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Post by Dan @ 10:28am 18/03/13 | 36 Comments
An invitation sent to US press outlets has confirmed that EA and developer DICE plan to reveal the upcoming Battlefield 4 to the world at an event held on March 26th in San Francisco, the second day of the Game Developer Conference taking place that week in the city (thanks Polygon).

A promotional teaser image has also surfaced, which you can take a closer look at below.

No platforms have been confirmed, however Battlefield 4 is widely-expected to land on PC, and both current and next generation consoles. A multiplayer beta has also been hinted at for Spring 2013 (Northen Fall).




battlefield 4eaelectronic artsdice





Latest Comments
arkter
Posted 11:42am 18/3/13
Battlefield 4 - The features we could have put in battlefield 3.
maRtz
Posted 11:49am 18/3/13
I don't think they should release a new BF until they have developed a new game engine and gameplay. I guess it's not very cost effective but this has the danger of turning into a money milking COD/MW like franchise. Regurgitating the same f*****g s*** for years. Anyway I'll give this the benefit of the doubt and won't write it off until I see it for myself.

PS: that pic is really underwhelming :/
eski
Posted 12:01pm 18/3/13
Battlefield 4 - ToR Tanked and We Need Cash Now!

This game will be about as buggy and rushed as a certain simulated city title that came out recently.
Sile
Posted 01:06pm 18/3/13
Bring back BF2 in a new engine.
Monkeez
Posted 02:14pm 18/3/13
I wish it was BF2143.
ravn0s
Posted 03:57pm 18/3/13
Battlefield 4 - The features we could have put in battlefield 3.


top of the list is micro transactions.
trog
Posted 04:02pm 18/3/13
top of the list is micro transactions.
Why WOULDN'T it be? TF2 and others have proved beyond a doubt gamers will happily dump money into digital adornments for their character.

Microtransactions are here to stay. Maybe we'll get lucky and BF4 will be completely free and funded by all the weirdos who like buying hats. Sounds great to me - as someone that will never spend a single cent on that sort of stuff but enjoys playing free games nonetheless.
eski
Posted 06:02pm 18/3/13
Oh FFS Trog, enough with the sanctimonious BS.

You run a gaming website that gives a mouthpiece to some of the most despicable people in the industry. You make money based off that and then still go around with a vote-with-your-cash-buck-the-system attitude. Its hypocritical as all hell.

If you really wanted to make a difference, maybe you would make a stand against some of the s***** practices of the game industry, the industry that your website promotes. Like microtransactions, like Day one DLC, like restrictive DRM, like previews that masquerade as reviews. Hell, part of your income is derived from microtransactions. You're part of a system that more and more serves big publishers while giving the middle finger to readers and end users, the very people who have helped to get you where you are.

You've got more power than any of us to make a difference, but you just keep doing the same old s*** without taking anyone to task. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Viper
Posted 06:00pm 18/3/13
Well that escalated quickly...
trog
Posted 06:23pm 18/3/13
hey eski, after that did you go buy some hats?
eski
Posted 06:36pm 18/3/13
Hats don't work well with me, my head is too big :(
BladeRunner
Posted 06:36pm 18/3/13
To quote Han Solo "I've got a bad feeling about this".

Battlefield 3 is not even buried in the ground and they have another BF game ready for...this year or next. Unless it is some huge game changing thing that they bring, it will be just money grubbing.

I would much like to see BF2142 sequel like Monkeez does. I will assume dice will also have a single player which makes me sad, I have gotten to the point where I really don't care much for a story anymore when it comes to FPS games.
7.62
Posted 06:44pm 18/3/13
Hopefully they will use the engines full capabilities.. plus squad VOIP
trog
Posted 07:14pm 18/3/13
You've got more power than any of us to make a difference, but you just keep doing the same old s*** without taking anyone to task. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
To respond seriously... I have to wonder how much stuff of ours (especially stuff I've written) you've actually read or paid attention to. I feel like we are one of the more sharply critical (if not one of the most!) about what we consider bad practices of video game companies. Our history is a litany of complaints about all of this stuff; a collection of warnings about The Way Things Are Going If You're Not Careful About What You Buy.

I have been beating my head against the wall since Battlefield 2 to try to encourage gamers to be more discriminating about what they dropped cash on (BF2 for me was the Day Everything Changed), but all for naught.

It's sort of irritating when gamers try to blame us for their bad decisions about spending money. Far enough if we're going out there saying "omg every game is AWESOME and you should buy them ALL", but we carefully document all the shortcomings of various publishers in big loud letters whenever they do something we perceive as evil. Look at all the posts we've done about Ubisoft's DRM, all the times EA has shut down game servers after 1-2 years of running them, all the NON-STOP B****ING we've done about Call of Duty and every other game since they've decided to remove dedicated servers from the mix (to the point where everyone basically just tells us to shut up when we write another post about it because the games all work fine, yo).

In short, stop blaming us because yall can't stop yourselves spending money. Voting with your feet is the only way change things. Companies will keep doing this stuff because they know we keep shoveling money into them. [edited to make sense]

I know everyone's up in arms about the SimCity thing but f*** me, I take one look at the review thread and all I see is many happy gamers that are engaging in a game in a way that is pretty rare these days. It sucks that it was hard to play for the first few days, but s*** - it sounds like an awesome game that people are really enjoying.

I'm still not going to spend money on it, because I'm a radical extremist who only buys PC games that have dedicated servers (seriously). You can imagine how many games I play these days because of that restriction.

But anyway, I was quite serious in my first post. I hope they do make BF4 a free game supported by hats. The only game I play at the moment is Dota 2 and I got that for free because of weirdos who like to dress up dolls and pay for the privilege. Thanks, weirdos! Being able to play BF4 for free would be fine by me (as long as there's no way to pay for an advantage in the game).
groganus
Posted 07:12pm 18/3/13
Whoop
Posted 07:24pm 18/3/13
I'm still not going to spend money on it, because I'm a radical extremist who only buys PC games that have dedicated servers (seriously). You can imagine how many games I play these days because of that restriction.
I still play cod4 because of dedicated servers. Although I must say, Crysis 3 multiplayer is rather fun but I think it too might have dedicated servers, yes?
eski
Posted 08:00pm 18/3/13
Cheers for the detailed response :)

For me it's about a lot more than the Simcity thread. Its about the ever growing disconnect between gamers and the press/publishers. Your coverage of the War Z illustrates my problem. You were covering this game because PR material came out and covering games is what you do. The gaming press starts covering games way before having any idea of what they're like and how they will function. Meanwhile we're 100% reliant on you for information without any way to verify it for ourselves. There's no way around it, apparently.

In short, stop blaming us because yall can't stop yourselves spending money. Voting with your feet is the only way to stop the situation from changing.


This is the incredibly destructive attitude that I'm talking about. The purpose of a game review is to inform people's purchasing decisions, and the entire process of reviewing is heavily skewed in favour of the publisher. The way that they trickle out information before release makes us completely reliant on news and reviews sites for early coverage. The way that most reviews appear unchanging and eternal on release day or soon after means that there is zero chance to factor in launch issues, bugs or other problems that may not have been evident pre-release.

In terms of purchasing, there is no stronger recommendation than a high number attached to a review. Unfortunately it doesn't matter how much b****ing you do about Call of Duty, if you give it glowing reviews then people will buy it. And you guys sure as hell gave those games some of the biggest numbers going around. To go and blame us for not voting with our money is unfair. I DO want to buy games when they come out, I want to be part of the Zeitgeist of something new. I get that at some point it's on me, but what you're saying basically means that we should have zero trust in any reviews.

I know everyone's up in arms about the SimCity thing but f*** me, I take one look at the review thread and all I see is many happy gamers that are engaging in a game in a way that is pretty rare these days. It sucks that it was hard to play for the first few days, but s*** - it sounds like an awesome game that people are really enjoying.


This is another example of the disconnect. There's just a whole bunch of people that simply dont care about Simcity's problems, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Cheetah mode still hasnt been patched in, the servers are still shoddy, people continue to lose savegames and they continue to complain. The game is buggy as hell and does a poor job of explaining how it works. If you're a game reviewer and you think this represents a good experience, then to me you're doing consumers a disservice. You're supposed to be critics, you're supposed to call people out when they screw up, it's your job!

People are getting angry and you should listen. The constant high scores for the same old bulls*** coming out of publishers has to stop. Reviewing games before they're out has to stop. I know you want to advocate for the consumer, but the PR model for gaming has become this disgusting mess that really only serves the publishers and retailers of the games, and you guys are right in the thick of it. Just because it's the way things have always been done doesn't excuse it.

We've all got our roles to play. I'm the angry gamer, venting my incredibly tactful frustration, you're the gaming press, you've got your own set of problems which probably don't overlap particularly much with mine. I really appreciate that you read what we write here and respond, independent dialogue that excludes the voice of the big publisher is a good thing. We may or may not agree with what the other is saying, but I'm sure a world where it's left to the big publishers like EA and Activision to dictate the discussion, tone and direction of gaming doesn't help either of us. I don't fancy a future where being a game dev just means you're just a digital milliner.

But anyway, I was quite serious in my first post. I hope they do make BF4 a free game supported by hats.


You're f*****g mad :P They might have the hats, but they know full well that they can both sell the hats AND the game. Hell, maybe I was wrong about that cake....
trog
Posted 08:00pm 18/3/13
In terms of purchasing, there is no stronger recommendation than a high number attached to a review.
I just have not seen any evidence there's a causal relationship between the two
The way that they trickle out information before release makes us completely reliant on news and reviews sites for early coverage.
In my experience gamers have already made up their mind about whether they are going to buy the game long before there are any real critical reviews. (see: the pre-orders)
I get that at some point its on me, but what you're saying basically means that we should have zero trust in any reviews.
It came up in the SimCity thread that maybe the score of games should change over time with the experience (now that we're in a world where games are evolving more often than not).

I think being aware of what is going on (what I call the "State of the Game") is very important. It can't be encapsulated by a single review. Metacritic isn't even always a good guide. You need to do research and look at reports and talk to people about it.

I would never tell anyone to base their purchasing decisions off our reviews alone - it's a single data point, a single view of a game in a particular slice of time.

Being discriminating about your buying of everything is the only way to influence anything.
If you're a game reviewer and you think this represents good value, then to me you're doing consumers a disservice.
I knew I shouldn't have mentioned SimCity but I also knew it was what you were pissed about :) But anyway. My view of the game looks like more people are happy than unhappy. I also believe the "value" of the game will only increase as bugs are fixed and patches drop and more features are added.
Reviewing games before they're out has to stop.
It's actually pretty rare that we get a game before it's released to the general public and it's actually staggeringly rare that it makes any difference to the quality of the game.
I know you want to advocate for the consumer, but the PR model for gaming has become this disgusting mess that really only serves the publishers and retailers of the games, and you guys are right in the thick of it.
Shrug, as I said above, I disagree. You need to read more than the PR posts.
We may or may not hear what the other is saying, but I'm sure a world where the big publishers like EA and Activision get to dictate the discussion, tone and direction of gaming doesn't help either of us.
They will make what we pay them to make!

What evidence have you seen that, despite all the times people have complained about EA being money grabbing shills or whatever, that people have stopped buying EA games? I've seen little - even though EA generally has a reputation as such a horrible horrible entity! As soon as some shiny thing comes along that everyone wants morals and all this fired up righteousness goes right out the window - right up until the point that everything breaks again, anyway.

Our reviews, and our coverage, focuses on The Fun because that is what people are really looking for when they play games. We talk about The S*** sometimes - maybe not as much as we should, because it's not really what people are super interested in. The S*** unfortunately sometimes figures into a game experience more than we would like - but we put up with it because we want to get The Fun. And the amount of "value" you get out of a game is the difference between The S*** and The Fun, and it varies over time as those two values change.

(Don't forget about The S*** when making purchasing decisions - but don't let it be the only thing you focus on, or frankly you'll end up like me - someone that can only see the terrible things about games and finds it hard to see The Fun.)
eski
Posted 08:32pm 18/3/13
Doh, I've been editing away on my post like a chump. Its like I've just added in a bunch of DLC.

Regarding causality, I would say there is no better evidence than the publishers themselves giving dev teams bonuses for breaking a certain score on metacritic, because they know that review scores correlate directly with sales. I bet there's all sorts of interesting data they collect, but don't release, like when to most effectively spend marketing dollars, or how a protagonist's gender effects sales to different demographics.

edit - ok I see what you were getting at correlation != causality. The second article speaks about causality a bit.

What evidence have you seen that, despite all the times people have complained about EA being money grabbing shills or whatever, that people have stopped buying EA games? I've seen little - even though EA generally has a reputation as such a horrible horrible entity!


Sadly, I 100% agree with you. I'm guilty of this myself, so it's not like I have much of a moral leg to stand on.

I gotta say, this is one of two sites that I regularly visit for gaming news ( the other being Giant Bomb). I love that there is somewhere for Australians to hear gaming news relevant to us, and I love that you guys have the clout to get the big stories. I only say all this s*** here because I believe in you guys and what you do. I wouldn't bother posting this sort of thing on Gamespot or IGN for the same reasons that I don't read that tripe. Hearing all the stuff you've just said makes me incredibly relieved to know that people in your position are thinking about these issues moving forward. Respect.

(Don't forget about The S*** when making purchasing decisions - but don't let it be the only thing you focus on, or frankly you'll end up like me - someone that can only see the terrible things about games and finds it hard to see The Fun.)


Yeah god I wouldn't want to end up jaded and cynical, that sounds horrid :P
trog
Posted 08:16pm 18/3/13
In summary: I do appreciate the feedback and will try to find time to bust out and rage against all this stuff a little bit more often to ensure that we're doing whatever we can to make sure gamers are always informed - as we've always tried to do! - so they can make the best decisions possible.

(However, while doing that I'd certainly prefer it if people didn't abuse us by either calling us corrupt or sanctimonious or whatever. The guys (not me) work extremely hard to ensure the quality of the content is as high as it can be, as well as being impartial and unbiased, and to accuse or imply that we're just shills for the publishers... doesn't sit well.)
eski
Posted 08:20pm 18/3/13
However, while doing that I'd certainly prefer it if people didn't abuse us by either calling us corrupt or sanctimonious or whatever.


Yeah sorry, that was unfair and undeserved. You would've been perfectly justified in deleting that post, but instead you gave me a legit response. Thanks :)
groganus
Posted 08:26pm 18/3/13
I have previously trusted Ausgamers reviews, they have been solid and reflected my opinion upon play quite consistently... I did however felt let down by the SimCity review... and now I've read a lot more reviews of it it wasn't just Ausgamers...

Clearly most review sites rushed it, they didn't invest the time to check if the game was properly balanced and if the marketing used to sell the game lived up to it.

I am disappointed in Ausgamers for this and the next time a complex game like SimCity comes out I will be skeptic of not just the opinions of Ausgamers reviewers but of all Review sites cause clearly rushing a review is better then giving an accurate review.

As trog has mentioned they have heavily publicised the lack of dedicated servers in games and even asked them direct questions relating to it, when most other sites just mentioned it and let the fans b****. They have hassled just about every MMO developer about localised servers.

As for DLC, I am completely against it and show that by never purchasing it (short of if they release a version of the game with all the DLC added a year or so later.. and only if I don't have the game already).
Crakaveli
Posted 08:29pm 18/3/13
tldr; dont trust reviews of any sort.
trog
Posted 08:32pm 18/3/13
Regarding causality, I would say there is no better evidence than the publishers themselves giving dev teams bonuses for breaking a certain score on metacritic, because they know that review scores correlates directly with sales. I bet there's all sorts of interesting data they collect, but don't release, like when to most effectively spend marketing dollars, or how a protagonist's gender effects sales to different demographics.
I really wanted to go to that lecture - it's in my calendar for last year's GDC, but unfortunately it was at the same time as a really awesome lecture about Plants vs Zombies that I couldn't miss.

It sounded awesome and I read a few things about it but I still don't think they've shown a causal link. I would love to see more real research about this - factoring in pre-orders, time of purchase, amount of refunds, impact & weighting of network recommendations, etc.
Dan
Posted 09:22pm 18/3/13
Just chiming in with the old 2c to say that I understand exactly where you're coming from eski, but I don't necessarily agree with all your conclusions. There are some fundamental issues with the way PR and press coverage has evolved over the years to what we have today, and it makes it nigh impossible to draw negative conclusions from previews and early access.

The best and perhaps only advice I think I can give to combat that give consumers is to simply not pre-order games unless you're incredibly confident in the expected quality.

Purely as an example, for my own personal taste and experiences, I reckon the only games this year that I would consider a pre-order on, are BioShock Infinite, and The Last of Us, because the creative forces behind them have a near flawless history of quality, and what they've shown only indicates that will continue. But even then, I wouldn't pre-order, because why? Even with disc-only games, when was the last time you went to get a game on launch day, and it was sold out?

Anything else --even a lot of games that I'm still looking forward to-- I would pay attention to post-launch conversation, or take advantage of beta-tests before handing over cash.

As for Battlefield, and EA's micro-transactions and such, I'm not too concerned. I think the way BF3 was handled was fine, and they've really made good on delivering decent DLC packs with the premium bundle. I'd much prefer if they released mod-tools, and let the community make custom maps, but it's hard to fault them too much on that when barely anyone is these days.

I also don't think BF4 is coming too soon, it will have been two years, which is double Call of Duty, FIFA's and Assassin's Creeds. imo a two year cycle is far more reasonable.

Interestingly, I was recently flicking through an old article that Steve and I knocked together after E3 2011 http://www.ausgamers.com/features/read/3073852 and noticed that both of our "Biggest Let-Down of the Show" picks were pretty foreboding. With Steve calling out Aliens: Colonial Marines (when a lot of other publications were praising it from the same screening), and my own thoughts on the Wii U --both of which pretty much nailed how each of them have ended up post-launch.

At most tradeshows, like everyone else, we're always busting out ass trying to share the hottest new things, and there's always more on show than we can possibly write about. But perhaps we should try and give some more time to the other end in future.
ctd
Posted 09:36pm 18/3/13
There was nothing wrong with BF3. I stopped playing before any expansions were released but still had plenty of good times.

I only pre-order Valve games and Company of Heroes 2.
trog
Posted 10:37pm 18/3/13
I am disappointed in Ausgamers for this and the next time a complex game like SimCity comes out I will be skeptic of not just the opinions of Ausgamers reviewers but of all Review sites cause clearly rushing a review is better then giving an accurate review.
Well, the review was not rushed; it was measured and deliberate.

It was just done in the pre-launch environment which exhibited no problems. But I don't want to talk about SimCity any more in this thread.
badfunkstripe
Posted 12:06pm 19/3/13
Everyone has the feeling or the hope that this game will be what we wanted from BF3.

As to the person above who complained about it being the same engine? What nonsense. The engine is great and really under used. It was built for next gen consoles and PCs. However DICE and EA had a planned BF3 developement and release schedule. Which involved things like the Bad Company Games leading up to BF3. However the next gen consoles never came and they still made BF3. Crippling the engine so it could work on Current gen consoles.


Also, it appears this is a slight rush to get it out for next gen release. It seems in the BF3 DLC they've been working on doing better maps with the engine and different things. So I do expect the game to be fairly similar graphics wise, but better, more detailed maps and hopefully better utilizing features like destruction.

They will want it to stand out, not just look like BF3.5 similar to old gen. So I expect them to actually try really hard and through a lot in. It doesn't make sense for them not to do this. Developers work with the console makers. They won't want a game that makes everyone go... 'i can just play that on my old machine.'
arkter
Posted 12:43pm 19/3/13
more usable destruction would be so awesome... bf3 was ok but was still limited by only certain areas/buildings being destructible... would be amazing if everything was destroyable, ie you could drive a tank through an entire run down Arabic city or collapse a building by punching out one side with a grenade launcher or something.

@eski - chill out man! It's a fun game, yes there are bugs and problems with it, yes it's a botched launch... but it's still fun. Even with all the issues I still feel like I have got value for money - even if I were to stop playing it today I would still be happy with the price I paid and enjoyment I got out of it. So I'm glad that ausgamers gave it a good review.

Video games aren't really different to other industries for launch, look at apple.. you get gimps lining up for days to get the latest gadget - you don't see apple doubling the size of their office & staff to handle a few days of increased volume.
badfunkstripe
Posted 10:16pm 19/3/13
@ arkter

yeah it needs better destruction which is useful to game play and tactics. Also that keeps you on your toes.

I felt the way it was used in BC2, despite different kind of maps, worked way better and helped keep game play interesting. In BF3 you can level some useless buildings. blow out a couple of walls that do very little and that's it. It doesn't alterhow you play.
natslovR
Posted 10:29am 20/3/13
In my experience gamers have already made up their mind about whether they are going to buy the game long before there are any real critical reviews. (see: the pre-orders)


I believe that was the case for a very long time and then Tomb Raider was rebooted. I had no interest in it, in fact ridiculed it in my mind, then heard the rumours, read your review, watched the Good Game review, and bought it.

Unless by "critical review" you didn't mean "professional reviewer's review", in which case, yes that's probably true, and my exception here would be Duke Nukem.
icewyrm
Posted 11:22am 20/3/13
Video games aren't really different to other industries for launch, look at apple.. you get gimps lining up for days to get the latest gadget - you don't see apple doubling the size of their office & staff to handle a few days of increased volume.


Except that server resources can and should be dynamically allocated. They don't have to permanently allocate the same bandwidth/CPU/RAM/IO resources to a service after the launch period is over.

Companies of this size and scale can afford to either build their own dedicated data centres, or hire the services of other providers, or both. There's no reason they can't plan for greater capacity at launch, and then scale back allocated resources for use in other areas after the launch crunch period is over.
Ozzy
Posted 11:17am 21/3/13
I'm one of those gamers that have voted on with their feet. I've come to the conclusion I no longer want to buy EA games. Every has brought up many reasons and I don't need to list them as everyone else has.

I did install Origin when I wanted to play BF3. I really enjoyed that game, I still do believe that BF3 is a good game. Except for the crappy small maps.

I've made the really difficult decision to ditch EA in general, I will miss games like Battlefield. I've removed Origin and any trace of it from my computer.

It still is tough, but at least I can contribute to a better gaming industry by supporting companies that genuinely care about their products.

Enjoy the BF4 release.
trog
Posted 11:31am 21/3/13
Except that server resources can and should be dynamically allocated. They don't have to permanently allocate the same bandwidth/CPU/RAM/IO resources to a service after the launch period is over.
They don't NOW because of "cloud". That is a fairly new phenomenon though.

Unfortunately I can't talk in any more detail about how we do this with things like BF3 because it is all NDA'd, but suffice to say when it comes to Battlefield games, EA and DICE are aware of launch windows and DEFINITELY take it into account. Based on experience you are very unlikely to experience significant capacity problems with BF4.

They're not perfect - far from it - but they've learned a little bit from experience.

It should be noted however that the expense of hosting the vast vast majority of servers for BF3 (and all other BF games) is not borne by EA or DICE, but by GPSs who run the servers.
Companies of this size and scale can afford to either build their own dedicated data centres, or hire the services of other providers, or both. There's no reason they can't plan for greater capacity at launch, and then scale back allocated resources for use in other areas after the launch crunch period is over.
It's really really hard to do this, I reckon. If they just made standalone dedicated servers freely available they would have GSPs all over the world scrabbling to get servers online because they want to rent servers to customers. Quake, Counter-Strike, BF1942 - all those games had basically no infrastructure problems (aside from general purpose shortages of hardware but that is not a problem today) because anyone could pick up and run a server. So ANY gamer could play, anywhere in the world, at any time after launch, even if they needed to fire up a server on their own infrastructure and just play with a handful of mates.

I do believe we'll come full circle as indies and smaller developers start building new and innovative titles. They definitely don't have the resources to run a global server network or a data centre and "outsourcing" the server side to volunteers has a lot of benefits.
icewyrm
Posted 01:29pm 21/3/13
For context my comments were framed with basic game services such as authentication/DRM/keychecking, anticheat measures, matchmaking/social/friendslist systems and the like in mind (this was probably unclear in my previous post). In other words the traditional systems looked after by the game company until online support is dropped.

Having said that if the game company is offering an all in one online only experience (for example battlenet for diablo3) then this is even more important. Doubly so if the game operates on a subscription model.
Some Fat Bastard
Posted 01:37pm 21/3/13
What's Origin? Only kidding. Have never bothered to install it. I'm over the rampant hacking/cheating in BF series games.
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