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Battlefield Hardline is Bad for Gaming

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Ignorant of exactly what I was getting my hands on, I played Battlefield Hardline at E3 this year. My first thoughts playing the game were “Now this is an expansion I think I will actually buy!” It was a fun new gameplay mode that kept the action fast and intense. It added an additional layer of depth to a game I had originally found buggy and sort of “meh”. Little did I know.

Apparently Battlefield Hardline isn’t an expansion. It isn’t even a mod. It’s a standalone title despite the general consensus among gamers that Battlefield 4 was broken and glitchy at launch, and remains so today (though I will admit, there have been improvements). Many complain that Battlefield 4 isn’t even a year old yet, but that’s not even the real problem.  Battlefield has seen yearly releases before (Battlefield: Bad Company came a year after Battlefield 2142 which game a year after Battlefield 2, etc.) The real issue is that EA seems to have ignored their buggy product in an obvious cash-grab attempt to make gamers buy the newest game.

When this game sells (and let’s be honest: It’ll probably sell pretty well), the gaming community will just be showing EA that releasing buggy games and never fixing them carries no penalty. In fact, it’s in their best interest, because they won’t have to spend the money to patch the games, and we’ll be so desperate and hopeful that the next iteration won’t be a problem, we’ll go right ahead and buy it. Product quality doesn’t matter anymore, innovation doesn’t matter, and delivering a functional product doesn’t matter so long as you can sell us a $60 product the next year (after buying all of this year’s expansions, that is) in the hopes that the new product will be better.

Let me be perfectly clear, here: Battlefield Hardline should not be a stand-alone title. It is, at best, a re-texturing of Battlefield 4 with what is perhaps an interesting idea. It could have been done better, and I would absolutely have been happy to pay maybe $15 or $20 for it as an expansion to Battlefield 4. It’s by no means terrible. As its own title, though, it is just painful.

Battlefield Hardline makes no sense in the Battlefield franchise. Its conceit is cops vs. robbers, and unless they are trying to make some sort of statement about the militarization of America’s police force, I fail to see the Battlefield connection which has all been about grand warfare. Cops and robbers doesn’t have the scope that has been the conceit of Battlefield from the start. This very well could have been its own IP rivalling Payday 2 if EA wanted it to be, but just putting on the Battlefield logo feels like a cynical opportunity to get money just because they know there is a group of people who will buy anything with Battlefield tied to its name.

The more we allow companies like EA to sell the community short like this, the more other companies will follow along. When CEOs care more about their fiduciary responsibilities, they will turn to EA and see that it’s profitable to deliver more quantity and less quality unless the gaming community finally steps up and refuses to purchase blatant money grabs like Battlefield Hardline. Let’s make sure games like this remain the exception and don’t become the rule.

About Stephen Crane

Stephen was hooked by the NES at a very young age and never looked back. He games on a daily basis and is currently trying to climb his way up the ranked ladder on League of Legends! Outside of the video game world he actually likes running and owns a rapidly growing collection of toed shoes. Stephen Crane is the owner of Armed Gamer.

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  • Froggus Maximus

    Look out world, this kid knows all! Like the fact that these two games, BF4 and BFHardline, are developed by different studios. So while the game you’re crying about continues being worked on by Dice, since they don’t have a new BF title this year, you’ll also have a new title by someone else to fuss about being too good by certain comparison and hate admitting to it every step of the way. Entitled, whiney gamers. Buy it or don’t. But focus on the game. Your government are the tyrants you should be scrutinizing. Not video game companies. Put your lip wiggling to better use.

  • Dylan Cunliffe

    Well I was unaware that it was two different companies so that definitely changes things otherwise I would agree 100%. I am very disappointed in bf4 (ps4 version). I have given up even trying to play it, every time I log in its the same damn issues that have yet to be fixed. I have not bought any of the expansions as a result, and I certainly would have if the game ran the way it’s meant to. A shame because it’s a great game otherwise. This may have been enough to turn me off of bf completely. Even to fix it now is too little too late.