At EA's winter showcase event last week DICE's Patrick Liu took centre stage to reveal the first batch of downloadable content for the two-million-selling shooter Medal of Honor.
Medal of Honor's downloadable content was announced after an interesting week for the Afghanistan FPS. First, EA executive Patrick Soderlund told Eurogamer that the Danger Close and DICE-developed title "didn't meet quality expectations". Then, in an investor call EA revealed a sequel is planned after sales success.
Now, with the dust settled on Medal of Honor's high-profile launch, we sit down with veteran DICE producer Liu to get some detail on the development of one of the most controversial games ever made.
Eurogamer: Take us through the recently released Medal of Honor downloadable content.
Patrick Liu: The stuff we've shown today is Clean Sweep, which is an elimination game mode. Once you die you don't respawn until the next round starts. It's still team based: there are two teams against each other. The first team to eliminate the other one wins the game. There's also a time limit, so you can't just hang around and camp. We have other mechanics in there to prevent camping, to flush out the campers, because otherwise it might happen.
Eurogamer: Is camping a big problem in Medal of Honor's multiplayer?
Patrick Liu: We have seen a lot of sniping on certain maps, the more open ones. We have released a patch on PC tweaking the spawn points on the maps and also how the sniping behaves. That helps a lot with how they play.
Clean Sweep we're releasing for free. Another one is Hot Zone, which is a king of the hill type game mode. Quite tight maps, one single objective: you just have to dominate it. Everyone runs towards each other and kills each other - very simple and very fun.
Both Clean Sweep and War Zone are out now for all three platforms.
Eurogamer: Clean Sweep is free and Hot Zone is paid for. Do you intend to keep providing free content as well as premium? What are your plans for Medal of Honor DLC?
Patrick Liu: We haven't made up those plans, to be honest. We will see how it turns out. We will definitely patch the game even further. We've already seen some feedback on the PC patch that was just released, and it's very positive. We're very happy about that – how the weapons behave and so on.
As player behaviour changes we'll patch the game accordingly. As for new content, there's nothing I can say right now.
Eurogamer: The patches have been for the PC version only. Do you plan to release patches for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions?
Patrick Liu: Yeah. We're definitely looking into that right now. Obviously it's easier to patch the PC game as opposed to a console game. We can patch and service the PC game more.
Eurogamer: Is that because of certification issues with Sony and Microsoft?
Patrick Liu: Yeah, exactly.
Eurogamer: What areas will you address with the PS3 and Xbox 360 patches?
Patrick Liu: They're quite similar to the PC version, actually, with some differences. For example, how the weapons behave. The recoil on PC was quite terrible, to be honest. So we fixed that.
It hasn't been as much of a problem on console, but the spawn points with the spawn camping is something we still have to fix. So that's something we're looking into. And just general bugs.
The thing is it's very hard to anticipate how reality behaves once the game is out in the wild. We have our testing, we behave in a certain way and then once it's out everyone else plays differently.
We anticipate the need to patch and tweak the game after launch.