Home Gaming EA: We need to do better with bug testing

EA: We need to do better with bug testing

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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

66 Comments

  1. Captain GUZ

    November 29, 2013 at 11:35

    The disconnects were really Pissing me off, better since the patch but still crashes every now and again

    Reply

  2. That Tall Twit

    November 29, 2013 at 11:38

    Speaking it ? Doing it.

    Reply

  3. InsanityFlea

    November 29, 2013 at 11:40

    NO SHIT!!!

    Reply

  4. VinTaco

    November 29, 2013 at 11:43

    “EA SPOKESMAN STATES OBVIOUS; DOES FUCKALL ABOUT IT”

    Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    November 29, 2013 at 11:44

    Don’t tell us, tell your employees EA!

    Reply

  6. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 29, 2013 at 11:45

    I wonder if they’ve considered moving a release date by a couple of months to squash bugs. Or does that mess with their financial projections so, you know, release it anyway & fix it later.

    Reply

    • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

      November 29, 2013 at 11:47

      EA games? Bugs? NEVER!

      Reply

  7. John's (JJ's) finest excuse

    November 29, 2013 at 11:46

    I think of quite a few things that EA needs to work on.

    Reply

  8. InsanityFlea

    November 29, 2013 at 11:46

    I apologize for my previous comment & the profanity. I don’t want to get mad, it’s Friday. So I’m not reading any EA stories πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

      November 29, 2013 at 11:48

      I actually remember back when EA was quite a reputable company. Sadly that’s the past.

      Reply

      • InsanityFlea

        November 29, 2013 at 12:02

        Totally, Loved the NFS series until shift. NFS 1 & 2 were my all time favorites! EA sports as well.

        Reply

        • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

          November 29, 2013 at 12:08

          Agreed. Now you can’t even have a manual transmission anymore. So clearly EA is now catering for the 5 to 10 age group.

          Reply

  9. Kensei Seraph

    November 29, 2013 at 11:48

    Seems like the Beta was just used for marketing and little else.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      November 29, 2013 at 11:48

      Makes a lot of sense.

      Reply

    • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

      November 29, 2013 at 11:49

      BUY THE BETA AND GET EXCLUSIVE CONTENT!
      (that you won’t work until you purchase some of the other content first)

      Reply

      • That Tall Twit

        November 29, 2013 at 12:22

        ^This!

        Reply

      • Maxiviper117

        November 29, 2013 at 12:34

        bf4 beta, free……..

        Reply

  10. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    November 29, 2013 at 11:58

    Well, while I do agree that some EA games are quite buggy, they are a fortress of stability compared to some Bethesda titles……cough….Skyrim….cough.

    Reply

    • InsanityFlea

      November 29, 2013 at 12:03

      erm, Skyrim had no game-breaking bugs. There were so minor it didn’t matter. Go look at NFS rivals & bf4 .. totally game-breaking.

      Reply

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        November 29, 2013 at 12:19

        Vs Skyrim for PS3?

        Reply

        • InsanityFlea

          November 29, 2013 at 12:42

          never had a PS3, master race FTW *runs*

          Reply

          • Ultimo_Cleric N7

            November 29, 2013 at 13:29

            Also part of the master race. But I heard the peasants were having a tough time.

          • InsanityFlea

            November 29, 2013 at 13:41

            ah man, I’m laughing so hard! hahaha.

    • SaintsRowNigri

      November 29, 2013 at 12:10

      Hey, I logged a good hundred or so hours on Skyrim before finding the first game breaking bug. So back-off muh game, varmint!

      Reply

    • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

      November 29, 2013 at 12:11

      I still haven’t gotten a game breaking bug and I’ve replayed Skyrim so many times.

      Reply

      • Lord Chaos

        November 29, 2013 at 12:14

        Same here

        Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        November 29, 2013 at 12:38

        I never had any major bugs either. I think the worst I saw was the odd bit of clipping & once or twice an object fell through the world.

        Reply

        • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

          November 29, 2013 at 12:41

          I only had a mammoth that got hit by a giant somehow and it only came back down a few moments later.
          Oh. And I got killed by a plate that got stuck in a door.
          But I find these more amusing than irritating actually.

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            November 29, 2013 at 13:16

            Did you ever find the guy who was taking a painted cow to the giant camp near Whiterun as a tribute? I walked all the way along with him to find out what happens when he gets there.

            SPOILER

            What happens is a giant wanders over to inspect the cow & while you’re standing there happily minding your own business, moers you 10km up into the air. I could see inside Whiterun. I wasn’t even playing a Khajiit.

          • Lord Chaos

            November 29, 2013 at 13:20

            LOL

  11. Unavengedavo(aka. MadeYouLook)

    November 29, 2013 at 12:02

    Developers: “After extensive testing we can confirm that this is indeed a bug.”
    EA: “SHIP IT!”

    Reply

  12. oVg

    November 29, 2013 at 12:08

    Why do they need to do better when Bethesda proved that they can cut half the production costs by making the public BETA test the retail disc for 2 years.

    Reply

    • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

      November 29, 2013 at 12:10

      Bethesda has brains. EA has money.

      Reply

      • oVg

        November 29, 2013 at 12:12

        The PS3 version of Skyrim just needed super duper space time vortex brains ;P

        Reply

        • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

          November 29, 2013 at 12:13

          Haha.
          We pc gamers are still having a blast modding the arrows out of Skyrim’s kneecaps.

          Reply

        • Lord Chaos

          November 29, 2013 at 12:14

          Whilst their console games come short, you cannot expect them to cover all angles on games as huge as Skyrim.

          Reply

          • oVg

            November 29, 2013 at 12:21

            Always wait for the GOTY edition when it comes to Bethesda.

          • Lord Chaos

            November 29, 2013 at 12:28

            Never discovered any game breakers. A few funnies like dragons flying backwards and bears break-dancing, but nothing that has ruined any of their games.

  13. Lord Chaos

    November 29, 2013 at 12:08

    The man starts of with: “Listen,” yea, go and tell it to someone else.

    Reply

    • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

      November 29, 2013 at 12:09

      Tired of listening to EA’s excuses and “remedies”

      Reply

      • Lord Chaos

        November 29, 2013 at 12:11

        Not just that, If anyone start a ‘conversation’ like that I shut down and loose respect.

        Not that I had much left for EA to begin with.

        Reply

        • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

          November 29, 2013 at 12:12

          True. On both counts.

          Reply

  14. InsanityFlea

    November 29, 2013 at 12:13

    the FFD just moved :p

    Reply

  15. Lourens Jordaan

    November 29, 2013 at 12:16

    I’d rather take the game in the state that it is currently, knowing they are fixing any issues that may arise, than waiting three more months to get my battlefield on.
    300 Testers working 8 hours a day for 150 days gets you 360000 testing hours. Sell the game to only 500,000 gamers who each play only for one hour and you get 500000 testing hours. Even if the game was delayed, by only looking at the numbers, how big a difference would it have made? At least I have a game I’ve been waiting for for months now. Fine it’s not perfect but it is heaps of fun.

    Reply

    • InsanityFlea

      November 29, 2013 at 12:20

      So when you go buy a car, you buy it without the backseats installed & cuts out every few kilometers and say, “it’s okay guys, i know the backseat is coming a bit later & you’ll fix the cutting out issues soon but in the mean time my kids will have to walk to school” πŸ™‚

      Reply

      • Lord Chaos

        November 29, 2013 at 12:27

        Winner

        Reply

      • Maxiviper117

        November 29, 2013 at 12:33

        really dont understand these comparisons with physical objects, games are software, not hardware.

        Reply

        • John's (JJ's) finest excuse

          November 29, 2013 at 12:34

          Then see it as Windows Vista

          Reply

        • InsanityFlea

          November 29, 2013 at 12:34

          Here’s a software one, You go buy a GPS, the mapset is not complete, you get lost in the middle of nowhere but you’re fine with that because hey, It’s a GPS! and they will fix the maps soon.

          Reply

          • Maxiviper117

            November 29, 2013 at 12:36

            But u cant deny that making maps is much more simple than developing a game.

          • InsanityFlea

            November 29, 2013 at 12:37

            Concept is the same mate πŸ™‚

          • Maxiviper117

            November 29, 2013 at 12:38

            Concept is the same but comparatively they are on different planets mate πŸ™‚

          • InsanityFlea

            November 29, 2013 at 12:41

            lol were the maps THAT bad?

          • Maxiviper117

            November 29, 2013 at 12:43

            Talking about the process of making a map versus making a game which is very complex with many unforeseen issues while a map is……well …a map. πŸ™‚

          • InsanityFlea

            November 29, 2013 at 12:43

            What about the process of making a car? is that not complicated?

          • Maxiviper117

            November 29, 2013 at 12:47

            yes but thats physical and you can produce the parts with millimetre precision if they wanted to so when they finish the car its almost always perfect, so its hard to go wrong when you can see exactly whats going on

            games have hundreds of thousands of coding if not millions to make it work and there are hundreds of thousands of code that can cause a conflict with just one bit of other code that can break the game.

          • InsanityFlea

            November 29, 2013 at 12:55

            Minor bugs sure that’s okay, totally understandable too, but don’t release a game that just flat out breaks.

      • Lourens Jordaan

        November 29, 2013 at 12:49

        Nope, not at all. What I’m saying is that a tester sat on the back seat, put on the seatbelt and thought that “hey, ok, this is really great, the end-user is going to love this!” then he goes to his next test-case to test the windows. He wouldn’t know that a spring pops loose after sitting on the back seat 50 times and you then get poked in the balls. In order for formal testing to comply with your software standards, you’ll need to specify test cases. Do this and this and then that should happen. Did it happen? Any other issues? Then move on to next test-case. End users do things randomly and find things that were missed. All I’m saying is that with so many different variables, there are bound to be bugs and it’s mostly the end-users that will find it. DICE did ok by me, my experience with the game has been great (not painless) but it hasn’t been even close to unplayable.

        Reply

        • InsanityFlea

          November 29, 2013 at 12:52

          You need to Jump back a decade or two, the gaming industry was good back then. None of the crap they have today

          Reply

    • Mike

      November 29, 2013 at 13:08

      The biggest problem for me is when the bug is something obvious and easy to find. I can accept the bugs that require you to play 50 hours, do A, B and C in a specific order, but other games have bugs where it’s load game. Crash. Or play for 1 hour, complete 1 objective and bug encountered.

      PC game bugs I can understand, multiple different setups, but console game bugs are a different issue.

      Reply

  16. Lord Chaos

    November 29, 2013 at 12:26

    On the bright side, according to http://thesurvivor2299.com/ it’s only 2 more days till nuclear winter.

    Reply

    • InsanityFlea

      November 29, 2013 at 12:27

      True, I just hope it’s not an epic troll (fake)

      Reply

      • Lord Chaos

        November 29, 2013 at 12:29

        If it is I will find the creator and give him a nuclear winter.

        Reply

  17. A 2 Brute?

    November 29, 2013 at 12:59

    What I picture when EA talks of bugs and trying to deal with them: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1984lwlYz1r5ur0ho1_500.gif

    Reply

  18. RyseandRepeat

    November 29, 2013 at 13:41

    Yeah. Lots said, nothing will come of. Got to be the ONLY industry where consumers are fucked over day one after spending their hard earned cash and are told ‘shut up and wait, a patch is coming’. And you know what? We will carry on bending over for them until we realise that gaming is a real industry. I mean come one! Imaging going to watch Thor 2 and the fucking ending only comes out a few days later?! Wake up people!

    Reply

  19. Kromas

    November 29, 2013 at 14:13

    Apple apps updates are 1 to 10 megs generally. BF4 updates 500meg to 2 TB. I see no relation.

    Reply

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