To say that Battlefield 4 had a troubled launch would be to put it mildly. Since the sequel's debut in fall 2014, fans have been lambasting the franchise for its inability to iterate, its struggles to deliver a consistent online experience, and a general lack of polish. So much so, that many have sworn off the Battlefield franchise either for a short while or for good.
The good news, though, is that Electronic Arts and BF developer DICE seem to know they did fans wrong. As DICE LA Producer David Sirland puts it, the developer has lost players' trust.
Obviously DICE is not happy with having lost players trust, and they hope to redeem themselves in the future. However, as Sirland explains, regaining that trust will not come thanks to a few cleverly worded quotes. Rather, it's about showing players that they can trust the franchise by delivering a stable product out of the gate.
"I can absolutely say that we lost [player] trust in the game's launch and the early parts of the year. We still probably have a lot of players who won't trust us to deliver a stable launch or a stable game. I don't want to say anything because I want to do. I want them to look at what we're doing and what we are going to do and that would be my answer. I think we have to do things to get them to trust us, not say things to get them to trust us. Show by doing."
DICE's next chance to do so will come with the launch of Battlefield Hardline, Visceral Games' cops vs. robbers spin-off. Hardline was supposed to launch later this month, but EA made a last minute decision to delay the game until early 2015. At the time, Visceral said that the delay was meant to help the team get the campaign right, but we wouldn't surprised if the public's perception of Battlefield played a part as well.
Even fixing Battlefield 4 and implementing new testing procedures hasn't done much to boost Battlefield's profile. Instead, every piece of Battlefield news only serves to remind gamers that the fourth game's launch was such a disappointment. As a game, Battlefield 4 was fine – although the campaign still need work – but when your online component is practically unplayable that's a huge problem.
There's no denying that Battlefield 4's launch has soured some fans on the franchise, but there's no telling how far reaching that distaste is. Casual gamers, for example, might be just as eager for the next Battlefield as they were for the last. We'll have to wait and see whether Hardline helps or hurts the franchise next year.
Has the Battlefield franchise and developers lost your trust? What would help you regain that trust?
Battlefield: Hardline will release in early 2015 for current-gen and last-gen platforms.