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Battlefield 5’s newest update lacks promised private games

Explanations for post-launch content delays are wearing thin

A dirty man with goggles raised walks toward the camera in key art for Battlefield 5. EA DICE/Electronic Arts

Battlefield 5’s newest update, launching today, doesn’t include a private games option, another setback that a restive player community isn’t taking well.

Privately hosted games had been promised for the September update, but that’s on hold “in order to keep our focus on fixing issues, and ensuring that you’re receiving the right standard of quality with each update,” an EA DICE community manager wrote on Battlefield 5’s subreddit. “This feature is now planned to release during Chapter 5.”

Battlefield 5’s roadmap hasn’t been reliable, even to the game’s own developers, since it was published after EA Play 2019 back in June. But the latest guidance says Chapter 5’s content is “starting fall 2019.”

“When can we expect this information?” wrote EverythingWillBeLost. “I feel like there is a lot of people disappointed on the issue of private games ... ‘Coming during Chapter 5’ doesn’t cut it. We don’t even know when Chapter 5 will begin or how long it will last for. For all we know it could be anywhere from October to February before we see Private games. And that’s if it isn’t delayed yet again.”

Battlefield 5 players have been unimpressed with the post-launch support this game has gotten relative to others in the series. Add to that multiple delays, if not also abandonment, of some of the promised content and the community takes a very cynical view of what these updates really mean.

There are also issues with the release of the long-promised Al Sundan map. “No update is complete without some Al Sundan,” wrote the community manager. And yet, “This map will go live on Conquest and Breakthrough following the release of this week’s update on all three platforms.”

“You said it’s in the patch, but can’t play it till later?” wrote ZeroCloned.

The community manager replied that “the short version is to ensure quality. Al Sundan did not behave correctly in the retail client vs. our testing, and [the map] Marita was similar (we had to hotfix that issue).”

“The update will deliver the files, we’ll be able to verify what we need, and in October we’ll be primed to set it live,” the manager continued. “I can’t ask for your trust or confidence that we’re acting in the best interests given the experience folks have had, and the further delays we confirmed today. But this is us acting responsibly and doing what’s best for the player experience.”

Since the announcement yesterday, players have responded with all kinds of japery, including a crab rave meme with a kazoo accompaniment playing the Battlefield 5 theme.

DICE also posted a full list of changes in the 4.6 update, with a note that Chapter 5’s task list includes work on “the Pacific, private games, [and] further improvements to game performance and stability.”

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