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Joe, in regards to your Battlefield 4 Angry Rant

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Joe, in regards to your Battlefield 4 Angry Rant

Postby Delicieuxz on Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:42 pm

I appreciate and agree with your anger on this subject. However, I fully disagree with your prognosis that DICE is not responsible, while EA is. I also think that this is one of the smallest problems with company DICE.

I left this comment on your video, where I assume it would never be seen:

"Joe, every DICE release has been this buggy, sometimes much worse. Every. Single. One. Actually, I think 1942 wasn't that bad. DICE perhaps gives the buggiest releases in the entire games industry. They have low standards of quality across the board. That's DICE, that's always been DICE, I think that always will be DICE. That [error message] appeared multiple times a day with Battlefield 3 on PC. Please read this:

Now this is a copy and paste of the thread that is contained within the above link:


A retrospective on DICE and their user relations

I was going to add this as a short couple of paragraphs in a reaction to Battlefield 4 (which is solidly positive), but this felt out of place, and it also seemed to be worth completely fleshing out, for the interests of the current audience, and also for respect of the long-time PC Battlefield audience - which I don't think there are much of around here anymore. If there are, would be nice to know.

The outlook on this isn't really favourable, but it is like it is. I really like and approve of the steps taken in Battlefield 4, and will post those thoughts later.

Thinking about all the terrible and anti-user decisions that DICE has made in their history, I actually found myself (absent-mindedly) thinking, literally, "It's as if DICE are the EA of developers", and then, of course, my next thought was, "Oh, right, they're owned by EA". I'm not sure if their poor service and consideration for their fans and users is coincidence, or if the one is directly caused by the other. Both consider user expectation and quality of product to be of little importance, and will only put effort into either after proving for themselves that doing so is where all the money is. Neither are self-motivated and simply want to do a good job.

DICE grossly under-valued their company shortly before Battlefield 2's release, selling themselves to EA for a truly absurd $5 million. They were unfamiliar with money and got way too excited by an offer they ought to have scoffed at - and they seemingly put no effort into evaluating their potential or estimated value growth that would be from the release of Battlefield 2, and didn't factor it in to the purchase price at all. If EA convinced them otherwise, EA was, as EA was and still is completely known for, intentionally misleading and conniving in their offer - just like when they laughably offered Valve $1 billion for their entire company and services in 2012, although that wasn't nearly as much of an extreme under-valuing as giving DICE $5 million shortly before the release of Battlefield 2 was. DICE, you got straight up through-and-through tricked and swindled.

Since then, it seems as though DICE have somewhat been aware of their lost great chance, and have desperately chased money in vain, making all sorts of bad decisions along the way. Conversely, it may not be that they acted out of a desperation to make up for what they lost in that awful deal - it may instead simply be that the mentality, out of which, they made that awful deal where they were willing to sell-out their company for a pittance of cash, is the same mentality that causes them to sell-out their product quality and user experience for what they perceive to be money making moves, but which truly have only cost them more and more profit - and their choice to largely abandon Battlefield 3 principales and return to a cross of Bf2 / BC2 principales shows that they are now somewhat aware that what they thought was doing them a monetary favour (and it was only for the money) actually made people less interested and less inclined to engage with their products, resulting in actually less money for them.

They sold to EA when at first chance for a terrible offer. They up and left PC gaming entirely when they perceived that consoles were where it was at - no respect or thanks or loyalty to the players, audience, and consumers that made them a successful studio. They completely changed the style of their product, under the view that lowest-common-denominator gameplay would help them cash-in. They returned to PC with a consoles game, only after other developers had done the hard work to support the PC games industry and prove that it was stable and alive. DICE didn't do anything to assist that industry, themselves. They left it without second thought, and they returned to it after others had stuck through it and proved that it was, in fact viable. Then DICE cashed in on the goodwill and reputation of PC Battlefield history with Battlefield 3, except that the product completely spat on everything which Battlefield stood for, and the marketing for the release was nothing but lies, lies, lies, lies, and lies. project decision that they'd done was solely out of a want for cash, but their rejection of the concepts of making good and respectable games made them completely lack the judgment that would have enabled them to make the decisions that would have brought them the most money.

Now, with Battlefield 4, they've let go of Battlefield 3, and, as stated, returned to a mix between Battlefield 2 and Bad Company 2. Obviously, they would not have done this if Battlefield 3 had turned out to be a success. It made good money, but it obviously, by consumer backlash, made vastly less than they otherwise would have if it had been a Battlefield 2 sequel. In fact, the sales for Battlefield 3 were based upon the reputation and massive hype that built from people expecting a Battlefield 2 experience. All those pre-orders and early release sales, which EA claims were a great, great many (I don't buy their figure at all, I think there's lots of evidence that EA lied about their projections and initial sales performance), were all based on the reputation of Battlefield 2. Nobody had yet played Battlefield 3, and so nobody was buying it for what Battlefield 3 turned out to be - they were buying it for what PC Battlefield used to be. DICE exploited and cashed in on the goodwill on consumers, but raped and kicked them in return for their loyalty.

The people here who weren't around for the Battlefield 3 buildup and release won't be able to understand how extreme the negative sentiment towards DICE was, but literally every single thread on every single page of their forums was filled with anger, disgust, and accusations. It wasn't torches and pitchforks, it was uzzis and flamethrowers, tanks and attack jets. To get a handle on things, EA and DICE completely closed, and not just closed, but DELETED their entire forums, so that no post history could be accessed, viewed, referenced, or retrieved. Yes, they had to flush and erase and completely reject their own entire then-community in order to protect the marketability of Battlefield 3 and to save company face within the gaming community. Even after that, I think that Battlefield 3 was never really considered respectable by a majority, even on Battlelog. My suspicion is that much of the early Battlefield 3 audience dumped DICE and the series. The old stalwarts, the passionate ones, are gone. Instead of tactics, planning, theory and other deep discussions, Battlelog is of the level of "What did you have for breakfast? OMG, me too!" (hyperbole). Rich and deep was replaced with vapid and superficial, just as it was within Battlefield itself, with Battlefield 3.

I think and conclude that DICE is a poorly guided company, whose execs have all the wrong interests and values in mind (just like EA), and that the result has been that neither their users', nor their own wants have been achieved. They've always wanted money, but the path they've taken has deprived them of how much they could and would have otherwise received, every step of the way. They still have lots, but it's not comparable, and they've burned their product, their reputation, and user goodwill, to get there. And its taken them much, much longer to get there. I would say that DICE execs have fully earned being dumped from the company by EA (after all, regardless of how they feel, it's no longer their company, it's EA's, and they're just employees), but then EA would be making decisions to replace them, and more decisions regarding the products, and the results of that would not be better. I think that Patrick in particular shows poor judgment and a lack of integrity and competence regarding Battlefield products. His public comments go back and forth on subjects, showing that he has no real stance or belief of what's important for Battlefield, and he basically argues for Battlefield like a used-car salesman.

Battlefield 4 is a good and semi-solid product. However, just as Battlefield 4 is made good precisely because DICE abandoned their previous game values and returned to older game values, it will likewise be made even better, and also very great by more thoroughly abandoning Battlefield 3 values and and getting closer to their old design values.



For perspective, long and thought out posts like this (although regarding the games and not DICE) were normal and everyday on the forums that DICE wiped from the internet, and they were great reads and the replies were likewise well thought out. DICE flushed one of the most mature, thoughtful, fiercely loyal, and perceptive audiences (and by indescribably far the most that I've encountered in gaming, ever) from the internet, because they had to hide all the wrong that they did with Battlefield 3. They actually cut loose their very own fanbase on account of the fanbase's loyalty and passion potential interference with marketing for an fault-worthy product. That, for me, sums up DICE's character and company history - destroy a world of good to chase after a pittance.
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