“That’s Cool” If You Don’t Think Hardline is a True Battlefield Game, Says Visceral GM

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Many of you have even said it right here in the comment sections of MP1st: “Hardline isn’t a true Battlefield game.”

Whatever your verdict on the studio’s cops vs. criminals spin-off shooter is, Visceral Games general manager Steve Papoutsis is cool with it, as long as you’ve made up your mind after having played it.

“There are a lot of people questioning whether or not Hardline is a true Battlefield game,” Papoutsis admitted in a video interview with Battlefield YouTube commentators SgtRedPhoenix, Chaboyy, Azzy, and TheTwoScotsmen.

“I could say, ‘Of course it is!’ But, you know what? It doesn’t matter what I say. I think, ultimately, what matters is that people play it,” he continued. “So, days like today [at Gamescom 2014], where we can have gamers actually play it and make up their own mind, that’s what’s most important — to let players decide for themselves.

“When we started working on this game, we had a high degree of respect and reverence for Battlefield. Having played it since the very first Battlefield game, I know how fun it is and I know how much it means to the community, and the last thing I’d ever want to do is be involved in a game that pretended to be Battlefield. So, we’re working really hard to maintain that competitive balance, that great rock-paper-scissors gameplay, that teamwork, that strategy — we’re trying to make sure all that stuff’s in Hardline.”

Battlefield Hardline, officially announced back at E3 2014, certainly takes the series into unexplored territory, moving it away from the tried-and-true military setting its audience has grown accustomed to. It appears that Visceral knew not everyone would welcome the new direction with open arms, and so the studio launched a multiplayer beta the moment the game was unveiled in hopes that some hands-on time with the new concept would do most of the selling.

“We took our first step at E3 when we announced the game, and we didn’t just announce the game and then have everybody go, ‘Ah, pshhh. Bullox! This is crap! Nah, that’s not Battlefield,’ Papoutsis explained. “No. What we did was we announced the game and then we immediately put a beta up live.”

“The reason why did that was so that people could actually play it and make their own decision about it. So, not only was that good for letting people get a chance to play it, but it was good for us ’cause we got to get feedback from people like you guys about maybe what was good, maybe what was bad, maybe what sucked, and we could actually take the time to improve the game through that feedback.”

Feedback thus far has given the studio a lot to work with, which ultimately led to the decision to delay the shooter to early next year. A number of tweaks and improvements have already been made since the first beta came to a close, including changes that would better serve the cops and criminals fantasy.

“So, I’ll throw it back to everybody,” Papoutsis said. “If you don’t think the game is a Battlefield game and you’ve played it, that’s cool. That’s your decision. But, from my perspective, send us some feedback that maybe we can use to make it meet your expectations more because we want to make a great game. But, at the end of the day, we’re excited and passionate about making a Battlefield game and working with [community members] to really listen to the community and try to make sure it lives up to the standards that the fans have of the series.”

Battlefield Hardline will return with a second multiplayer beta on PC, PS4, and Xbox One this January, reportedly, before officially launching some time in February, 2015.

What’s your take on the temporary new direction Battlefield is headed in with Visceral’s release? If you missed it, you can catch our thoughts in our official Battlefield Hardline multiplayer preview.