EA Kills Battlefield Annualization, Delays Hardline Into 2015
Many fans lamented the decision to turn Battlefield into an annual franchise when EA announced Visceral Games was developing a police-themed spin-off, Hardline, for release this year. Today, EA decided to go against its original intent and delay the game into 2015.
Today DICE vice president Karl Magnus Troedsson penned a column on the Battlefield blog, explaining that the decision was made based on consumer data from the recent beta. "This feedback spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and ways we could push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better," he said. "The more we thought about these ideas, the more we knew we had to get them into the game you will all be playing. However, there was only one problem. We would need more time. Time that we didn’t have if we decided to move forward with launching in just a couple of months."
The rest of the post outlines how the delay will help make the game better, including integrating new multiplayer ideas, polishing the single-player campaign, and stabilizing the performance, which is a major need given the rough launch of Battlefield 4.
EA still lists Battlefield Hardline as a fiscal year 2014 release, which means it will likely hit shelves before March 31.
If Battlefield: Hardline wasn't ready for prime time (and based on my experiences with the beta, it probably wasn't) this is the best decision EA could make. After the tumultuous launch of Battlefield 4, another misstep out of the gate could seriously damage the brand.