JUNE

EDGE - - DISPATCHES JUNE -

Ex­tra credit

Al­though I have been a sub­scriber for many years, I haven’t taken the op­por­tu­nity to write to you un­til now. I was in­spired to pick up a pen (well, key­board) by your new lay­out. I’m a big fan of Edge’s fea­tures, and so to find so many packed in a sin­gle is­sue was a de­light, but I was even more ex­cited to see the re­turn of Time Ex­tend! This kind of thing is ex­actly why I started buy­ing Edge, so thank you for bring­ing it back. And while we’re on the sub­ject of clas­sic Edge, can I also take this op­por­tu­nity to con­grat­u­late you on the re­cent run of bold, sin­gle-minded cov­ers. They feel like a re­turn to the days of the Girl Is­sue and that smashed-up N64 cover (though I’d like to point out that I chose to buy an Xbox One, and am very happy with my pur­chase).

The only thing I re­ally don’t get on with is the fact that James Leach is hid­den away on his own at the back be­hind all the ad­verts – his col­umns al­ways make me laugh, but I al­most didn’t re­alise it was there at all and as­sumed that he’d gone the way of the other colum­nists, who are no longer in the mag­a­zine. Liam McCarthy

“That shared ex­pe­ri­ence will im­me­di­ately be lost the sec­ond I stick a VR head­set on”

Of all the reg­u­lars that have ap­peared in these pages over the past 20 years, Time Ex­tend was the one we’ve most of­ten been asked to res­ur­rect, so we’re sim­ply do­ing what we’re told. If enough people want Nagoshi’s whisky diaries to make a come­back, too, we’ll even try to get him back on board, but no prom­ises.

The mod­ern Bat­tle­field

In the Sound­bytes sec­tion of Edge 266, you in­cluded a quote from [Od­dworld In­hab­i­tants co-founder and pres­i­dent] Lorne Lan­ning be­moan­ing EA’s treat­ment of Bat­tle­field 4. I couldn’t agree with him more. I still have fond mem­o­ries of whole evenings spent play­ing Bat­tle­field 1942, and the jour­ney I went on with Mar­lowe, Sweet­wa­ter, Hag­gard and Sarge in Bad Com­pany 2 is still with me. Hell, I even have warm rec­ol­lec­tions of the only good bit of Bat­tle­field 3’ s cam­paign be­fore it be­comes an in­dis­tinct trudge.

You’d have thought, given that game’s litany of launch server is­sues, that EA would have learned its les­son about en­sur­ing its stu­dios have the time they need to pol­ish things prop­erly. But Bat­tle­field 4’ s launch has been even more dis­as­trous, with all DICE’s plans now on hold as it fran­ti­cally tries to bail buggy wa­ter from its bro­ken game. On Bat­tlelog, it even says that it is “con­tin­u­ously” work­ing on fix­ing the game. What a waste of talent.

EA’s in­volve­ment even man­aged to some­how tar­nish the work of the usu­ally im­pec­ca­ble PopCap, with Plants Vs Zom­bies: Gar­den War­fare also suf­fer­ing from server is­sues at launch and then even more prob­lems when the first ex­pan­sion pack was re­leased. And many people, in­clud­ing my­self, ex­pe­ri­enced is­sues with Need For Speed: Ri­vals. If EA doesn’t stop putting share­hold­ers be­fore play­ers, as Lorne says, it is go­ing to find all the work it did to im­prove its rep­u­ta­tion rapidly un­done. Andrew Latham EA is far from the only cul­prit, but the likes of SimCity, Bat­tle­field 4 and Ri­vals cer­tainly paint a pic­ture of a com­pany that needs to re­think the rush to get games out be­fore they’re ready to be stress-tested by thou­sands of play­ers. But the cul­ture of the con­tin­ued patch job pre­vails, and it’s un­likely to change in the short term.

Happy Tri­als?

Ubisoft has been crow­ing about the fact

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