I don’t know how you quantify damage to a brand. Brands don’t have hitboxes, and their screens don’t turn burgundy under fire. But chief EA money man Blake Jorgensen has run the numbers on Battlefield, and confirmed that it’s emerged miraculously unscathed from beneath the toppled-skyscraper rubble of post-release bugs.
“Clearly we're very focused on protecting that brand,” Jorgensen told attendees at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco last week - adding that Battlefield 4 has sold well and continues to. “We haven't seen any damage.”
“We’ve tried to provide extra content to the consumers to make sure they keep coming back and playing the game and we're finding that it’s working very well,” said Jorgensen. “I don’t see that there's a damage issue. I think for us it’s making sure that we're providing great gameplay for the consumer and we'll continue to do that.”
That ‘extra content’ doesn’t just mean DLC, which DICE briefly suspended development for before Christmas in favour of bugfixing. Jorgensen told his audience that players had been “very responsive” to the upsurge in patches from DICE in recent months. Regular updates and map injections have apparently kept levels of that most nebulous statistic, player engagement, fairly solid.
If anything, said Jorgensen, Battlefield 4’s biggest challenge has been its “complexity”. Support for 64 players and tablet shenanigans, as well as new development distractions courtesy of the new consoles, have kept DICE very busy.
Unsurprisingly, Jorgensen indicated that Battlefield would remain a “key” series for EA - and said it would be “critical” in their next fiscal year, which starts in April. Soon.
Dead Space originators and DICE stablemates Visceral Games are rumoured to be working on a cop-themed Battlefield for release this year. Is that something you’d be interested in, given that Payday 2 exists?