We couldn’t stop the always-on beast

NBA 2K14 Screenshot - We couldn’t stop the always on beast

We did it. We stopped the always-on beast. Sony listened to our Twitter campaign. Microsoft backtracked and pulled an Xbox 180. We didn’t need to connect our consoles to the internet to play games. We did it.

Or so we thought.

I shouldn’t be too mad over the Battlefield 4 screw-up seeing as I don’t own a copy of the game. Still, it’s disheartening to hear that it still suffers from technical issues. I’m a little tired of seeing my Twitter feed filled with people going “well, I wanted to play some Battlefield tonight but I guess I can’t.” Now, I’m not tired of people complaining; I’m tired that they’re still having issues.

Battlefield 4 was one of the most impressive games showcased at E3 2013. The destructible buildings, large-scale and dynamic environments, and legitimate next-generation feel were all something to be excited about.  It also helped that the way EA and DICE handled the line was absolutely fantastic, but that’s going off-topic. The point is that Battlefield 4 was the poster child for the next generation.

In many ways, it still is. Just not the way people would have hoped.

Between day one patches, networks being overloaded, and games being unplayable, the new console generation has been a bit of a miss thus far.

Battlefield 4 isn’t the only game suffering from technical issues. Last month, people were complaining that NBA 2K14 was unplayable offline as if DRM was patched in after release.

It doesn’t stop there. Upcoming games like Titanfall, Destiny, and The Division have online multiplayer tied into its narrative campaign. In summation: they’ll require an internet connection to play. Sure, they’re persistent online games, but even similar titles such as Borderlands allow for offline play. Sure, I get that these games are built from the ground up to be a connected experience, but didn’t gamers stand up and say they want the ability to play their games offline? Why can’t we have a locally connected experience?

In a world where we’re still replying to SimCity social media posts with “we want an offline experience,” we’re still having problems obtaining a console environment that’s free of always-on requirements. Sure, these persistent online games are great on paper, but what happens when the servers don’t work? In the case of an MMO, publishers have usually compensated users with free subscription time. This isn’t an option for the Battlefield 4’s of the world.

A fix needs to be found and fast. 

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Jake Valentine
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