There’s been a rash of next-gen game delays recently, from Watch Dogs and The Crew to DriveClub, with the culprit generally being the steep learning curve with next-gen hardware. As if developing a game weren’t hard enough, it turns out that creating one for the unreleased Xbox One and PS4 is perhaps more daunting than some development teams realized. In fact, it got to the point that EA and DICE almost missed the window for Battlefield 4 to be an Xbox One and PS4 launch title.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, BF4 executive producer Patrick Bach said DICE considered delaying the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Battlefield 4 due to the complexities associated with next-gen development. Fortunately for gamers everywhere, the studio was able to overcome those hurdles, but it was a bit touch and go for a while.
“We’ve been struggling quite a lot to keep up with the changes we’ve seen–both sides need to adapt and you end up being late,” Bach told GamesIndustry. “Everything is very complicated. Battlefield itself is a really complicated game, so it doesn’t make our lives any easier.”
Indeed, Bach went on the record earlier this year stating that the developer might have to make some sacrifices to hit the launch-date requirement for the Xbox One and PS4. With the bar (and experience) set so high at E3, those compromises may make BF4 simply seem more “human” rather than deficient in any real way. But it’s still notable that a storied developer like DICE is out there publicly saying next-gen development is a brutal haul.
“Luckily we’ve overcome those hurdles and thought about what the game actually is on the next-gen. We’ve had an excellent team working that out at the same time as the game itself, which is a big struggle. …A lot of the next-gen games coming are, arguably, lesser when it comes to the scope of features because of this problem.”
Did Bach just throw down the gauntlet, perhaps directly at his prime competitor, Call of Duty: Ghosts? Or was he speaking more generally about next-gen titles? Regardless, calling other next-gen games “lesser” is a bit of a slap in the face to other developers, even as it may be somewhat refreshing to hear someone be candid. Unless he was grouping Battlefield 4 in that “lesser” category too. Nah, he couldn’t have been doing that.