Somebody at EA must’ve hit the panic button. The game maker just announced that highly anticipated titles Battlefield Hardline and Dragon Age: Inquisition will both miss their expected release dates.
Hardline, developed by Dead Space creator Visceral Games, is the bigger delay. Originally scheduled for an October 21 release, the game is now delayed until “early 2015″—probably sometime in the February/March period where most just-missed-the-holidays games land.
“Back at E3, we launched a beta for Hardline — we wanted to not only show you the game, but to let you play it for yourselves. Millions of you jumped in and had a great time. As a result, the Visceral Games team learned a lot from players about what they wanted in the game,” wrote DICE VP Karl Magnus Troedsson on the Battlefield blog.
“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. However, there was only one problem. We would need more time.”
Despite the assertion that millions “had a great time” with the Battlefield Hardline beta, the consensus seemed to be that it felt too much like Battlefield 4, that military weaponry didn’t really fit the cops and robbers format, and that it should have been an expansion rather than a standalone product. Whether any of these criticisms is fair, it’s hard to say—we’ve only seen a beta, and not the full product. However, it’s clear EA has heard the criticism—you don’t just delay your flagship shooter franchise into the spring for no reason.
Perhaps the move is also an effort to get Hardline into its own release slot. With Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Bungie’s buzzed-about Destiny , and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare all releasing in the fall, maybe EA looked at the post-beta buzz for Hardline and decided it would do better in a less crowded environment.
Dragon Age: Inquisition, on the other hand, only slips a month or so—from October 7 to November 18. The reasons behind this delay are even more nebulous, but mostly seem to concern overall quality. “This last bit of time is about polishing the experience we want you to see. Ensuring that our open spaces are as engaging as possible. Strengthening the emotional impact of the Hero’s choices. And ensuring the experience you get is the best it can be in the platform you choose to play on,” wrote executive producer Mark Darrah.
Hopefully we won’t see many more game delays, or else this fall’s release schedule is going to get pretty darn barren.