Battlefield 4: Tweaks, Freebies, and Low Sales
Battlefield 4 has been a bit of a hot-button topic since it was launched last year in a state that resulted in two law suits. The game was full of bugs, it crashed repeatedly for lots of different reasons, and generally made you want to gouge your own eyes out for spending your hard-earned dosh on it.
Battlefield 4 was so bad after release that DICE had to stop working on all the upcoming DLC to make the game playable. It was pretty horrible and not limited to the PC.
Four months down the line and we may now be coming in to the time when it may be a good time to start playing Battlefield again. Updates On The Battlefield Blog this week have been focusing on rebalancing vehicles, weapons, and rewarding players who have stuck around as well as trying to lure back those who (like me) buried their initial disappointment by playing other games and trying to forget they spent all that money.
During the month of February DICE will be awarding players with a Bronze or Silver Battlepack just for logging into the game every day. This comes as part of a "Player Appreciation Month," which will also include free shortcut bundles to unlock all the pistols, double XP weekends, community missions that will award Gold Battlepacks, and DICE developer talks. The Developer Talks will allow the game community to ask DICE about their development of BF4; how censored the questions will be remains to be seen.
One of BF4's remaining large problems is with hit registration. It is the first and only game where I have crept up behind someone and emptied a clip into them from a few feet away without landing a single hit or the appearance of lag. This was also addressed ever so briefly at the start of The Battlefield Blog's Player Appreciation post which said,
"First, we are further improving a number of items commonly referred to as "netcode". This will tighten the overall multiplayer experience, and we will be able to share these items with you in detail soon."
Please, just share that it's fixed and I'll no longer be getting shot before the other player has come around the corner.
There has also been mention of BF4's Xbox only DLC, Second Assault, over on MP1ST. While talking with a member DICE's support staff, the representative let slip that it should be seeing a PC release mid-February. Second Assault brings back the maps Operation Métro, Operation Firestorm, Caspian Border, and Gulf of Oman from Battlefield 3. This brief conversation that is pictured over on MP1ST is still all we have to go on as nothing has been officially announced by DICE or EA.
In further Battlefield/EA news, PCGamesN have reported that EA's sales of BF4 have been lower than expected. When asked if the lower sales could be connected with the fact that the game was released in such a poor state, EA COO Peter Moore replied that the lower sales figures were due to the transition from old consoles to the newer ones. This seems to make sense seeing as EA's BF4 sales on the PC were still whopping, despite all the bad news about the game circulating, with 1.6 million players actually buying the premium membership. That makes a 157% increase in EA's PC game sales over last year. EA's sales of games (not just BF4) on the Xbox 360 and PS3 dropped by 35% in the last quarter of 2013, when compared with 2012.
The article on PCGamesN seemed to want to imply that EA are spinning the reasoning for their losses and lying when they say that the consoles switchover is the real cause for the faltering sales figures. This reasoning doesn't really hold up to scrutiny, and if it does, it's a damning indictment of the PC gamer. If the lacklustre sales are due to the poor quality of EA's releases, then it's only the console gamers who have done anything about it and voted with their wallets, because they're the only market that saw a decline.
So the moral of the story? PC gamers will eat any old muck. Unless, of course, EA are telling the truth. Which they probably are.