No one would blame you for having doubts that publisher Electronic Arts’ next Battlefield game will launch without issues. The last entry in the series, Battlefield 4, is notorious for its connection problems and other hiccups. But developer Visceral Games says you don’t have to worry about Battlefield: Hardline.
EA plans to release the next Battlefield game March 31, but many series fans are wary of purchasing the cops-and-robbers shooter on launch day. In an interview with the website Game Revolution, Hardline creative director Ian Milham acknowledged the franchise’s previous issues, and flat-out declared that his game wouldn’t suffer from the same missteps.
Battlefield is one of EA’s most important franchises. Battlefield 4 was the fourth best-selling game of 2013, and it has continued to sell well throughout this year despite its widely reported problems. The series could go on to perform well for years into the future, but if Hardline releases with bugs and Internet issues, the brand may cement its reputation for launching as a broken product.
“What you’re basically asking is, ‘Is your game going to work?’ and the answer is yes — it’s gonna work,” said Milham. “We actually started on this more than a year before Battlefield 4 came out, and we’ve been working with the DICE guys for a long time.”
That last part may not inspired confidence in Battlefield 4 players. While DICE has established itself as technical masters when it comes to visuals, many players blame the studio for all of Battlefield 4’s online multiplayer problems.
But Milham says that Battlefield 4 is “in pretty great shape now,” and Visceral has actually helped get the game working. The studio claims it has taken what it has learned from fixing up that game and applying it to Hardline.
Additionally, Visceral is planning on running a number of beta tests to eliminate any problems prior to release.
“We already had one very successful beta,” said Milham. “We’re going to have another beta on every platform that we ship [the game] on,” said Milham. “We take shipping a working game pretty seriously. So, yes, the game will work.”
Electronic Arts’ issues with online games isn’t limited to Battlefield. The company has had big releases like last year’s SimCity stumble at its launch with servers that players weren’t able to access for weeks. That urban-planning simulator required an online connection even though it wasn’t integral to the gameplay, so players couldn’t even play it while the servers were down.