It’s no secret that Battlefield 4 was not the most beloved game in the first-person shooter franchise’s history. BF4 launched with a laundry list of bugs and technical issues and didn’t really deliver the top notch FPS experience that fans of the previous game had been hoping for. The creators aim to right the ship with the next installment, Battlefield Hardline, by switching things up both in terms of setting and gameplay. Despite the recent infographic released by EA, which bragged about how much destruction beta testers have caused in-game, Hardline seems to have hit enough of a rough patch to fall off schedule.
Battlefield Hardline was announced with an October 21, 2014 launch date attached, but plans have now changed. EA announced today that the game is being delayed to 2015 in order to allow more time to develop an ultimately better product. DICE GM Karl Magnus Troedsson explained the rationale for the delay on the Battlefield Blog…
“Today we are announcing that Battlefield Hardline will launch in early 2015. Obviously, this is big news, so I’d like to address why we’re making this change.
Back at E3, we launched a beta for Hardline – we wanted to not only show you the game, but to let you play it for yourselves. Millions of you jumped in and had a great time. As a result, the Visceral Games team learned a lot from players about what they wanted in the game. We’ve been pouring over the data and feedback, and have already been putting a lot of it right into the game and sharing it directly with you.
This feedback also spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and ways we could push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better. The more we thought about these ideas, the more we knew we had to get them into the game you will all be playing. However, there was only one problem. We would need more time. Time that we didn’t have if we decided to move forward with launching in just a couple of months.
We decided that the right thing to do was to take more time to ensure Hardline is the best, most innovative Battlefield experience we can give to you, our fans.
Here are a few of the things the new timing will allow us to accomplish:
1. Multiplayer Innovation: Coming out of our E3 beta, internal focus tests, and work with our community, we have received a lot of great Multiplayer thinking. We’re going to be adding some new feature ideas direct from the community that will evolve the cops and criminals fantasy into a truly unique Battlefield Multiplayer experience.
2. Single Player Story Depth: In order to ensure our Single Player experience delivers on player expectations, we’re spending more time polishing our core features, as well as adding a few new ones that will support a deeper “crime revenge” story experience.
3. Stability: This has been a focus for our team since day one and we’re going to be using the extra time to continue to optimize the game for a stable launch. We have learned a lot from Battlefield 4, are continuing to learn from our Community Test Environment and will learn more from another Hardline beta. More time allows us to surface issues that the team can attempt to fix prior to launch.
We are doing all of this for one reason. Because we want Battlefield Hardline to be the best game it can be, and so that we can create the best environment for a smooth launch for our players. We will give you updates on our progress and we’ll regularly share updates along the way via Battlefield.com/Hardline as well as the Battlefield social channels.”
Although the delay is likely a big disappointment for some fans, it sounds like pushing things back a few months is the right decision. The developers seem to be taking the lessons learned from BF4’s rushed launch to heart and combining that knowledge with the recent beta feedback to shape the rest of Hardline’s development. The title may suffer a bit from missing a holiday season launch and it won’t be quite as fresh in our minds when award season rolls around at the end of 2015, but implementing the changes before it is released, rather than in a series of post-launch patches, will ultimately lead to a higher quality experience.
The delayed version of the game is still slated to launch on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One; but hopefully the additional development time will allow for the creation of a highly polished new-gen experience for players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The delay was implemented to give the team time to work on multiplayer innovation, single player story depth, and stability improvements; so we hope to see these changes rolled out in a future beta trial later this year.
Do you think the delay is a bad omen for Hardline or that the game will be better thanks to the additional development time? Let us know in the comments.
Battlefield Hardline will launch in 2015 on PC, PS3, Ps4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.
Source: Battlefield Blog