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EA: We need to do better with bug testing

2 min read

Killing bugs

Geez, the launch of Battlefield 4 has been less than perfect. They seem to be struggling with stability as much as that enormous tower in the Siege of Shanghai video. Now, Patrick Söderlund (who seems to be on a media tour or something) says EA needs to do better. Spin it for me, brother!

Söderlund told The Guardian that EA needs to make games that aren’t so buggy, and yet we also need to accept that regular patches or fixes aren’t going anywhere:

Listen, we have to do a better job of getting games into the market that are as bug-free as possible. What I would say is, games are becoming more and more complex – even though we’ll run a beta and we’ll do massive amounts of testing, there are certain things, especially in an online-focused environment, that you won’t catch.

[…]I have to say that gamers have been good with us – they realise that we work hard, I think we’ve had eight or nine server updates since the launch of the PC side. We try and do an update every second day to improve the game experience […] But I think we need to do a better job as a company in making sure that what comes to market is in as good a shape as it possibly can be.

Söderlund went on to compare games to Apple apps – we accept that there will be constant updates for apps, so we need to accept the same of our games. I can see where he’s coming from, but I still expect a game to work when I buy it. I’m glad EA is accepting responsibility, but I don’t like the “just accept the patch” approach. Imagine buying a pair of pants that are unwearable, but being promised a patch every second day until they’re complete. Um, no thanks. Sure, I get it, games might not be perfect when they release, but I expect something playable.

I happen to know a bit about development and the development cycle. I know there will always be bugs, it can’t be helped. However, I think gamers were seriously surprised and disappointed to see that the same problems that were present during the Beta were still around with the release. What was the point of the Beta if they weren’t going to use that information to improve the game?

Last Updated: November 29, 2013

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