I have been banging on the drum about EA’s incompetency of recent times and while it seems popular to hate on EA, they certainly do not help themselves. Previously I had reported EA’s belief that the Battlefield 4 launch had not damaged the franchise and that Grand Theft Auto V had drained the money out of the last-generation market.
Today’s news comes directly from EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson on the company’s Twitter page in answer to EA’s recent gaming problems most noticeably Battlefield 4 and Sim City: “Building games is very hard…when you push innovation, you miss other things. We’ve changed our process.” Now I am unsure whether this bullishness has come on due to a rather seamless Titanfall launch or it’s just EA being EA, but the internet is already awash with discontent over the tweet; it simply goes to underline how these companies are so out of touch with the fanbase.
I’ve had to use this twice in 2 days. Innovation in BF4 and Sim City…ok then.
So what innovation did EA try to push? I’ll begin with the Sim City fiasco, a single-player game that was released with the restriction that it was only playable if the player connected to EA’s servers. As we know, EA and servers are not exactly things that match up very well. Sim City servers struggled in the launch period with gamers outraged over the DRM in place. Pleas to EA to allow offline play was rejected on the basis that the game was built around DRM and that it would not be readily possible. It was later shown by gamers that the game had a work-around that enabled offline play and EA was left looking extremely foolish after their insistence that it wasn’t easy. Fast forward until now and EA are finally releasing a patch that will enable offline mode, 10 months after release. Innovation? I think gaming went back to the Stone Age with Sim City.
So what innovation does Battlefield 4 bring? Levolution? 64 players on console? In regards to player numbers, I refer to a last-generation title that was able to accommodate 256 players on maps comparable to the scale between Battlefield 4 maps and player count. So we are left with Levolution. From my time spent with Battlefield 4 and keeping in mind I have not played Second Assault or Naval Strike yet; I personally did not feel that Levolution changes how a map is played out expect for Flood Zone. Levolution generally only affects a specific capture point and not much else. Innovation in Battlefield 4 is quite non-existent and EA’s passing of the buck is quite clear for all to see.
The Skyscraper collapse in Siege of Shanghai is visually impressive but it actually removes the challenging vertical element of the capture point.