EA Responds to Battlefield 3 Launch Issues, Considers Player Compensation
By Lawrence Sonntag
If you’re one of the many players that have thrown your headset in frustration that Battlefield 3 absolutely refuses to put your party into a squad or keeps dropping you from matches, EA Games’ Executive Vice President Patrick Soderlund feels your pain.
“We understand how frustrating it is not to be able to play the game without interruption,” Soderlund said to Machinima.
Because of that, EA is considering some sort of gift to serve as apology for the game’s jittery performance.
“We are always looking at ways to generate customer satisfaction and we’re definitely considering a gift to thank players for their patience and dedication, but our #1 road to their happiness is to get everyone playing smoothly and ensure 100% stability,” Soderlund said. “We are gamers too and we understand that no gift will match the experience of getting in the game and playing with friends.”
Soderlund admits that the launch-day jitters for Battlefield 3 have been a bit rough, but it’s gotten better since, and they’re working hard to make it perfect for everyone, all the time.
“Though the first day of launch was somewhat volatile, we are happy to report that server support stabilized to roughly 98.9% through our launch weekend and has not dropped since. That said, we will not rest until we’re at 100% . We are committed to supporting the game as a software service, and listening to consumer feedback every day,” Soderlund said. “We are making daily updates and improvements to ensure an optimal online experience for all. Regardless of the cause or platform, our team at DICE and our Online teams are working together, standing by to identify the issues and addressing them as they arise. Every big multiplayer game experiences some instability at launch. The good news is, we’re listening, responding and improving the service every day.”
Unfortunately there’s no easy fix to the infrastructure problems experienced by the game. Personally, I’ve heard many gamers wonder why EA can’t just go out and buy more servers, or why they didn’t have a larger infrastructure ready to go on day one. Soderlund explains that there’s no silver bullet for those problems.
“There are a number of different factors impacting server connectivity. It isn’t just about buying more servers. Capacity isn’t the only factor. Server architecture, data centers, data transfer — it all makes for an extraordinarily complex system that becomes increasingly intricate as we grow from supporting 1M players to 3M players to 5M players and beyond. That is why we continue to invest in servers, infrastructure and people to support the game,” Soderlund said. “We are dedicated to constantly improving connectivity.”
Soderlund also addressed the swirling scorn that constantly surrounds EA’s fledgling Origin service. Just yesterday, in fact, a hack surfaced that removed Origin’s necessity in playing Battlefield 3.
“There is a lot of misinformation out there about Origin. Origin is not spyware, and does not use or install spyware on user’s machines. Consumer privacy is very important to DICE and EA, and we take every precaution to protect personal and anonymous user data. The policies supporting Origin are industry standard privacy protocols employed by many other popular web services, and there is absolutely nothing malicious in the software that should create concerns about privacy,” Soderlund said. “As players become increasingly familiar with the service and its benefits when playing games like Battlefield 3, we believe that Origin will be embraced and appreciated more and more by gamers worldwide.”
Ultimately Soderlund wants Battlefield 3 players to know that both EA and DICE are grateful for their support, and that they’re pledging lasting support for this game. This will come not only in terms of infrastructure and a better play experience, but new game content like the Back to Karkand DLC pack due out in December.
“In two words: thank you,” Soderlund said. “We are overwhelmed by the positive response we’ve received from gamers around the world. The DICE team has lived and breathed Battlefield 3 for the last few years and it’s an exciting time for us to finally share something we are so passionate about with millions of gamers. The best reward for us is the amazing feedback we’ve seen from our fans. They are helping us make the game better every single day.”
If you’re itching to leave feedback of your own, Soderlund provides a few tips for interacting with the team.
“There are a number of ways to reach us. They can submit questions via http://www.battlefield.com
. They can also follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/battlefield
for the latest news,” Soderlund said. “Again, thank you for all your support. I hope to see you on the Battlefield.”