If you’ve been keeping up with EA-DICE at all, you’ll have probably heard of their new free-to-play version of the hit game, Battlefield. Dubbed Battlefield Heroes, this version of the game runs similarly to previous installments in the series, the key difference being that now the graphics have taken on a cartoony, cell-shaded look. The graphics, while basic, look nice, and while I haven’t done too much research into the game (it’s not really on my top games list or anything), it still looks like one of the best free games that will soon be available for download. Now for the actual news.
DICE has just posted on the Battlefield Heroes website that unfortunately, their estimated release of later this fall has been pushed back again to early 2009, the Beta closing up November 14th (yesterday). It’s really a shame though, since EA had expected the game to be out this summer, and it has since been delayed by DICE twice now due to incomplete “backend” programming, or something of that nature. Creating a game is a lot of work, and creating a free game, especially one that’s as deep as Battlefield Heroes, is just as much, if not more, work, especially considering that the devs in a sense/”theoretically” wouldn’t be getting money for their work (we all know this isn’t true). What I mean by this is that, from a developer’s standpoint, it’s just kind of weird to put a ton of work in the game and just set it up for free downloads.
Taken from the post, James Salt, Senior Producer on the project, gives us more insight into the so-called, “backend” of a program.
Salt: “You know the old saying about icebergs being 10% above water, and 90% below? Heroes is a little like that. There’s the 10% game part you can see, and the hiding 90% is what we call the ‘backend’. The backend does a lot of things. From running the website’s features and looking after the items you have, to collecting the results from each Heroes game and matchmaking players into games.
We have received lots of great feedback from our beta testers. So much so that we are now ready to enter our next phase. On Friday evening (6pm CET) we will be closing down the current Closed Beta and moving our focus to polishing the backend. So for a while there will be no closed beta available to play. We expect to re-open the beta early next year.”
And there you have it. Sorry Battlefield Heroes fans, you’ll have to wait several more months before you can finally get your hands on this free title. It’s a PC exclusive (for now) and will be released free sometime next year.