A few release day Battlefield 4 bugs are inevitable, executive producer Patrick Bach has told OXM, as DICE hasn't "played safe" with the supporting technology. In general, however, he expects this to be the franchise's least glitchy launch to date.
"Well, we've had the beta," Bach told me, when I asked whether we could expect online performance on par with Battlefield 3's troubled debut. "We've had an alpha. But we're back to the ambition or 'over-scoping' problem again.
"We have been changing a lot of things under the hood in the game, which are quite hard to see at a glance - when you're playing the game you'll feel the benefits, but you might not understand what we've gone through to get there. Sometimes you have to more or less pull out the whole engine to get +10 horsepower. You can't just keep 'boosting' your game to get there." As revealed earlier this week, DICE apparently "considered" delaying Battlefield 4 in order to get more out of the next generation platforms.
"And with that comes, of course, bugs," Bach continued. "If we'd wanted to play it safe, we wouldn't have created a new version of Frostbite - we would have stayed on the right side of the fence. We are trying to push things as far as possible. That doesn't mean you will have loads and loads of bugs, of course."
Battlefield 4's multiplayer beta has turned up a number of bugs, Bach added, but the majority were expected. "I think in general our beta was kind of at the point we thought it would be at, from a bugs perspective. When you release a beta, the build is quite old, because you have to go through all these steps.
"We had our list of known bugs, and the list the beta testers sent back, and they were quite well-matched. The funny thing is, the first hour the game goes live with a beta like this, we have more testing that hour than we've had in the entire project. It gives us a big chunk of information that we need to then cater for. I would hope it would be a smoother experience than we've had before with any previous Battlefield game."
Elsewhere in the chat, Bach defended Rockstar's handling of GTA Online's launch. "There are so many things that can go wrong, and you can never know until you've launched, because you can never fake - you can simulate a lot of load tests, but you can never know for sure," he said. "So we wept with them, when they had those problems."
Bach has also insisted that DICE won't compromise any particular version of Battlefield 4 for the sake of visual parity with other versions, describing this as "the coward's way out".
The game hits shelves on 29th October for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It's an Xbox One and PS4 launch title. Getting it?