The launch of Battlefield 4 on consoles new and old was marred by technical difficulties.
Rather than being EA's aggressive declaration of intent on Call of Duty's shooter genre for the coming PS4 and Xbox One years ahead, Battlefield 4 became an embarrassing exercise in blushing patch fixes.
Only stands to reason, then, that people are worried the same may happen with blockbuster multiplayer shooter Titanfall.
It was a concern EA management attempted to answer in last night's quarterly earnings call.
"The challenges that we've faced with Battlefield 4 were different from anything that we've seen before"Patrick Söderlund
"When Battlefield 4 launched it was a very complex game," began EA Games boss Patrick Söderlund (transcript on Seeking Alpha), "launching on two entirely new console platforms as well as current-gen and PC.
"We were pushing innovation heavily and delivering 60fps gameplay for 64 players plus the ability to connect via mobile tablet as a commander into the product, coupled with some very innovative features in the gameplay side.
"Based on our pre-launch testing, our beta performance, we were confident the game was ready when it was launched. Shortly after launch, however, we began hearing about problems from our player community, and the development team quickly began to address the situation."
Now, thanks to architecture that allowed rapid adjustments and updates, "game stability has significantly increased".
"How are we learning from this?" he said. "The challenges that we've faced with Battlefield 4 were different from anything that we've seen before with other games. There were different issues that only manifest [their] scale in the post-launch live environment.
"There were different issues that only manifest [their] scale in the post-launch live environment"Söderlund
"We're taking multiple steps to evaluate what occurred and incorporate those learnings into our development process for future products, so we don't experience the same problems again.
"I would close," and he did, "on the fact that Battlefield 4 remains an amazing game with massive innovation, and we're confident that gamers will be logging-on to play for a long time to come."
Andrew Wilson, EA head honcho, said his company was seeing "great results" in the current Titanfall testing phases, and he was confident in the "world class" teams at developer Respawn and exclusive partner Microsoft. Titanfall PC and Xbox One betas are expected in February, from Valentine's Day onwards.
Peter Moore, EA second in command, also had something to say, albeit on the topic of Battlefield 4 and Titanfall not cannibalising each other's sales this coming year. "They can both coexist very easily," he assured listeners, "and they will be both incremental and accretive to what we're going to be doing in financial year '15 [April onwards]."
Titanfall will be released for PC, Xbox One and Xbox 360 on 14th March.
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