EA CCO Says SimCity, Battlefield 4 Launches Weren't That Bad

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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EA CCO Says SimCity, Battlefield 4 Launches Weren't That Bad


Electronic Arts Chief Creative Officer Rich Hilleman doesn't think that SimCity and Battlefield 4 had bad launches and he doesn't seem too concerned about the upcoming release of Titanfall, either.

You may recall, if you've been paying attention over the past year or so, that neither SimCity nor Battlefield 4 had what you'd call especially smooth rollouts. SimCity collapsed under the weight of server demand and controversy over whether or not those servers were really necessary in the first place, while Battlefield 4 was just a disastrously bug-ridden mess. Each dealt a serious blow to EA's credibility as a game publisher capable of a certain baseline of competence, but speaking to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Hilleman suggested that the company doesn't actually see them as a problem at all.

"I'm not sure I accept your premise [that SimCity and Battlefield 4 had bad launches]. Battlefield 4 has been an exceedingly successful product on both consoles and PC. From a sales perspective, from a gameplay perspective," he said. "I think there was a lot of noise about the game, but some of that is a function of your surface area. The more customers you have, the more noise becomes available. We did things wrong. We know that. We're gonna fix those things. We're gonna try to be smart about what customers want in the future."

"But I'm not willing to accept - and I don't think most of my customers are willing to say - 'It's a bad product, I wish I didn't buy it'," he added. "That's not the conversation we're having now. I think what we're hearing is, 'You made a game we really liked. We would've liked it a little better if it didn't have these problems'."

A willingness to fix things is always good, but it's of no use if you don't actually recognize what's broken. These games weren't just a little rough in one or two particular areas, they were fundamentally broken and did not work as they were intended - and that, it can very reasonably be argued, makes them "bad products."

Hilleman presumably wasn't accompanied by a handler during the interview, because his response to a question about why gamers should expect different (and better) things from the Titanfall launch was more than just a little dismissive, too. "Titanfall is made by a different organization. Respawn has very firm control of their project," he said. "Best I can do for you."

Well then, I guess that's that. But I really hope that's not actually the best EA can do for us.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun [http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/02/11/ea-defends-bf-4-simcity-launch-efforts-discusses-future/]


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weirdee

Swamp Weather Balloon Gas
Apr 11, 2011
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That's like saying WWII wasn't technically bad because Hitler lost at the end.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

(Insert witty quote here)
Sep 10, 2008
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Oh EA, you're the gift that just keeps on giving.

You are one of the best entertainers out there... Oh your games? I personally think all your recent games are garbage, I'm talking about your press releases. The sheer amount of lies and corporate doublespeak is comedy gold.
 

Gearhead mk2

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Aug 1, 2011
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Goddammit EA, I thought you were really trying to turn it around after the whole SimCity debacle. But the launch of Battlefield 4, making Titanfall Origin-exclusive on PC, fleecing people with Dungeon Keeper Mobile, and now this... I really want to like you again, but you keep messing it up. Just please, don't do to Mirror's Edge 2 what you did to Dead Space 3.
 

Amaror

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Apr 15, 2011
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EA CEO:
"Shit, guys, the awards for the golden poop are this year again and we haven't had a controversy in weeks!
Quick! Get a beloved franchise and make a shitty remake with crappy business practices! What were our most recent controversies? Sim City and Battlefield 4? Great! Arrange a few Interviews denying that these were actually bad, that will bring back the memory and make everyone nice and angry again!"
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

I never asked for this
Sep 8, 2011
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Keep living in denial. And make sure to stomp out any goodwill you might have had left among gamers. Let's see how long you'll last.
 

omega 616

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May 1, 2009
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If you're a business man a good launch is loads of units sold, not "that shit works!". Stands to reason battlefield and simcity, which are both huge franchises, would sell well.

We are looking at it from a working/enjoyable experience, which is meaningless to EA once they have your cash ... I guess they want the "worst company in America" title again.
 

Ldude893

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Apr 2, 2010
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*hits head on desk repeatedly while laughing hysterically*

Ah, EA. With or without their PR department, they dig themselves a deeper hole every time they try justifying their actions.
 

gibboss28

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Feb 2, 2008
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Sim City not a bad product... in what universe? seriously within 2 weeks of buying that game I'd sent it the fuck back to Amazon and got my money back and used that money and brought Heart of the Swarm instead, much better game.

Also

Respawn has very firm control of their project," he said. "Best I can do for you."
Except for what consoles its released on. Yup they have complete control. Eat a dick Hilleman.
 

WickedFire

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Apr 25, 2011
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I kinda want Titanfall to have such a problematic launch that it actually makes consoles explode. Not because I hate Respawn or anything, more just for the hilarity of EA's press release afterwards. I don't even hate EA that much anymore, rather, I alternate between laughing and feeling sorry for them.
 

Diablo1099_v1legacy

Doom needs Yoghurt, Badly
Dec 12, 2009
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Simcity: The Biggest DRM Failure since Diablo 3 and a public example of how unprepared EA's servers were.

Battlefield 4: Arguably most bugged Battlefield game in the series and the cause of several class action suits by shareholders.

If these are "Decent" launches, what's a bad one?
 

Gearhead mk2

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Aug 1, 2011
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CrossLOPER said:
Gearhead mk2 said:
I really want to like you again
It's a fucking publisher, not your troublesome ex-girlfriend. It's not like there's a shortage of games out there.
I know, I know, but I'm just so disappointed with EA. They have Mass Effect, Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, and the entire Star Wars brand under their belt, and I am a huge fan of all those franchises. I don't want to see them take great brands like that and waste their potential.
 

Avaholic03

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May 11, 2009
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While I have never really agreed with EA being called the "worst company"...they certainly do seem to be the most out-of-touch with reality. I recently played some SimCity, and while it's not the buggy nightmare that it was on launch, I do still absolutely say "I wish I didn't buy it". There was no way in hell I was going to touch Battlefield (and I'm quite happy that I didn't), and there's no way in hell I'm getting Titanfall either (and I doubt I'll regret that decision). So, if my experience is any indication of the average customer, I'd say they are in a whole lot more trouble than Mr. Hilleman knows, or is willing to admit.
 

Shamanic Rhythm

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Dec 6, 2009
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I think what I'm hearing is: 'You made a game we really liked. We would've liked it a little better if it didn't have these problems'.
Well then, you are in dire need of a visit to the ear doctor. Because what I heard in regards to Sim City was: "You took a game we liked and shat all over it. We might have felt something other than abject rage if you'd at least not lied to us about the need to always be connected to the servers?"
 

Hero in a half shell

It's not easy being green
Dec 30, 2009
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Battlefield 4 still suffering from terrible, terrible bugs?

I mean, they have their own official "Bug Tracker" that has a whooping 22 bugs listed as "top issues" when it came out in December:

http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf4/forum/threadview/2955065670203355766/

And 7 of those bugs are still listed as "investigating" and 1 isn't fully fixed across all platforms

SEVEN INVESTIGATING! SINCE DECEMBER 10th!

That's 2 months to fix 22 top priority bugs, and a third are still unfixed.

And you are saying that isn't "bad"?!?
 

N3squ1ck

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Mar 7, 2012
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I bought both Sim City and BF4(PC) on launch day and I really wish that I wouldn't have done that and won't buy any game of EA before the first Steamsale/Originthingamajig. Or through a GMG sale. Or something
 

MoltenSilver

New member
Feb 21, 2013
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Amazon physically removed your product from their inventory for a time because they felt selling simcity amounted to possible FRAUD, how much worse does your launch have to go before it's considered 'bad'.

Really, the message we should take away from this is "EA: We now openly admit we don't have standards"
 

Eclectic Dreck

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Sep 3, 2008
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It seem strange that being just shy of "non-functional" for a week and then "marginally functional" for months is, by any interpretation, "good". I flat out could not play Battlefield 4 multiplayer for several days after purchasing (which was a week after it came out) and, after a series of updates, was upgraded to "could not play more than one match" without either my client or the server crashing. Yes, it is stable enough now, months after release but it is enough that next time around I'm probably going to wait a month or more to get any online focused game from EA.

Used to be that waiting a week was long enough for the major problems to resolve.
 

Barbas

ExQQxv1D1ns
Oct 28, 2013
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I don't even need a court jester - these fellows are simply too much!

Gearhead mk2 said:
CrossLOPER said:
Gearhead mk2 said:
I really want to like you again
It's a fucking publisher, not your troublesome ex-girlfriend. It's not like there's a shortage of games out there.
I know, I know, but I'm just so disappointed with EA. They have Mass Effect, Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, and the entire Star Wars brand under their belt, and I am a huge fan of all those franchises. I don't want to see them take great brands like that and waste their potential.
That is what they do, and they are terribly good at it. By this stage, I would be surprised to find they know how to do anything else at all!