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Re: The Critical Analysis of EA/DICE

by PaterSjarel
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The Critical Analysis of EA/DICE

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BFV is officially dead as of June 2020. Wow. I would never have thought that one could mess up a Battlefield to such a degree that it goes down as one of the biggest flops in the history of game development. The worst about the whole situation is that the managers/leaders at EA/DICE are actually convinced they did a good job. The degree of incompetence showed by both DICE and EA is just astounding. How can a legitimate big business like them be so full of hot air? 

 

Well, it is becomes really clear really fast if you look around;

- Firstly, take a look at Glassdoor.com (a platform where employees share their opinions/stories about their companies anonymously). WoW. It is always funny when your hyptothesis about how something is are actually confirmed. Apparently, most DICE employees absolutely loath the way EA/DICE operate. Management doesn't have the slightest clue what the community thinks or wants. Feedback from the actual programmers and the community is structurally ignored or dismissed as not being relevant. Also, the persons who decide what makes it into the game seem to come up with the most idiotic features that receive plenty of criticism from the team but is just bluntly ignored. Eventually when these features make it to the game and blow up in their face they shift the blame. Well, Poo flows downwards, not upwards.

 

As one DICE employee remarks on Glassdoor: ''Being a visionary isn't necessarily a bad thing but they have failed to inspire confidence in that vision. Instead, they did the exact opposite by forbidding negative criticism and discussion as their way of addressing low morale and skepticism. This, among leadership's other consistently backwards ideas and policies, just reduced morale more and more. The worst part was that it wasn't hard to see why their vision wouldn't work. Leadership was just stubborn and refused to back down or admit that they're wrong even after negative reception from nearly all parts of the process. Instead, leadership chased their vision even harder.''

 

Well this one was probably most obious in the party that DICE/EA held after receiving the community backlash from BFV's initial release trailer. I mean come on.....literally the entire community raged at the fact it did not look like WWII in the slightest, as well as that they did not appreciate the ''Fortnite'' hype that BFV was attempting to lift on. So you organise a company party that literally ridicules your entire clientbase by showing this large screen featuring comments from the community ''GeNdErFiEld 5'' etc. WHAT IN GODS NAME!? I am a PR-Manager at a quite large corporation in Europe and this just made me lose it. Who in gods name hires these people? It almost looks like the entire leadership of DICE/EA is under the constant influence of narcotics. Just take a look at Glassdoor, it makes a good read and you will just be astounded at the amount of stupidity in these companies.

 

-Secondly, the accountability. OH GOD THE ACCOUNTABILITY! There is none whatsoever! This also heavily connects to the point I made earlier. * flows downhill not uphill, and as explained by multiple employees of DICE at Glassdoor, there is no accountability whatsoever. There is only office politics and there are stupid people in high positions who make stupid ideas. When this doesn't work there is no one that takes responsibility for it! And this also flows down to the consumers. Accountability by game developers has always been quite the issue since these are companies that you mostly interact with on a virtual basis. Here they hide behind (often worthless) ''Contact & Support'' features. You can't step into the store and face these scammers with their worthless products and service. There is no accountability towards the consumers in any way. Ofcourse it was already public knowledge that most game developers don't care about their consumers whatsoever they only want their cash, which became painfully more clear with all the lootbox crap. EA/DICE view their consumers as filfthy plebs that much is sure. Again, closely monitoring Glassdoor it becomes clear that the management still doesn't have the slightest clue as to why BFV has flopped so badly, while the forums and online communities (Reddit etc.) are FULL of constructive feedback as to why the game sucked. Funniest thing is, they are mostly simple things like ''Give the Germans the right color of uniform'' or ''Fix the TTK''. If literally all your consumers tell you this you should listen. 

 

Another employee:

''Design had become an almost entirely top-down experience. The ideas leadership came up with were designated MVP to shut down criticism and to prevent resources from going to other systems. This made it difficult for everyone else to implement their designs and even then, leadership demanded revisions and would not discuss their reasoning beyond simply not liking a specific part, nor would they approve the design until those revisions were made. Their cronies did not have to undergo nearly as much scrutiny. Needless to say, these political games are not the kinds of games the company and its employees should be playing.''

 

This is probably the funniest of all. DICE/EA literally went out of their way to delete any negative criticism and comments about why the game was so bad. Quite ironic while attempting to make a game about a war started by a ruthless dictator known for exactly these methods.

 

So know, what do we have? A game that is part of a prestigious AA-title, which claims to be a WWII shooter, doesn't have any actual WWII in it whatsoever (D-Day, East-Front, Italy, ACTUAL WWII UNIFORMS), which doesn't take into account any community feedback whatsoever, and now to top the cake: instead of actually building upon the dim light of hope that was the Pacific Theatre DLC, some genius decided it is time to abandon BFV as a whole! WHAT!? By this time they have literally alienated most of their playerbase. Most people are seriously convinced that this is not just the end of BFV, but BF as a franchise. Nobody trusts them anymore and it wouldn't surprise me at all if the leadership is totally oblivious of the hate people have for Battlefield now. 

 

Someone could probably sue EA/DICE for this shitshow as they have proven to be nothing more than scammers of their own consumers as well as their employees. If Gordon Ramsay had a ''Kitchen Nightmares'' edition aimed at game developing companies he would most definately close it down immedeatly and advise the owner to fire everyone. 

 

Well, can't wait for this to be either deleted as EA/DICE don't accept criticism or some EA ''Community manager'' comes along and tells us ''this is not at all my experience at this company blablabla''.

 

BFV, the game that had the potential to be the best WWII shooter ever but became the biggest flop ever due to incompetent (and narcisistic) PC executives. 

+1 never buying anything again lol, along with most of the player base. 

 

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Re: The Critical Analysis of EA/DICE

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Champion

I think many of the problems have to do with Frostbite showing its age; devs and other people in the know have expressed how hard it is getting to accomodate.

 

You claim of V being the greatest shame to the industry is quite hyperbolic but I understand what you're saying. Fallout 76, Stadia, the beginning of SWBFII etc. etc. are just the tip of the iceberg; it's nearing the end of a console generation and the whole outlook on how resources should be allocated is getting more and more complicated. It's no excuse but at this point I just expect problems from everyone.

 

Devil's advocate here - even before launch they said this wasn't going to be a typical WW2 game (ie, everyone has played the same Dday-esque maps/stories to death so thry wanted to try to shift thr focus).

Honestly I'm surprised they chose WW2 because people have an unhealthy obsession with it and there is just no pleasing everyone.

 

The launch trailer would have been fine if they just explained what was going on. Most people who hated it changed their tune once Flakfire's video released the next day...

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Re: The Critical Analysis of EA/DICE

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I get it, but I think the most glaring issue is the maps.  They only launched the game with 8.  They added a 9th map with Panzerstorm.  Then it was 6 months before the Greece maps showed up.  Al Sundan map showed up broken in Conquest and took a couple extra months to fix.  Then they added Underground and the 4 Pacific maps.  So what is that total...17 or 18 maps for Conquest?  Battlefield 4 had 30 maps at this point after the season pass added 20 to the 10 launch maps.  Battlefield 1 had over 30 maps after it's season pass was done too.  That's a glaring discrepancy in map count.

 

The bigger issue imo is the fact most BFV maps just aren't that good.  There's not a single map with compelling features on it.  Other than Underground, I can't think of a single map from this game that could be considered an "instant classic".  I think the map design team needs to go back and take a hard look at Battlefield 4 maps, maybe even go all the way back to Battlefield 2 since every map brought forward from BF2 has been a hit with the community.  They need to pay attention to all the unique terrain and features and how well these older games made use of those features, usually putting flags in standout locations, etc.  Battlefield 4 maps included dams, a huge satellite dish on Rogue Transmission, the train in Golmud Railway, crashing waves of Paracel Storm with the destroyer, underground submarine bases, a castle in Operation Mortar with tunnels through it, hangars and massive areas inside of mountains, cities full of skyscrapers, etc.  The terrain variety alone was amazing.

 

Standout maps for BF4 include Paracel Storm, Golmud Railway, Rogue Transmission, Operation Locker, Siege of Shanghai, Gulf of Oman, Operation Firestorm, Caspian Border, Dragon Valley 2015, Operation Outbreak, Hangar 21, Wavebreaker, Operation Mortar, Giants of Karelia, Hammerhead, Operation Whiteout, and more.  All feature rich, many of these are still fan favorites for 24/7 server rooms.

 

Some BF2 standout maps include Strike at Karkand, Warlord, Iron Gator, Kubra Dam, Ghost Town, Road to Jalalabad, Mass Destruction, really the whole Special Forces expansion was great as was Armored Fury.  Even Battlefield 2142 had maps with part of it on high cliffs, city maps like Berlin, large maps for Titan mode, Camp Gibraltar.  It's been so long since I've played these two games that I'm forgetting some.  But all these had highly unique features that you don't see in BFV or even BF1 maps.

 

All this of course assumes they are either going back to a modern warfare setting or the near future.  That makes it easier to invent unique maps that don't have to be accurate to any known location or historical setting.

 

TLDR - I think map design has been a big problem in Battlefield V and to a degree Battlefield 1.  Had they showed up with maps on the level of what we had in Battlefield 4, then I don't think BFV struggles like it did.  This series has a history of delivering great map content all the way back to the original Battlefield 1942.  Fans expect it.  Battlefield 1942 maps have been repeatedly reused over the years, as have Battlefield 2 maps.  DICE needs to find that winning map making formula again.

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Re: The Critical Analysis of EA/DICE

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Yes I totally agree about the quality of map design. However, considering what they did with the ''Operations'' game-mode in BF1 and how many opportunities this offered for decent BFV maps, it just amazes me nobody at DICE/EA realised the potential in this! Ofcourse I do understand some of the sentiment that says that the D-Day experience is to milked out, but they could've made such great maps by just following at least some of the major WWII battles with the Operations-system from BF1. 

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Re: The Critical Analysis of EA/DICE

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@PaterSjarel I have read your post and the comments above. I have provided XP to your post to show appreciation. In my opinion criticism is something which should always be allowed unless with arguments and written without shouting and swearing.
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Let's state first that I'm currently in love with BFV. Spend to much hours in it and not looking to buy any shooter game at this moment to replace it.
To come back about you talking about the trailer, and the beta I have played, I was bit disappointed about not being a more realistic WWII game indeed. Although there where already so many WWII shooters.(Where the single war story player I think they met more the expectations and realistic. Although a political correct sauce was implemented , but that was logical in the current situation world was in, as also discussed here: https://answers.ea.com/t5/General-Discussion/WW2-girls/td-p/8982111/jump-to/first-unread-message)
So then the Tides of War (TOW) events came, and really for me this is the engine of BFV. Every Thursday I wanted to get home asap from work to play the events with a beer and some snacks. Annoyed when another appointment came across. Then mostly still starting to play although way to late in the evening.
Then came the waterfall of bugs, one positive thing it brought me here in this fine community. But the bug part and your story about glassdoor gives me a good picture. Myself as a former IT manager for a large international media company can imagine what is happening there. The TTK panic, the bugs, bugs returned. There is no test environment like in BF1.(At least not for players like myself)
For new players the game was / is very disappointing due to the many bugs they are still facing. Weapons not unlocking instantly for them is really disturbing, and no solution until today. (Besides manually forcing a synchronization by EA support)

Personally I'm not that salty, but see more and more salt ingame and on reddit. The part I like is that with the picture contest, also allowing some sarcasm or jokes about Dice, the community managers doing there best to keep the community happy and alive. I can only provide them a big thumbs up.
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Maps are fine for me but looking indeed forward to the latest update where a new map will be implemented. The game dead in june2020 I don't think so. Also with Rush and frontlines servers where never been so full. I have played with so many new players, starting up Battlefield.
What I do think is the BF community will change, some people leave and look for alternatives, Like is BFV a game for a diehard realistic player? (perhaps when community servers have been used more) Currently I see it as a family game for entertainment , enough content , possibility's in game and have fun.
And the management? They will be promoted or leave in a reorganization. Looking skeptical to a new BF version in the future, yes for sure. Based on s.m.a.r.t. objectives I think management should get targets like: Manage the customer happiness, and experience . (we had the February survey but have not read about the result of that, never
published I'm afraid.) implement a roadmap with deadlines and focus more on this then new cosmetics.

Anyway, my 2 cents.
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Re: The Critical Analysis of EA/DICE

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@Crazy_horse101th Yes I agree with you. To some degree I understand how things went with BFV, including some of the (not so loved) changes they implemented in an effort to roll with the current situation/sentiment regarding certain topics in the world. The main point I am indeed trying to touch with this post is that I am (looking from a professional standpoint) just surprised by the very bad organisational skills and conduct by EA/DICE during the entirety of BFV's development/life-cycle. Games flop, that is something that can always happen due to a variety of reasons. However, in BFV's case so much could've been avoided if they just organised their work and set their priorities straight. Following the employees' complaints and looking at how things went from a consumer's standpoint something just seems very off with the entire (stakeholder)communication-structure in this company. Things that could and should have been in good condition in a industry of such prestige as we know EA and DICE.

To summarise; games and content change. We might not like all the changes but that's also just the way it is, as new generations of gamers come along and like different things than we are used to. However, the organisational skills, behaviour and communication by EA/DICE has shown to be very amateurish and unprofessional during the BFV development.

Let's hope they at least realised where things went wrong and will constructively build upon this in the future.
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Re: The Critical Analysis of EA/DICE

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@PaterSjarel Yes, and I think most players agree on this post (Post #6) what I would appreciated is a response / memo with lessons learned. An apologie has been given earlier so this should absolutely not be about that or management talk. (I also never asked for an apologie, and besides bugs I kept me a bit away from TTK ) More a lessons learned including a time line , what went on, why some things went wrong and in a technically way described the challenges and though decisions they had to make as well.
Like we had Ribbons in BF1. This was in the early stage of BFV also implemented. I missed the communication about this and was not into the community at that stage that I even missed them when they where gone from BFV. It is a simple example of the roadmap BFV gone through.

From PR perspective, I do appreciate updates like these https://www.ea.com/en-gb/games/battlefield/battlefield-5/news/the-future-of-battlefield-v?utm_campai...
Although short it provide players some information about what is going on. These notes have appeared as a response on community feedback.
What is your professional opinion about that?
Cheers,


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