Electronic Arts kills Battlefield 3: Aftershock after pulling it from App Store

Mar 2, 2012
Games

An iOS spin-off of Electronic Arts’ popular first-person shooter, Battlefield 3, isn’t coming back to the iTunes App Store after the publisher pulled it for “re-evaluation.” Battlefield 3: Aftershock hit the App Store earlier this month, bringing the FPS experience of the Battlefield franchise to the iPhone and iPad. It’s not the first Battlefield tie-in […]

An iOS spin-off of Electronic Arts’ popular first-person shooter, Battlefield 3, isn’t coming back to the iTunes App Store after the publisher pulled it for “re-evaluation.”

Battlefield 3: Aftershock hit the App Store earlier this month, bringing the FPS experience of the Battlefield franchise to the iPhone and iPad. It’s not the first Battlefield tie-in title that EA has produced for iOS. The publisher released Battlefield: Bad Company 2 way back in 2010, riffing off the PC and console shooter of the same name, but for some reason, Battlefield 3: Aftershock failed where EA has succeeded before.

The latest Battlefield title on iOS suffered from myriad technical problems ranging from bad controls to trouble connecting to multiplayer games when it first arrived on the scene, so much so that bad reviews quickly piled up on its iTunes page. By Feb. 22, not long after its release, EA had pulled the title, saying in a release that it planned to re-evaluate it based on customer feedback. Apparently, the verdict is that Battlefield 3: Aftershock is beyond saving.

Shot down

According to a story from Vox Games, Aftershock isn’t coming back to the App Store. Ever. EA told the site it’s permanently suspending development on the title and won’t be making it available in iTunes again. Here’s a quote from EA’s statement:

“In the interest of bringing consumers only the highest level of quality mobile entertainment, EA Mobile has decided to suspend development and support of Battlefield 3: Aftershock and refocus its resources on other titles. The Aftershock servers will be live through March 31st, 2012, and customers who have already downloaded the game can continue to play until then.”

Leaving the servers for the game up for a month allows EA to cater, at least a little, to users who downloaded Aftershock while it was available, but it seems the project is pretty much dead in the water. Luckily, users weren’t charged anything to play Aftershock – it was offered for free to download.

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Rebuilding player trust

Still, EA pulling Aftershock, rather than trying to rework the title, speaks to how poorly received it was and how much of players’ respect EA might have burned by releasing the game in such bad shape. Battlefield 3 is a huge game for EA on its other platforms, and the publisher had hoped that it might rival Activision’s world-famous Call of Duty franchise. So Aftershock isn’t exactly a small title for the publisher’s mobile arm, and it seems like a smart call that it would pull it altogether rather than try to return it to the App Store and subject the franchise to more punishment.

EA has more big games on the way to iOS devices that have a lot of promise: next week, it launches Mass Effect 3 on consoles and PC, the trilogy capper to what might be the biggest sci-fi franchise in video games. Along with it comes a pair of mobile apps, one of which is a shooter developed by the same team that made the much-lauded Dead Space tie-in title last year (it went along with EA’s console and PC title Dead Space 2). They’re part of a huge marketing push for EA, and likely to be even more successful than Dead Space was, although firm release dates haven’t been released.

Following the tough times with Aftershock, though, it’s a fair bet to say EA learned its lesson and will be double- and triple-checking the quality of its games from now on. On the plus side, here’s hoping for a great app in Mass Effect: Infiltrator.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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