DICE is irritated by, but benefits from, the delays to PC fixes caused by the console certification process.
In order to keep all three versions of the game on the same level, DICE holds back incremental fixes to the PC version of Battlefield 3 until it can patch the console releases at the same time. The cost of these patches – and the significant certification waiting times – mean these patches don’t roll out as often as the developer would like.
Executive producer Patrick Bach agreed with PC Gamer that waiting for console certification to roll out important fixes is headache-inducing.
“It’s very frustrating when it comes to – you have the fix, it’s done but you can’t roll it out,” he said.
“It’s not unique to us – everyone lives in this reality.”
But Bach also said there are some benefits to the forced wait time.
“You get proper testing. There’s a lot of process that is there to guarantee a great gameplay experience,” he said.
“We have had problems with patching in things like Battlefield 2 where you had to patch the patch because the patch screwed it up and then you have to apply a patch to the patch to the patch. And that’s, from a player perspective, that’s not a great experience – ‘Oh is this the 6.8 patch or the 6.9? Because the 6.8 broke the game and now you need to unbreak it!’ So getting focus and testing and all those things is actually a positive.
“Our problem with support is we have a very big and complex game, so if something needs to be fixed, we need to be sure that it doesn’t break something at the other end and again, like I said, we don’t want to do emergency fixes to compensate for a problem in a specific area.”
The next patch for Battlefield 3 has a release date of “soon” – the PlayStation 3 version began rolling out today.