Another huge 2014 game, another delay into 2015. This week's surprising victim is Battlefield Hardline, EA's latest in its popular shooting franchise.
It would seem the company has at least learned from the last time it launched a Battlefield game that releasing an unfinished and broken product into the public doesn't exactly sit well with your audience and your overworked PR teams. DICE Vice President Karl Magnus Troedsson has stated EA's reasoning though is that development studio Visceral Games wants to take an extra few months to make a better game.
"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."
Much of the atmosphere around Battlefield Hardline's beta paints it as a solid game, but one hardly worthy of a full retail price tag. Players have pointed out that it feels like a "cops and robbers" re-skinning of Battlefield 4 without changing much else.
With the extra time, I believe a talented studio like Visceral, famous for the Dead Space games, would be able to address those issues and make something special out of what we've seen so far.
Troedsson didn't sweep everyone's suspicions under the rug either. He fully admits that worry over the community issues and bugs that crippled Battlefield 4 last year made a part in this decision as well.
"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."
At least we're learning, am I right? It's usually best to fix launch issues before the launch happens, not after.
Battlefield Hardline will be released in 2015 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC in 2015.