With the Battlefield 2042 beta now officially in everyone’s hands, many are wondering why, with the game so close to release, there are so many bugs. While DICE has confirmed that the beta is already “a few months old,” it’s not just a studio offering gamers around the world the latest version of the game. Curious why is this the case? Well, it turns out there is a really good reason for this which is not just about DICE, but the industry as a whole and the way betas / demos are created.
Speaking to Reddit, DICE producer Ben Walke shared details on how beta releases are handled, how they’re separate from the retail launch and more.
This is a super simplistic version, and doesn’t do justice to the work involved.
This is the nature of software development. We work in branches, so while we have our branch on launch day, all spinoffs (betas, demo, E3, gamescom, etc.) are all created from it.
The beta was taken a few months ago from our main version, and from there you then go into hardening mode. This is where you focus on bugs, stability, and no other work needs to be saved. With every recording there is the risk that new problems will arise (as is the case with software development). We’re making so many changes to the build that you have to make a call between locking the build or stopping active development.
We don’t want to stop development of our release version, so you need to “limit” the branched version (in this case the beta) to a specific time.
It won’t be unique to us, that’s how the industry will operate as a whole.
The same will happen for release releases as a studio gets closer to launch, it locks in and the hardening process can then begin.
It should also be noted that with the change of dates it just makes the version older etc.
Beta Day 1 and we’re already in the territory of people losing their jobs. Have you ever wondered why you don’t have more developers interacting with industry players?
There is a valid way to give feedback, I don’t think anyone on the team is against receiving it when it’s done constructively. But the number of personal attacks I’ve seen in just a few hours since it went live is disappointing.
Everyone who contributes to our user interface is fantastic people, great colleagues and talented developers.
As we mentioned earlier in our Crystal Dynamics harassment story regarding Marvel’s Avengers, it is never okay to attack a developer or make threats, even if you are not happy with the decisions made. As a community, we have the right to criticize, but that does not make the use of toxic behavior acceptable.
To learn more about the Battlefield 2042 beta, we’ve written a detailed article on what we want to change and what we think worked in our playtest.
Battlefield 2042 is slated for release on November 19 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and PC.