Visceral Games’ crime revenge story is going to have to wait just a little bit longer, as a new update on the Battlefield Blog confirms that Battlefield: Hardline won’t be making it out until “early 2015.” The word comes straight from DICE VP Karl Magnus Troedsson, who cites a desire to ensure that the game launch goes smoothly. As veterans of Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 will no doubt attest, this is good news.
Troedsson explains that feedback from Hardline‘s recently concluded beta test is the culprit here. In his own words, “This feedback also spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and ways we could push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better. The more we thought about these ideas, the more we knew we had to get them into the game you will all be playing.”
He goes on to say that integrating all of the feedback meant more development time. In pushing Hardline beyond the holiday season, the team at Visceral gets the added time that it needs. That, in turn, hopefully means we won’t see a repeat of Battlefield 4‘s disastrous launch. Hardline takes the series in a new direction, focusing on cops vs. robbers, and a flavor of urban warfare that’s typically reserved for crime dramas and heist flicks, but it’s still built on the same basic server/online play framework that powers other recent entries in the series. Troedsson says it himself: ensuring that the netcode stability is rock-solid is one of several priorities.
Here’s what the DICE VP lays out as the key points the Visceral team will continue to focus its efforts on as Hardline‘s development time extends:
1. Multiplayer Innovation: Coming out of our E3 beta, internal focus tests, and work with our community, we have received a lot of great Multiplayer thinking. We’re going to be adding some new feature ideas direct from the community that will evolve the cops and criminals fantasy into a truly unique Battlefield Multiplayer experience.
2. Single Player Story Depth: In order to ensure our Single Player experience delivers on player expectations, we’re spending more time polishing our core features, as well as adding a few new ones that will support a deeper “crime revenge” story experience.
3. Stability: This has been a focus for our team since day one and we’re going to be using the extra time to continue to optimize the game for a stable launch. We have learned a lot from Battlefield 4, are continuing to learn from our Community Test Environment and will learn more from another Hardline beta. More time allows us to surface issues that the team can attempt to fix prior to launch.
We recently chatted with Visceral general manager Steve Papoutsis about some of the plans for Hardline. In addition to some extensive discussion of the multiplayer quirks that set this game apart from previous entries in the series, he also offered a few insights into the story mode. The crime revenge story embraces a TV-style format, with each “level” designed with the pace of a one-hour TV episode in mind. Papoutsis further confirmed that the game’s story features a fully voiced protagonist, a first for the series and a valuable step toward establishing a stronger narrative thread for games of this sort.
Read the full interview right here.