Electronic Arts and DICE today announced they would be delaying the release of their biggest game of the year, Battlefield V. Those of us spoiled gamers who might have lost it in the crowded fall season will now have the game near the Thanksgiving holiday.
Oskar Gabrielson, general manager at DICE, announced the main reason they’re pushing the game back is because, following feedback from alpha players and Gamescom attendees, they intend to make “meaningful improvements to the core gameplay experience.” The beta is still set to go live next week, but the game’s actual release has been moved to November 20.
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that this moves the game from its original release directly between Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 (not to mention just after Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey). I’m sure that had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision, nor did the fact that the game will be coming out just before Black Friday hits.
Regardless, the delay might be the best thing the team can do for this game. BFV was dogged by talk of its poor pre-order sales — Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah Needleman revealed a note to investors that said those all-important sales were lagging far behind CoD and RDR2. So without those early adopters, and with two other mind-bogglingly popular games competing for shelf space, it wasn’t exactly looking like a bright forecast for the next installment in the Battlefield series.
I’m sure it didn’t help that EA’s taken a rather adversarial tone with its fans this time around, with regards to the inclusion of female fighters in the game. Chief Design Officer Patrick Soderlund bluntly told those who took issue with those characters, “You have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game.” It was starting to look increasingly like those fans went with the latter option.
But now? The game has very little to compete with, and there’s every chance by the time it does come out, fans will be hungering for a new game.
There’s a chance here for EA to avoid repeating history. Two years ago, the company’s own Titanfall 2 fell into that same death slot, being released between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Somehow, EA believed the audiences for all three first-person shooter franchises wouldn’t overlap. Surprise: Titanfall 2’s sales fell drastically below expectations.
So I’m on board with having a Thanksgiving release, if only to keep us from becoming oversaturated. We now have a month to get the two biggest games of the year out of our system before BFV comes out.
Still, it’s now got to compete for my attention with the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, which was recently delayed to the middle of November. What’s with all these games delaying until the middle of November, anyway? Don’t they know that’s the month I start catching up on my fall backlog?