Developers should take a step back and look at how DICE and EA have handled the launch of Battlefield 3. THIS is how you properly release a big-named title.
Last night, Battlefield 3 launched in North America, and despite a few hiccups with a bit of lag and some dropped connections, the game's launch has been fairly smooth. Early lag, of course, is to be expected when a game as hyped as Battlefield 3 hits the market.
What isn't expected at the launch of a AAA title is missing DLC codes, or a developer release of a certain nameless game hitting Steam, or driver issues plaguing a supposedly block-buster shooter. I'm sure you all know what games I'm referring to so I don't feel the need to further embarass these publishers and developers.
Rather than focus on the bad, let's focus on what DICE and EA have done right with Battlefield 3, like not containing an offensive piece of line in the code.
Ignored Beta Criticism
DICE took a huge gample with their Open Beta. Despite the harsh criticism and largely negative feedback, they continued to defend their game and stick behind it. Obviously, this was the right move on their behalf. No developer is going to admittedly come out and say "Crap, our game is so buggy. Nobody buy it." Despite the constant barrage from fans and CoD fanboys complaining of how buggy the game was, they stuck to their guns, defended their product, and moved on.
By moved on, I mean they fixed the game as promised, and delivered a game that lived up to the hype. Multiple times DICE emphasized that players should not worry about bugs in beta since it was based on "month old software." They continued to state that Beta is a time to fix bugs and test servers, which is what DICE spent time doing. Rather than wasting time explaining themselves to players, they fixed what had to be fixed.
No Game-breaking Bugs
When you have a game as hyped as Battlefield 3, it's easy for fans to look it over with a fine-toothed comb and look for bugs. Let's be honest, bugs are inevitable. There will always be some sort of glitch missed by developers, that is uncovered by a fan with too much time on his hands points out. Luckily, in this day and age, bugs can be fixed with patches and updates.
The key to a successful launch is having no game-breaking bugs. Like PS3 save issues or invisible walls a certain zombie survival game had.
Plenty of Servers
No real problems finding servers. Sure, at peak hours this is to be expected, but for the most part finding a server hasn't proved very difficult. The fact that Battlefield 3 launched with "close to 3 million" pre-orders, not only makes Battlefield 3 the biggest FPS launch in company history, but shows they were prepared for a huge launch. Keep in mind, it was only a week ago that EA revealed Battlefield 3 pre-orders had reached "a couple of million".
The point of this is often times a game with as much hype as Battlefield 3 can sometimes be a letdown. It's rare to see a game as large as Battlefield 3 go live with so little trouble. EA and DICE's launch of Battlefield 3 is a clear example of "doing it right." Battlefield 3 still has a few days left of launch with it's European release scheduled for October 27, so we'll see how that goes. In the meantime, everybody should this massive first-person-shooter. My only complaint is the HD texture packs, but we all know real BF3 fans play on PC /troll.
Check back soon for GameZone's review of Battlefield 3.