During a recent EA Q1 FY2015 earnings call, EA Studios EVP Patrick Söderland shed a little more light on some of the feedback developer Visceral Games gathered from June’s Battlefield Hardline beta that directly influenced the company’s decision to push back the game’s launch to next year.
DICE VP and GM Karl Magnus Troedsson made the announcement earlier today, stating that Battlefield Hardline will launch in early 2015 in order to allow the development team more time to “push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better.” Troedsson added that the studio aims to add “new feature ideas direct from the community that will evolve the cops and criminals fantasy into a truly unique Battlefield Multiplayer experience.”
According to Söderland, the noteworthy feedback coming in during the Beta what what led to its one week extension, which Visceral hoped would allow even more ideas and criticisms to trickle through.
“We allowed people to play for a little bit longer, maybe, than we planned, because we found a lot of feedback from players in there, providing us valid information and feedback around features of the game and how the game felt, etc,” Söderland explained during the call. “And things like the cops and robbers fiction maybe wasn’t shining through properly, you know? Is it playing like a military game, but it should be a cops and robbers game?”
“We saw ideas around asymmetric gameplay, a bunch of really strong, good, well-thought ideas that we decided to listen to,” he added. “And having a long discussion with the team, and looking at where we were, we felt like the best thing for us was to give the development team a little bit of extra time and get the game to where we think it needs to be in order to be successful.”
To us, it sounds like the Visceral concluded that their Cops and Criminals-themed shooter wasn’t quite Cops and Criminal enough to be as convincing as they had originally hoped. That falls in line with some of the majority of the Battlefield community’s criticisms that Visceral’s Battlefield Hardline felt too similar to DICE’s Battlefield 4, which launched last year.
Thus far, reaction to the delay has been slightly mixed, though we’re noticing more positive responses than negative ones. Frankly, if the delay leads to a better Battlefield experience overall next year, we’re all for it.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Did EA and Visceral make the right decision?