DICE’s newest incarnation of Battlefield will launch on time but will not use Xbox Live Compute, Battlefield 4 executive producer Patrick Bach recently told Gamesindustry International. The game’s development alongside the development of the Xbox One and PS4 consoles has prompted DICE to limit the game’s cloud streaming functionality to its own servers. This will likely prove a wise move, as Watch Dogs and Driveclub see delays into next year and Grand Theft Auto Online recovers from server overloads that occurred on its release date earlier this month.
The decision not use Live Compute, which lets Xbox game developers offload some of their cloud server needs onto servers owned and operated by Microsoft, was based on the fact that it’s difficult to develop a game while the destination console is still being developed. “We’ve been very aggressive with Battlefield 4,” Bach said, “in that we want to be out at launch with the next gen consoles. I think people might not grasp how hard that is, to develop a game at the same time as the hardware.”
To illustrate the perils of taking on too much when launching a game at the same time as a next-gen console, Bach pointed to Watch Dogs, which was supposed to be out in time for the PS4 launch as a bundled game. But after the announcement came that the game would be delayed into next year, Target was forced to cancel Watch Dogs/PS4 bundle preorders, and Amazon had to downgrade bundle preorders to stand-alone console preorders. Driveclub, a PS4 exclusive, experienced a similar delay.
Bach also said DICE has just concluded a back-end beta for Battlefield 4 as a way to avoid the server overloads and delays experienced by Grand Theft Auto Online on the first day of its release. “We’ve been in that situation previously for the same reasons,” Bach said, “where you’re expecting one scenario and then it turns out to be completely different–it’s really, really hard to cater for that.”