I am a former EA and Activision employee wanting to shed some light on why things with Battlefield V are like they are and what you may (not) expect in the future. My experience is almost 1 year with Activision's QA team and 3 years with Community and QA at EA. I will use some comparisons with other EA IPs here just to show you how BFV stands in relation to the other games under EA umbrella but will refrain from posting any screenshots and other internal information. Even though I could do it now, I do respect these employers and my colleagues still working there. Those companies care about the employees, but do they care about the players? Let's find out.
WILL BFV BE EVER A GOOD, POLISHED PRODUCT?
TL;DR: Unlikely, because it was undermined and nuked at the very beginning and the number of active players is very low now.
The guy who was responsible for the Seven Army trailer for BF1 left and was replaced with some woke lead who wanted to please everyone but eventually pleased very few and totally ruined
. That's one of those crucial moments a product is destined to sell or not to sell. That's how you make a
. If there is no dum dum, dum dum dum that's not Battlefield.
Some time later we had a veteran leaving the studio, Patrick Soderlund who was caught throwing some uneducated accusations at the playerbase and contradicting the facts about women's presence during the WW2. The last thing you need when your ship is on fire is to pour some more oil to it. Well, maybe you don't care much when you leave a company with a multi-million dollars package and want to set up a new studio which he eventually did.
Firestorm was implemented as a part of the game you had to pay for as opposed to today's COD's Warzone that you can join without owning the MW. Quickly hyped, quickly went down into oblivion.
TTK 5.2 introduced to appeal to Christmas players, but did put off a large amount of dedicated ones. Someone at the financial/marketing department did some maths and it turned out perfect – that person has never ever played any games.
Some other facts about the state of the game right now:
Removed Domination, my personal favourite mode, as it was too close between TDM and Conquest and was spreading the already dwindling number of players into 3 instead of 2 modes. Even then the number of players was not enough to populate the servers on Conquest to offer variety of maps so Domination was cancelled as the lesser evil move.
Balancing will never be RE-introduced (even though it was there in previous installments) as there are too few players to make it work. Servers at midnight GMT are almost empty, the script just throws you to the losing team.
Cheaters… That's a tough one. Every 5 – 10 matches I come across a '50-0 warrior' but I stopped accusing them recently as they often show up as wannabe game changers with good intentions (often veteran Reddit members) wanting DICE to do something about it and they even talk about it in the game's chat window. Banning a cheater or any other player who is breaching Terms of Service is just 2 clicks. I don't think that will happen though because EA wants to have the players count good looking during the next board meeting,
Andy) wants investors pleased and who are you again? Players? Deal with cheaters then!
HOW IT IS WITH OTHER EA GAMES?
The main engine of that corporation. This playerbase will swallow everything like addicted pelicans. Take away Fifa from EA and they will be cooked. FIFA to EA is like what COD is to Activision. Maybe gullible Sims parents would have to pay for the difference to make up for Fifa loss but that's EA's main source of income. Not in terms of money from retail but from Fifa Points/Packs they earn – 700M dollars from Fifa 19 in the first 2 months after release. There are also those who play that game on mobile, usually called "wildlife" internally, but hush, you never heard it. Kids, don't do Fifa Packs!
I still remember the cocky guy who introduced us to the new IP called project Dylan back then. Boasting about how Anthem is going to be the Skyrim-like futuristic game with Diablo progression system in mech suits. I was cautiously sold after that secret presentation back in 2017. It was never anything like that. Just a mere copy of Destiny, done really badly. 2 weeks after the release date Anthem was performing worse than NHL or even Sims 3 (yes, not Sims 4) online when it comes to players count.
Again. It hurt to see all those disappointed hardcore players used to the old Bioware's standards. Bioware is not the same company anymore. Wouldn't put much trust into DA4 at this point either. I can even remember those guys from the Wizards of the Coast cooperation but now my face looks tired when looking at what is happening there in that studio.
That could have been a game changer for many other titles but eventually it wasn't. The disastrous launch, Dice dev attending an interview with a mask on on Youtube could prepare you for that. What I find very positive about SWBF2 launch is that we, players, do have an impact on the games that are being published. Star Wars fans have something that other communities may lack when it comes to defending their hobby/obsession. They don't accept shitty solutions. Soon after the SWBF2 shit hit the fan and players rebelled, EA executives were alarmed and yes, The Emperor Palpatine himself was involved too. At that point Disney was ready to hand the franchise over to some other company (looking at you Ubisoft) and EA was shitting huge bricks. The result? The game's microtransaction mechanics were adjusted in 2 phases to allow for more reasonable progression. Can be done? Of course it can, you just need to voice it and act accordingly.
BTW the permanently broken FIFA catalogue that could have never been fixed, was miraculously resurrected during the SWBF2 shitstorm, hallelujah! The only time to my knowledge when Fifa players benefited anything from Palpatine and SW playerbase. Also that was the time when the execs realised that not all players express their opinions on official forums but also on Reddit and elsewhere. Special forces were called in then to put out the fire and they populated various reddit forums, in this case BFV reddit with Adam Freeman aka /partwelsh. This is a nice try at company's image retouch and pairing him with jackfrags is intended to become a "PR good pals" with community. Would be cool if Adam didn't suck at Hunt Showdown so much, but that's another story.
APEX LEGENDS AND JEDI FALLEN ORDER
Respawn Entertainment in my opinon is the true gem in EA's rusty crown and may not be killed any time soon. They managed to get out of Activision and yet retained Activision's work and quality ethics. Just like Bungee, but Bungee barricaded themselves legally from Activision beforehand. Maybe that's why EA as the publisher willingly fed Respawn for so many years, for free, after sandwiching otherwise perfect Titanfall 2 release date between BF1 and COD:IW. Both games Respawn released under EA just work flawlessly and even though I am not a Battle Royale or SW fan, they are just examples of how it can be done.
TO SUM UP!
BF players are by far most lovable and wittiest community ever, they are smart, memeful if that's even a word, resourceful and can fix stuff before even reaching out for community or QA. They are very often real veterans trying to relive the experience or share it with their grand kids. At the same time I feel there's very little momentum to make the whole community's voice be heard like SW fans did with Battlefront 2. At this stage I can only recommend practices that will speak to the publisher's accounts department, you always vote with your wallet after all: think before you buy cosmetic stuff, leave unbalanced servers, report cheaters and leave servers infested with them. In this slow corporate machine your voice will eventually be heard and even if this iteration of BF is done and dusted the next ones can be better!
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