Battlefield 3 Dev Comments on Lack of DLC and Why DICE Avoids Platform Favoritism

DICE developer Alan Kertz sheds some light on some of the processes behind updating a game like Battlefield 3, including the reasons for the lengthy period without any word of DLC.

In response to a recent Joystiq article, Kertz clarified via Reddit that “the big reason that ‘[DLC is] taking so long’ is that we pushed hard on BF3, and lots of developers pushed vacations, parental leave and other things for a while to ship a product they could be proud about. After that was done, it takes a while to get people back into the office and up to speed.” He feels that it’s “better from our perspective to wait a bit on the DLC and deliver quality content with plans to deliver different types of content for different types of players over the lifetime of BF3, rather than hurry one map out.” It seems DICE will definitely be delivering in the near future. Check out a recently released gameplay trailer of the first of three expansion packs, Close Quarters.

Luckily, DICE was able to publish their first expansion pack, Back to Karkand, fairly quickly after the release of Battlefield 3. This seemed important to them as Kertz explained on Twitter that “rapid DLC [is] proven to help keep discs in drives, off used,” since a “vast majority of sales of a title come in the first month.”

Kertz also commented on the fact that since DICE tries to keep all three platforms on the same level in terms of updates, it might seem like updates don’t come as often. He mentioned in the comment section of the latest Inside DICE, “we only update a specific platform if we have an issue on that specific platform. For example, PS3 VoIP updates.” It seems important to DICE that “the core gameplay and feature list needs to remain as close to identical as is humanly possible. We simply do not want to be perceived as having a favorite platform, nor do we want any one set of players to feel second class.” Another example he used was that “Xbox players have already asked where their colorblind support is, making further PC only updates would simply make that valid complaint even more valid.”

This, of course, leads to the question: Do you think consoles are holding the PC version of Battlefield 3 back? What is your take on the lack of DLC after Back to Karkand? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Still wondering about the upcoming Battlefield 3 patches? Read here for some good news!

  • Esymny

    I think that is crap because PC has 64 players per map and more vehicles as well as more objectives… it isn’t that platforms such as PS3 can’t handle it as the game MAG has 256 players in one map at one time

    • Jaskdavis

      BF3 is WAY more advanced Technology wise then MAG was! DICE already said if they even did 32 player then the Framerate would drop below 25fps (less than original Xbox)

      • Abi

        go troll elsewhere…u jackfap

        • Guest

          If you honestly think MAGs engine is anywhere close to Frostbite 2 then you, sir, are a turd. Learn what trolling actually is too.

    • erautour

      And the 360 gets the leftovers. Hard to say there’s no favorite platform when the evidence shows clear favorites at one time or another

    •  MAG … enough said

  • Fredrik Jackson

    Playstation gets DLC first, PC seems to get patches first.

  • Anonymous

     Parental Leave? Must be a UK thing… “Your right to take time off to care for young or disabled children.” Is this paid leave?

  • finbars75

    I think they are waiting a little to long on the next dlc but its understandable that if you want quality then it takes longer then just shoving out some half ass dlc.Im a little anxious for the next few dlcs due to the fact that the gameplay can get stale after a while without something new and fresh to keep you enterested.Im more eneterested in the patch then I am the dlc.Onec the patch comes out then I feel the game will be alot more fun and balanced.Right now its just shotgun spamming and enginer heaven in the blackbirds.All in all Im very pleased with the results of BF3 and will continue to support DICE in all there upcoming games.

  • i prefer it when Devs take their time, Cods maps seem rushed to play and they seem all disjointed and a mashup of a million ideas that HAD to go in the maps, i know Karkand was just reimagining BF2 maps but they look like they’d paid attention to the details and made sure the maps played well, like the core maps, they’re all playable in a lot of styles of play, which i like, i can play 2 matches on Tehran Highway and have one rushing and playing aggressive the next i can be playing slower and more of a supportive role to my squad. and the maps allow it. if we take Piazza from MW3 it feels like it was thrown together quickly and the map should play quickly, so i feel like i have to be rushing the objectives or the spawns all the time, and if i sit and play a supportive role or try to slow my game down, it feels like the map is trying to pull me towards rushing that flag or into the spawn.

    obviously the games are completely different and i am a fan of both, but sometimes battlefield allows players to do more within their abilities as a player

  • fuck_0ff

    More like xbox is holding back pc and ps3

    • Jaskdavis

      Your FUCKING stupid! I originally bought BF3 for PS3 and it could barely keep up with it! I have it on 360 now and it runs smoother none the less! they are old systems so NO Both consoles ARE holding PC’s Back on Multi platform games in general.

      • Ghost Recon is coming

        you are an idiot…xbox is shit..go play halo

    • Anonymous

      The irony in your name is palpable

  • Sircolby45

    Do you think consoles are holding the PC version of Battlefield 3 back?”

    The answer to that question is a very easy YES!

    •  true i wish (im on PS3) they either gave us bad company 3 or never released on consoles cause it sucks

  • Tludt888

    Personally, I dislike Alan Kertz. On his twitter feed, with seemingly innocuous questions/inquiries, he is frequently condescending, belittling, and sarcastic to some people and it really bugs me.

    People frequently use the “At least he’s talking to us! Be thankful!” or “He’s got a personality” excuse for this. But I’ve said it since I started following his twitter when BF3 was in development, he needs to adopt a more professional attitude toward handling PR.

    He’s all nice and dandy with big media outlets, but irritable with the common player who’s just trying to make a suggestion or find something out. I’d hate to draw a comparison to Harvey Dent’s “Two-face”, but there is at least some difference in how he acts around certain people. Which is completely expected, but in my view, he treats the common player with mild contempt at best.

    Lately, it seems, all he’s been tasked with is making excuses. Whether it’s with pawning PS3’s input lag off on TV response times, “game modes”, etc. Or whether it’s with making these types of “RL comes first” excuses.

    Matros, in contrast, seems to be much more upbeat and professional in his dealings with players on his Twitter feed. Keep in mind, this is purely based on exterior perspective and what is shown to the public. He is at least straightforward, especially around release dates and getting news ASAP to the public.

    We get it, you have families, you have lives. You’re just like us, we understand that you are under a lot of stress. But again, you are professionals and I would have assumed there would be somewhat of a coherent scheduling effort to make sure that developers aren’t overworked.

    Personally, I recall them taking frequent vacations and during the end of the development cycle, which was 5 months ago. I could be wrong and mixing up my time frames, but still, it just seems like it could’ve been better planned for even with the constant stress of making a high-end title like BF3.

    This is an excuse, nothing more, whether it’s a good one or a bad one is up for interpretation. I personally think it’s a fair excuse, but not as fair as Alan Kertz makes it seem.

    And I hate to seem like the “uber-entitled” gamer, but they’ve had enough time to get their act together. Patch is in the final stages, and that’s great news, but I feel like this excuse is either redundant…unnecessary… too late… or a combination of several factors. Not entirely sure, I’m just happy that the patch is inbound and hold no ill-will toward the DICE developers.

    The decisions the developers make however, is what I often disagree with, which is a separate issue entirely.

    • Kulprit008

      The fact that he says this in an interview while most of DICE is on vacation in Dubai right now makes this really funny.

      And yes you are correct, a lot of them took vacations the month leading up the release, I remember thinking this was crazy, but figured they had it covered as they were pro’s.  Turns out I may have been wrong.

      Oh and wasn’t Kertz moved off of the BF3 project a month or two ago?  He posted that he had moved on, yet now seems to be back in the project lead?  Did his replacement go on vacation and he has to stand in for him? 

      What the hell goes on over there?

      • Tludt888

        Wow, really? Hrm… nothing wrong with them taking some time off, I don’t fault them for that. But seems a bit odd to be putting out the message that -now- they’re getting back to work. 

        • Kulprit008

          I mean even if this is the reason for all the delays, who actually tells their customers this?  Foolish.

          Like I said my anger isn’t over them taking time off, I agree with that and commend them for being a good company, it’s the false promises they made even though they knew they wouldn’t be able to deliver.

          It’s not like a week after release all kinds of vaction requests went in and people just bounced out the door.

          • Tludt888

             Not only that, but I mean… how long of a vacation can one take? If it’s a big enough vacation to put a dent in a timespan of FIVE months, so that you can’t do your job… then there’s something wrong there.

  • they must have really not favored the ps3! 

  • They keep all three platforms on the same level in regards to updates alright. No updates. PC has had a few more than console. But it’s been ages since we’ve seen a title update. There have been some sever side tweaks here and then, but there hasn’t been anything.

    PC was regarded out of the gate to be the “Lead Platform”

    Being also that there aren’t any certification processes, or fees to publish a patch..just the routine testing..It would be nice if that statement carried any weight. Unfortunately it doesn’t. And in the biosphere that is gaming, people that play on Xbox, or PS3 aren’t going to know anything about PC getting more updates. Maybe just neckbeards like me who complain on the internet. But we’re the minority. The Xbox, and PS3 are clearly the “lead” platform in this case. We’re waiting on them to have those patches pushed out.

    That patch list, that’s like a mile long, that will more than certainly make more problems than solve them. A couple thousand testers aren’t going to unearth the bugs and conflicts a patch like that will manifest. I don’t understand why the PC platform cannot be patched on the fly, and use telemetry from that going forward on console patches, since they do take considerably longer, and there are fees to pay.

    And it’s a longshot, but June is when ghost recon hits the PC, late April it hits console. There’s another shooter coming out then as well. Those are the earliest shooters set to launch. That’s also the timetable where Red Dead Redemption, and Borderlands took off, from players dying of cod fatigue.

    Christ, I need some sun.

  • Anonymous

    Ghost Recon will be epic. DICE… be prepared.

  • Gameguy21

    As a game designer myself. I can Appreciate that Dice allows family time. Game Development can get very time intensive and really pull at a family. So, that is totally respectable. 

  • I think as a whole BF3 just wasn’t the game everyone thought it would be. The hype around it was just too great, and with the head of EA coming out and basically saying they want to dethrone CoD, BF3 tried to please too many people at once.

    It’s a great game, something that I still play more than MW3, but it’s a PC shooter dumbed down for console. If EA/DICE really want to be top dog, they have to approach their next title as console specific and worry about ports to PC (like CoD).

    I already hear the haters saying “But then they aren’t making a Battlefield game”, and that is correct. If they want to take down CoD, they have to be CoD (but hopefully without the bullshit).

    • Empreb

       You are just stupid….. What needed to be done was BF3 given enough time for the PC version to be complete before going on to consoles. EA rushed them into changing mid development to the consoles and that is why what both sides feel something is missing. Really Bf3 should be coming out this month 2 years after BC2 and would have been a better game because of it.

      • No, you missed the entire point of my comment. PCs are dying, if not already dead. No one gives a shit about PC games. What they needed to do was make the game specifically for consoles, then port it to PC. I’m not going to tell you why, because you clearly aren’t capable of figuring out the simplest details when reading a comment. That would be me calling you stupid.

    • What’s the point of making a game that’s going to be the same as another?  You are way off base.

      • The point is making it better than CoD, and right now it is not. Bf3 does a lot of things right but it’s still just coming a little short.

        I’ve put plenty of hours into both franchises, and I know the whole “but BF3 plays like Battlefield and CoD plays like CoD” argument. That’s all well and good, but the fact is CoD sells wayyyy more than Battlefield. I think Battlefield can eventually eclipse CoD, but it will be at the cost of Battlefields identity as a game.

  • I think as a whole BF3 just wasn’t the game everyone thought it would be. The hype around it was just too great, and with the head of EA coming out and basically saying they want to dethrone CoD, BF3 tried to please too many people at once.

    It’s a great game, something that I still play more than MW3, but it’s a PC shooter dumbed down for console. If EA/DICE really want to be top dog, they have to approach their next title as console specific and worry about ports to PC (like CoD).

    I already hear the haters saying “But then they aren’t making a Battlefield game”, and that is correct. If they want to take down CoD, they have to be CoD (but hopefully without the bullshit).

  • Wait a second… PC is one update ahead of Consoles and has been for a while now. …  (Points at Silencer and AN-94 changes)

    • Tludt888

       I had thought that as well too… No idea what the explanation is.

      There were some changes made to vehicles (flares I think) in that update as well.

      • PHATL2028

        He tweeted that he was moved to a different project and that Gustav Halling and I believe Troedsson had taken over, could be wrong about last name.

    • Kulprit008

      Exactly – just shows that he’s ignorant to this and doesn’t even know the state of his own game.  Truly remarkable.

      As I mentioned before, wasn’t he moved from the project a month or two back? He tweeted he had moved on, now seems back as project lead.  What is going on over there?

    • Guest

      That’s not really favoritism. PC patches can go straight to the player; whereas, Xbox and PS3 patches have to get certification from microsoft and Sony before they reach the gamers.

  • Wait a second… PC is one update ahead of Consoles and has been for a while now. …  (Points at Silencer and AN-94 changes)

  • I don’t think consoles hold PC version back TOO much, but there still is some of that.
    Game’s interface and HUD are in a rather sad state by PC standards (heck, even by console standards it’s still clunky and inefficient). But because re-making a proper interface for PC would involve a lot of major changes, I doubt it’ll happen anytime soon (“never” is a possibility). Thats one thing I really blame consoles for.

    BF3 doesn’t belong on consoles, especially with such harsh limits on number of players. Console BF3 vs. PC BF3 is like Diet Cola vs. Regular Cola. It’s still cola, but the flavor is much weaker. IMHO the only reason to get a console version is if you (or your friends) can’t afford a PC that can run the game.
    That being said though, I don’t blame DICE for developing the game for consoles. Obviously things would go better and faster if DICE focused on just one platform, but from business standpoint it’s just common sense to make the product available for the majority of potential customers. Nowadays a lot of those customers happen to be console players, so developing for just one platform would mean much fewer sales. For gamers it’s also an opportunity to enjoy the game when they can’t or don’t want to play on a different platform. All in all, I think there’s more good than bad in developing BF3 for multiple platforms.


    As for lack of DLCs – to be honest, I think the way things are going now is rather normal. DLCs dont take a few weeks to make, especially when it’s for something as complex as BF3. You have to account for different soldier classes, different guns, gadgets, ground vehicles, aircrafts, gamemodes, and much more in order to make it all balanced and fun. Not to mention bugfixes, balance, gameplay tweaks,  cross-platform development and testing. Plus as mentioned in the post, a lot of devs had to push their vacations because they had to get the game out ASAP, which is understandable.
    Next 3 DLCs should take about 3 months each (unless they push the dates further back, as usual), which in my opinion sounds reasonable, so again, I’m not complaining.

  • Also consoles are holding PC back and not at the same time.  They are holding them back for the reason that the devs want the 3 formats to be the same at any given time and the patching system and capabilities of PC and consoles are very different. … However consoles are owned by the vaster majority.  Without releasing games for consoles these days, the funding and recognition of a game being released, falls dramatically. … Well unless it is something Blizzard makes that is.

  • Ptp18

    Do you think consoles are holding the PC version of Battlefield 3 back?”The answer to that question is a very easy YES! yes, derp… yes

  • Lukas

    Man up Pussies & release a patch to fix the faults you have left in your game stop with the constant feed of B.S excuses!

    There own poll on battlelog proves how bad the situation currently is as it shows that as of yesterday 45% of over 80,000 people are asking for a patch to fix the game more than any of the DLC there working on instead!

    They brought that statistic on themselves by posting it on there own boards!

    • The patch is going through certification, so there should be an update in about two weeks,

      • Lukas

        Thats not good enough it should have been released already! 

        I’m just 1 of the 17,000+ last time I checked several months ago who the only way to get the game to even work since buying it on release day is to manually edit the registry settings for page memory allocation as there’s soo many memory leaks in the game that some people now around 4 months down the line still havnt been able to play a full MP game or complete SP & all DICE & EA have done about it is try to remove all evidence of it, even though there’s a temporary fix that hasnt been made public. I’m still to this day finding more people who have not been able to play it since launch & just left it collecting dust on the shelf until I tell them how to fix it.

    • That one Guy

      Stop being a fucking hypocrite. These people have live to you know. If you can’t respect those people for making you this game for you to enjoy, then you don’t deserve to play there games. you fucking prick 

    • That one Guy

      Stop being a fucking hypocrite. These people have live to you know. If you can’t respect those people for making you this game for you to enjoy, then you don’t deserve to play there games. you fucking prick 

  • Sssss

    One more reason to pirate pc games or just drop them altogether. 
    BF3 sold tons of hardware for the pc manufactures. now its all just wasted potential to most. 

  • Anonymous

    Your concluding question is by far the easiest one I have ever heard. The truth of the matter is that consoles are holding the PC battlefield back… 

    However, what is even worse than that is that EA is holding BATTLEFIELD itself back. DICE is under strict contract with EA, and unfortunately, they were FORCED to put the game out in October to combat COD. In turn, the game came out rushed and unpolished. DICE never got to finish the game. It is missing key features.

    For one, they blatantly lied to our faces when they PROMISED better destruction than Bad Company 2. That is absolute bullshit, as half of the things in BF3 can’t be blown up. A majority of the buildings can’t be leveled and tons of walls are indestructible. If EA had given them time, then I am pretty sure we would have seen better destruction.

    Second, they didn’t include battlerecorder… Honestly, it STILL baffles my mind how they didn’t include it. I mean, why the fuck would they REMOVE a brilliant feature from the game that their SEVEN year old predecessor had the same feature. It was well-received and pioneered a whole new standard in shooters. The only explanation that I can think of is that it is completely EA’s fault for rushing the game out.

    I can think of plenty more things to rant about but whatever, I am too tired to continue. Back to the console holding PCs back thing; Basically, in an attempt to divide up their resources into 2 (or 3) separate teams in order to develop for 3 platforms, they lost ample time and polish for the game. In addition, if a patch is done, PC’s can get it instantly through origin, however, we have to WAIT because consoles need to be certified…

  • Kulprit008

    This is bullshit.  Wah wah wah people put off vacations.  That may be valid, but then one has to ask why did you promise “aggressive DLC support” if you knew ahead of time you would be unable to due to HR reasons.  Total cop-out.  Ridiculous even.

    As for your question, yes they absolutely are holding the PC back.  But without the console version that projects budget wouldn’t be as big cause they would have considerably less revenue, so it cuts both ways.

  • Even if consoles were on par with today’s PC hardware, it doesn’t change the fact that consoles still require a lengthy certification process for DLC and patches.

    Asking the question of consoles holding the PC version back is moot and the obvious answer is no.

  • Tosun01

    Alan Kertz is a moron.. he’s got no clue on how to make the game balanced again. He just ruined it

  • console is holding pc back 🙁

  • Arendsb

    Here’s the evident problem for consoles & battlefield 3.

    1. BF series starts out as PC only.
    2. Dice (or someone) realizes BF could be made on console.

    3. BFBC 1 & 2 are released; follow specific format- and are a success.
    4. BF3 is released near the end of console life, with a new engine.
    5. Bf3 has epic # of bugs.
    6. Paying customers wait for next battlefield game.
    7. New consoles are released

    8. New bfbc 3 comes out, w/ new engine. Bugged like BF3.

    9. Everyone waits for BF4.
    10. BF 4 works great, but is literally a clone of CoD.

    Lol. Sort of like this..

    • Anonymous

      2. Its funny you said this because They made a battlefield game for the PS2. lol I guess people forgot about this. Them making console games isn’t new!

      • Arendsb

        Eh – yah I thought it was for Xbox 1..? but ya- I haven’t a clue about it. I don’t think it was too much of a success. 

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, it probably wasn’t a huge success because it was the first Battlefield on Consoles. 

      • Holy crap.  I have a PS2 and never even though about that.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoy BF3 and I think that when all the updates / DLCs are finished it will be something everyone will enjoy even more.  Sure, there were promises stated that were not delivered, but it doesn’t stop the fans from playing Battlefield.  DICE and EA know of it’s importance and one would assume they are doing all they can.  In the meantime, there are plenty of upcoming FPS / other games to keep us occupied so let’s just wait a little bit more.

  • Consoles may be holding BF3 back in a technical and quality sense, but Xbox and PS3 comprise over 4/5ths of sales, so in that sense consoles are the main reason BF3 could be developed and marketed in the first place.  

  • Consoles may be holding BF3 back in a technical and quality sense, but Xbox and PS3 comprise over 4/5ths of sales, so in that sense consoles are the main reason BF3 could be developed and marketed in the first place.  

  • Lukas

    Problems should be fixed when problems are found!

  • moose

    of course consoles are holding PC games back…  demize even said that himself in previous comments.

    the moment this game was released they should have had 2 teams working on patches… 1 team for consoles and 1 for PC..


    • The UI is terrible as a whole, even on a console. 

    • The UI is terrible as a whole, even on a console. 

  • Avoiding Platform favoritism? Does he know that some of us have a memory? PS3 got Back to Karkand a week early – I personally don’t care – but for him to say they don’t show favoritism is a flat out lie – It was advertised that the PS3 would get exclusive content a week early

    • Hmm.. seems there is missing information here.  Do we know why it is structured that way?  Even if we don’t, a single week is not something to cry about.  A month would be, but certainly not one week.

  • LyingThroughTeeth

    No favortism!!  BULLSHIT!!  I downloaded the PS3 BETA and just about threw-up!!  It was as disappointing as BODYCOUNT!!  It looked like the Frostbite Engine was turned OFF!!  I bet the 360 version was a lot better!!!  ASSES!!

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  • M27 IAR

    These dudes got our patches to Sony and Microsoft and are taking a vacation together in Dubai. I give zero fucks. Good for them, they deserve it. They are hard working people just like me.

    The way I see it, they made sure to finish the patch before they vacation. I hope players see it the same way.

  • Fail

    CQ DLC 1 WEEK BEFORE OTHER PLATFORM aka why dice avoid platform favoritism

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    Console hurts bf3 pc

  • Space Monkey

    All platforms are getting equally ignored by DICE. The PS3 version is *still* plagued by controller input lag issues fives months after launching and we’re expect to believe this is caused by TVs (even though Bad Company 2 and the Battlefield 3 Beta worked just fine).

  • Anonymous

    The first Console Battlefield…. Battlefield Modern Combat 2 

    Old Gamespot review

  • I’m not sure why they’d expect us to buy DLC when they can’t fix the important bugs. If you rush a buggy game to beat CoD to the shelves at least back it up after you release it with quick patches!

  • Outlawz

    I wish I owned a PC so I wouldn’t be “holding you guys back.” 

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  • disgusting

    PC and Console gaming is very different, trying to make them even just dumbs down games…

    • Marshal_of_law

      they have a contract with PS for 1 week earlier dlcs like COD have a contract with XBOX but COD is 1 month earlier

  • Garland1860

    To me it seems that they play favorite towards the pc platform. I understand that battlefield is originally a pc game but dice has claimed to fix many bugs and glitches on xbox 360 while it still seems that nothing is different. Especially since I’ve read the list of glitches they fixed and I play everyday and all is the same. Maybe I misunderstood and those bugs are scheduled to be fixed in the near future and not something that has already taken place. Anyways altogether I think that dice has really done a wonderful job in the FPS world. BF3 really has set the bar and I don’t think that anyone can come close to competing. This new dlc pack will change everything. Dice you are amazing at listening to the players concerns.

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  • Sitnbythepool

    Well…if you can connect to the damn game …. constant problems with connections are an on going issue  … if you release a patch you should test it first… I’d rather have a few bugs than not be able to connect at all  …. bet the console versions arent having the same issues as the PC version ….AND theres way to much CHANCE when it comes to hitting targets …. getting better gear should give incremental changes not the huge changes it does… AND Jets shouldnt be able to turn on a dime and dog fight helicopters … rant rant rant

  • agjm

    I think consoles are holding back the PC version, but I only have the game on console as the game would fry my laptop.  I don’t think that I would feel too bad about the PC having it better, but I do think some others would freak out about it.  Anyways, eh…  I would like to see some color-customization options for friendly and enemy marking colors.  

  • zouz_nabil

    /off topic
    They should have released it later on, when it would have been completely polished and balanced out. Also, at that time of the year, the cod fans start getting bored of their game, and EA would get more sales than what they got weeks before MW3’s release (but results in more cod noobs on our servers).
    /off topic
    I think they should have made the game up to our expectations to keep it fresh (e.g. Features from BF2, mod tools, etc), not sell DLC two months after release. Frankly I stopped playing it two months ago. Heck, it won’t resurface until armored kill comes out. And that I’m still skeptical about after the hype and the lies and the deceit… Greedy EA wants the game to have no replayability so we have to keep DLC and their other games when they come out: I’m seeing a cycle of BF-> MoH->BC-> etc…
    One every year, with DLC in between. Sounds familiar, right? Yep. As a company, they’re no better than the competion.