.
Hilleman insisted that DICE shipped Battlefield 4 when they were happy with the game, and when they wanted to. I personally find that hard to believe coming from EA who are all about monies rather than a finished game.
Would you say that Battlefield 4 is a bad product? Do you still enjoy it despite the bugs that keep cropping up with each patch?