Battlefield Bad Company 2 may have suffered from one of the rockiest starts in recent memory, but that didn’t stop gamers from flocking to DICE’s latest frag-fest in droves. In fact, the overwhelming weight of millions of players is what crushed Bad Company 2’s servers to begin with.
"In the first 48 hours we had such a tremendous rush to multiplayer gameplay that our servers experienced overwhelming demand," said executive producer Karl Magnus Troedsson. "This is a testament to the massive response players have had worldwide for the extraordinary action experienced in the Battlefield sandbox."
Better still, if you’ve been waiting on the sidelines to dive in, the coast is now officially clear.
“DICE and EA have brought more servers online," he explained. "We now have enough capacity to handle all BFBC2 connections seamlessly and we continue to monitor online play daily."
Hey there, beleaguered Battlefield Bad Company 2 players. Feel like you’ve been tricked into paying to be part of an extended beta test? Well, sad to say, the storm’s not over yet. At 12 PST tonight, EA brought the servers down yet again for more maintenance. This comes, of course, after a weekend of more ups and downs than a botched entry of the Konami Code. But, if it’s any consolation, there is a silver lining to your sufferings.
“PC currently has more people playing and are in game servers than both the consoles,” said associate producer Gordon Van Dyke.
Don’t break out the confetti just yet, though. We’ve won the battle, sure, but we haven’t quite won the console war.
“The PC had more players than either console not more than both consoles combined,” Van Dyke added. “You'll need to work to beat both consoles’ combined effort.”
Still though, that’s certainly something. See, publishers? If you build it with PC gamers in mind, they will come. So learn from EA and DICE’s example – well, minus the server part, obviously. And speaking of servers, maybe Ubisoft might be willing to take a few pointers from DICE once it gets out of this DRM-heavy rebellious phase. We sure hope so, anyway.
EA recently released its Q3 fiscal statement, and it’s a magnitude seven doozy. Not to be a downer, though, but first on the release schedule is The Waiting Game, as most of these titles won’t be out until the second half of 2010.
First up, Crysis 2’s positioned itself deep within the overgrown jungles of 2010’s holiday season with an October-December 2010 release window. Medal of Honor and massively multiplayer cops ‘n’ robbers sim All Points Bulletin, meanwhile, are both dropping between the months of July and September. As if three whole games weren’t enough, EA also announced a new Dragon Age title for early 2011.
It’s not all good news, however. For some mystifying reason, the mega-publisher’s decided to release Dead Space 2 on every platform under the sun – even handhelds! – except the PC. Well, whatever. We don’t need the pants scared off us. We’ll take off our own pants. That’ll show ‘em.
In what appears to an ill-advised attempt to save a few bucks, Electronic Arts has decided to pull the plug on 25 game servers. EA was forced to cut 1500 jobs back in November, but apparently that wasn’t enough to put their house in order. This new method of cost-cutting, though, comes at the expense of their customers.
While it might make sense to shut some of these down (i.e. Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 07 for PC), a few are fairly recent games. One game about to lose its servers is Madden 09 on all platforms. That’s a bit of a shocker seeing as it’s just over a year old now.
Could Madden 10 see a similar fate in a year’s time? What if a game doesn’t hit sales goals? Maybe EA will do a quick cost analysis and shut it down. These are certainly questions EA’s prospective customers will have to ask themselves from now on. The shut downs will come in waves with the first, and largest, coming on February 2nd. Hit the jump for the full list.
As part of a restructuring plan that involves – among other, less heartbreaking things -- laying-off 1,500 employees, EA recently placed nearly all of Mercenaries developer Pandemic on the chopping block.
Studio founders Josh Resnick, Andrew Goldman, and Greg Borrud are leading the mass exodus, with roughly 200 former staffers in tow. Pandemic’s still-twitching remains will be moved to EA’s Los Angeles studio, where games under the Pandemic brand name will continue to be developed.
If it’s any consolation, though, the development community is doing a great job of making sure Pandemic’s fine folks land on their feet. Among others, Gearbox is inviting former Pandemic employees off the cold streets and into the perpetually warm state of Texas.
As always, we wish the best of luck to everyone affected by this unfortunate turn of events.
The original Mass Effect rocked our socks. Its DLC, though? Not so much. Fortunately, if a Microsoft Expert Zone retailer quiz is to be believed, BioWare’s making up for Mass Effect’s DLC deficiency in a big way with Mass Effect 2.
According to the quiz, planned content includes “episodic combat via DLC, weapon and armor packs, new downloadable characters for the campaign experience, new downloadable worlds, as well as full campaign expansions for download.”
Here’s hoping that BioWare doesn’t also take the EA Renegade route and peddle things like cheat codes and cosmetic upgrades for exorbitant prices.”Exorbitant,” in this case, meaning “anything other than free.”
Looks like Spore knows how to take a hint. PC gamers weren’t quite ready to herald the game as the second coming of The Sims, so it’s jumped gaming’s ship and gotten into show business. And fortunately, thanks to a little common sense on EA’s part, someone not named Uwe Boll is walking Spore down the red carpet.
Chris Wedge, who birthed the $1.9 billion-grossing “Ice Age” film franchise, is set to be the intelligent designer behind Spore’s big screen debut. Meanwhile, Greg Erb and Jason Oremland, who recently wrapped up writing Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” are penning the script. Twentieth Century Fox is partnering with EA to produce the whole thing.
"I'm always looking for unique worlds to go to in animation," Wedge said. "From every perspective -- visually, thematically and comedically -- the world of 'Spore' provides the potential to put something truly original on the screen."
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably learn a bit about yourself in the process. What’s not to like?
Have your grains of salt at the ready, people, because this one’s a doozy. According to a bit of Wall Street chatter, Microsoft’s got its sights set on none other than gaming giant Electronic Arts.
“There’s talk that Microsoft might be interested in acquiring Electronic Arts,”said Frederic Ruffy, options strategist at WhatsTrading.com. “It’s unsubstantiated chatter, but it’s out there.”
As such, analyst Trip Chowdhry is cautioning investors from counting their chickens before they’ve hatched, and is preemptively declaring this rumor hogwash.
"Our contacts just don't see Microsoft buying Electronic Arts, no synergies whatsoever, and also not Microsoft's corporate primary focus right now," Chowdhry told Reuters.
Shame, that. We were hoping to see Faith from Mirror’s Edge leaping improbable distances with Master Chief. Or maybe a scrimmage between the Cogs and Locusts from Gears of War in Madden? You know, Mutant League Football style?
BioWare recently released some spankin’ new Mass Effect DLC, but, uh, it seems like they forgot to tell everyone. Titled “Pinnacle Station,” the Mass Effect DLC made a minimal impact upon landing, mostly because there was little-to-no pre-release hype associated with its launch. Oh sure, there were some hints – a wink, a nudge, and even a leak – but not a(n official) word from Microsoft or BioWare.
You’d think it’d be in your best interest to promote a new addition to your two year-old game, seeing as how most people have probably shelved it at this point. But then, we’re not marketing experts, so what do we know?
Anyway, the DLC costs five Washingtons – or one Lincoln – and gets Shepard and co. back in shape for Mass Effect 2 with 13 brand new combat missions.
Another week, another game calls in sick for 2009. So, Battlefield 1943, what’s your excuse? After all, it feels like you’ve been out on consoles since, well, 1943. What’s the hold up? Said producer Gordon Van Dyke:
“We haven't released a Frostbite [DICE's game engine] built game on PC, so going into this project we lacked a starting foundation we had on Console. There are also many different and unique only challenges to the PC that has lead to us pushing the release even further to Q1 CY 2010 [early next year].”
“This was a hard pill to swallow, but it was absolutely needed to ensure the features and functionality that PC Players have come to expect from Battlefield on PC are not missing. Things like support for DirectX 9 and 10, higher player count (up to 32-player matches), wide peripheral support i.e. Joysticks for flying, VoIP, and ranked server provider hosting. So it was and still is the absolutely right decision, for quality sake, to not release until it is ready.”
Disappointing as it is, you can’t really argue with that. See you front-and-center in 2010, Battlefield 1943. Until then, at ease, soldiers.