EA have been criticized by the BBC’s consumer rights television programme Watchdog, after the show received numerous complaints relating to bugs and glitches in the FIFA 13 football game.
A month after launch, and some of the game’s 7.4 million players are still reporting issues such as invisible balls and players, unending loading cycles and bugs wiping out Ultimate Team players bought with real-world money.
The Watchdog show focussed on two players who had experienced the game-breaking bugs, and now last night’s show has prompted an open letter response from EA.
“Our commitment is to not only address issues and necessary fixes to improve the FIFA experience as quickly and effectively as possible, but deliver new services and new content all season long,” an EA spokesperson wrote.
“The process of improving the game experience for our fans is a constant one, and our team continues to work on additional improvements that we will implement and communicate in the coming days and weeks ahead. We know that we have significantly improved the FIFA experience for our fans in recent days, and we fully expect that to continue as we develop and implement additional improvements and fixes.
“We understand that some fans may wonder why we can’t fix all the known issues at once. That’s a fair question and the answer isn’t quite as simple. We are delivering improvements and fixes in such a way to ensure the millions of people playing FIFA 13 do not experience undue or overly lengthy network/server outages, that title updates and other improvements are done to a high quality, and that we’re confident the changes will improve the FIFA 13 experience for everyone.”
Stating that the issues raised by the show were being “actively addressed”, EA conceded that:
“We have received reports from our fans of rare occurrences where the ball in the game does not appear. Our team continues to investigate these rare events and we will communicate directly with our fans once we have more information.”
But surely a triple-A game from a big name publisher shouldn’t be shipping with bugs at all? It’s becoming an endemic “ship first, patch later” culture driven by annual sequel cycles, the sort of thing that just wouldn’t have been allowed in the pre-internet offline gaming days. Fair play to Watchdog for bringing the issue to a wider mainstream audience.
EA’s open-letter response in full can be found by clicking here.