Battlefield 5

Operation Blueballs (or Why Operation Health Isn’t Coming)

Battlefield 7 - Operation Blueballs (or Why Operation Health Isn't Coming)

There has been a lot of discussion about how DICE could improve Battlefield with a dedicated and serious effort focusing on polish and bug fixes, but is it realistic? The answer is no, there will be no real effort to improve performance. But the million dollar question is why does it have to be this way?

The promise of a game as service, something DICE has no real history with, is simply marketing and wishful thinking, hundreds of twitter posts, reddit reassurances, and monthly surveys. But DICE would rather have the appearance of building on feedback and correcting its mistakes than actually delivering on them. Their results speak for themselves: there is no anticheat, no server balance, no dedicated servers–battlelog, CTE, even the companion app have all been left behind to cut costs, and maximise profit. After all, support for BF5 largely came to an end December 31, 2018 and it is unlikely that BF5 will ever become as stable, polished and varied as BF4. Put another way, BF5 has been in a permanent state of Operation Health since its November release and it has had no positive effect on performance, producing only new and frustrating bugs.

Whether its "Operation Health," bogus roadmaps with missed launches, or missing features (vehicle customization, dedis), we need to understand that these are not problems to be fixed, they are symptoms of disorganization and incompetence by DICE's producers. So long as the inability to learn from their mistakes persist so will invisible soldiers, assignment tracking (even in single player!) and the now ubiquitous stuttering and crashing. If DICE was so confident in their ability to deliver a AAA title, why would they outsource Firestorm to another studio? Why would it borrow so many assets and mechanics from BF1? Dice knew from the very beginning of BF5's development life that it had major defects, they just hoped you wouldn't notice. Its a safe bet to wager that the worst is yet to come: more delays, bigger bugs, and bigger promises to do better next time.

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But what if I buy skins and boins, will that contribute to improving BF5?

Nothing but internal change at the level of producers and designers will make a difference, no amount of enthusiasm for or purchases of boins will have any effect on BF5's stability or quality. But buyer beware. Buying boins sends the message that, one, the current scheme works and is consumer friendly and, two, pays for DICE's development of BF2020 while completely neglecting BF5. Don't reward incompetence.

Think of it from DICE's perspective, if BF5 undersold and was a year or more behind schedule, are you going to spend two more years trying to deliver the game you should have finished for November 2018 in 2019 and 2020? Or will you treat it as a sunk cost, cut your losses and start work on BF2020? It costs DICE nothing to make promises it can't keep on Reddit and Twitter, indeed, DICE is not going to abruptly change gears to "bug fix" because it can't, to make profit with a publisher as large as EA, it must have something new every 2 years and the next battlefield is less than 15 months away. Indeed, if you think BF5 is mediocre on it's own, compared to APEX, PUBG and Fortnite, it's a complete sideshow and that has to worry DICE and EA even more. If this is the future of Battlefield 5, then the future of the franchise and DICE's monopoly over it have already been decided.

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