Battlefield Hardline’s delay until next year shouldn’t come as a surprise given how thin the beta was. It’s a smart call by Visceral. Despite the developer claiming that it’s not simply a Battlefield 4 reskin, that’s exactly what it felt like during the beta. Steve and Matt put some time into it, so check out Two men complain about the Battlefield Hardline beta. They were not impressed.
Visceral will be using the extra time to push the game further based on feedback from the beta. “The more we thought about these ideas, the more we knew we had to get them into the game you will all be playing,” said DICE VP Karl Magnus Troedsson. “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.”
Going from a launch in a couple of months to a postponement until next year does imply some extremely poor planning, but recognising the need for longer development and acting on it rekindles a bit of faith. It’s something I wish DICE had been able to do when developing Battlefield 4.
Three of the things being focused on during the extended development are multiplayer “innovation”, single-player story depth and stability. The Battlefield titles have never been very good at spinning a yarn, so it would certainly be a welcome change to actually experience a narrative that isn’t simply a warm up to the multiplayer.
Given the terrible problems Battlefield 4 had with stability, the last one is possibly the most important. “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,” said Troedsson. “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.”
What do you lovely lot make of the delay?