DICE Considered Delaying PS4/Xbox One Versions of Battlefield 4, “Luckily We’ve Overcome Those Hurdles”
Apparently I’ll still be writing about the Watch Dogs delay quite a bit today, as it was brought up in an interview between DICE Executive Producer Patrick Bach and GI.Biz, with Bach being asked what their sales expectations are for Battelfield 4 with Watch Dogs now pushed to 2014:
Well, we’ve been very aggressive with Battlefield 4 in that we want to be out at launch with the next gen consoles. I think people might not grasp how hard that is, to develop a game at the same time as the hardware. We’ve been struggling quite a lot to keep up with the changes we’ve seen – both sides need to adapt and you end up being late. Everything is very complicated. Battlefield itself is a really complicated game, so it doesn’t make our lives any easier.
So we knew we’d set ourselves a tough challenge, but people on the outside seem to think that because there are going to be launch titles, it’s easy. What are we spending all our time doing? They don’t understand how hard it is! Talking about Watch Dogs, I don’t blame them, there are times when we’ve considered doing the same thing – luckily we’ve overcome those hurdles and thought about what the game actually is on the next gen. We’ve had an excellent team working that out at the same time as the game itself, which is a big struggle. We can see that a lot of the next gen games coming are, arguably, lesser when it comes to the scope of features because of this problem.
It’s no secret how Battlefield and Call of Duty battle it out on the sales charts as the best selling shooters on the market, and when Bach was asked if he thought this year Battlefield could overtake Call of Duty, he said:
Well, I disagree with the core of your question. I don’t think there is a winner and loser in this case. You could argue that there is a winner in terms of revenue or sales, but we’re not in the business of revenue or sales at DICE, we make games. We want people to enjoy our games. If there are plenty of people doing that, then we get the chance to make more. That’s how we see it.In my book being better is not always the same as selling more, but for argument’s sake it’s still about competing for people’s time. I’d rather have people spending time on our game than another game, of course, or even watching TV or using their phone. I agree that in the next generation of consoles there will be a tipping point, that once they start to pick up games for that console they could pick up our game as the primary shooter. That’s the first time we’ve ever had that opportunity, to be on display for a brand new console. I think that’s very exciting: we’ve never been day one on a brand new platform.
On the topic of the recently finished Battlefield 4 beta and how the feedback can help out the final product, Bach noted, “In general the beta is about load-testing, it’s about testing the back end so that you don’t end up in a Rockstar situation [with Grand Theft Auto Online] where the game doesn’t actually work on day one. We’ve been in that situation previously for the same reasons, where you’re expecting one scenario and then it turns out to be completely different – it’s really, really hard to cater for that.”
Do you plan on buying Battlefield 4 over Call of Duty: Ghosts on PS4? Let us know in the comments below.