EpicBattleCry - Skirmish 237: They Write Themselves



On this party-filled edition of EBC the gang discusses EA, Ubisoft and Activision’s presence at E3. Plus, Battlefield: Hardline leaked, The Order: 1886 and The Evil Within Delayed, Batman goes beyond Gotham and so much more on this pre-pre-E3 edition of gaming’s most brutal video podcast!


TOPIC: THIRD PARTY TIME! With E3 2014 right around the corner, team EBC evaluates what big third-party publishers like Activision, EA and Ubisoft need to do to steal the headlines and win over a new generation of gamers. From Destiny to Call of Duty,


MEMBER: Lance Latham

While I am sure 343 can revitalize the Halo franchise with something new and innovative, I just don't want to see yet another game in another... wait.  What am I talking about? Why not revolutionize the series with something familiar yet amazing. Look at Rocksteady and their handling of Batman, a property that had had countless shitty games made for it. If done well, it can satisfy die hard fans of the series and maybe even tickle the fancy of some newcomers. Sure, some brand spanking new IP would be great, but I think 343 proved themselves with Halo 4 and now will bring their AAA game to the table.

Disclaimer: I'm not a Halo fan.

Views: 2236

Tags: EpicBattleCry, podcasts

Comment by Martin Giroux on May 29, 2014 at 12:54pm

You're rangers are gonna lose... GO HABS GO!!!

Comment by Thor on May 29, 2014 at 1:51pm

I bet The Division wont look as good when it releases,as it does in trailers. It's Ubisoft. Ghost Recon:Future Soldier,Far cry 3,Watch Dogs. These games looked better in the early trailers,than they do in their final releases. 

Comment by Lance Latham on May 29, 2014 at 9:55pm

Aw, thanks guys! So exciting to see my name. Been listening to the archived episodes this week. I was half expecting DK-Money-Shizel to offer up some "sweet ass GOG action". I haven't come to the point in the show where that stops.

In brief, since class is starting soon, I'l hold judgement on these "delayed" titles until I hear a little bit more and until they are a little closer for me to do something about it, i.e. buy or not buy. I just hope they don't go the route of having a gazillion different game versions for each region and/or each retailer. Kinda put me off for Watch Dogs, to be honest. And, cynically speaking, I bet you that Ubisoft will put ALL of those different versions together in one GOTY package but it won't be any cheaper than the full game at launch. Maybe I can get someone to give it to me for Father's Day...

Comment by Gapi182 on May 30, 2014 at 4:05am

Why I didn't buy Watch dogs? And why will I not buy Division at launch? Why I voted with my wallet for the first time? Experience!

I am a fan of Ubisoft. Well, actually, I'm more a fan of their games than the company itself so let me take you on a journey of the wonderful Ubisoft multiplayer experience.

Assassin's creed series: The series had multiplayer since Brotherhood which is 4 games with multiplayer. You'd think they'd nail it by now right? But no... no. In Revelations an AC3 you couldn't join a game with friends... it just wouldn't find a game if you had 2 other friends with you. And IF it did you got into opposite teams and had to play against each other!! Let's not forget the constant lag the game had. Let's take a look at their latest AC. AC 4: Black Flag. I bought the season pass and guess what? When the DLC came out I couldn't get it!!! Yes, season pass holders actually couldn't download the DLC without paying for it for OVER A WEEK!!! Was in no news on any website! Some poor guys even bought the DLC and never got their money back!!! And let's not forget their customization options that require so much money that you're almost forced to spend real money to get new things... oh and people who spend money in the game actually have a gameplay advantage by having stronger abilities. Pay to win literally. Again nobody mentions this ANYWHERE!

Let's take a look at Splinter Cell: The game AGAIN had terrible matchmaking where me and my friend couldn't even play a match together.

Another game? Far Cry 3: The game itself was fantastic. Everything the developers did was incredible but as soon as it comes to multiplayer we AGAIN had laggy matches!

Ubisoft is KNOWN for having the WORST online experience one can imagine and buying any of their games at launch will show you the truth. For most games though, it doesn't even matter if you buy them at launch because the online experience will never be good. The Division will most likely fail I mean... they can't get 4v4 matchmaking right how are they gonna make an MMO online experience? Think before you buy people!

Comment by Miguel Ramos on May 30, 2014 at 5:58am

Hi guys, good show. I'm looking forward for Dargon Age: Inquisition. In fact i'm playing Dragon Age: Origins and bought Dragon Age 2 to prepare for it. Of course it's not a huge franchise, both games on both consoles (excluding PC) sold as much as Skyrim on 360 only so... But still, it's a fun RPG. And yes, Mass Effect is nice and all, but what I want is new games! Give me new games! And exclusive next gen games. Give a reason to trade up, excluding pretty graphics. There are so few next gen only titles. Even Watch Dogs, that was hailed as the true start of the new generation is on PS3 and 360, and mostly the same game. Please, wow me at E3, show me something new!

Comment by Martin Giroux on May 30, 2014 at 8:56am

Hum... Rangers won... Well, congrats to you Daniel and good luck with the standley cup! With a team that is half Canadien, I'll root for them!

Comment by AlienLion on May 31, 2014 at 5:23pm

You know, I've been trying to sign back up for the site over and over (I think my GPA wasn't good enough at first) just to say how great it is to see EBC and EBA still going strong. I remember being unsure about its' future back during the audio only era but it warms the heart to see the same care and sprightly enthusiasm in the shows today.

I also wanted to add that no matter how big or small the community gets, philosophically speaking (sp?), EBA and EBC mean enough to fans like myself to make the effort you put into it all worth it. 

Now, to add a little something on topic, I really hope to see them combine the wonder of a new IP reveal with the excitement of a huge sequel by bringing back some beloved old franchise from the dead at E3. 

Kickstarter is nice and all but how awesome would it be to see a quality AAA surprise sequel reveal of Streets of Rage, Road Rash, Blood, MDK, Earthworm Jim? Something like that would just make it complete for me and why the fuck not? We need some freshness and the publishers need familiar titles. Don't underestimate the gaming crowd that wasn't born in the 2000's I say.  

Comment by Adrian Tang on June 1, 2014 at 12:30pm

Hi Guys,

I work as a performance tester for a fairly large company that does work for other companies like EA on their Origin project a few years ago.  I think that with the inclusion of online gameplay or online only gameplay, companies are struggling to get all the components of their games together, hence the delays and sometimes cuts to parts of games.  All this means, from a testing perspective, is that you have less and less time to test the product in it's, hopefully, final state, and with the current mindset of "We'll fix it when it's live", it means that developers can create huge headaches for themselves when proper testing time isn't allotted to the project.

I think that there are multiple reasons why online components are failing, time, budget, test cases, scaling, and expectations, to name a few.  Time is the most important factor in most of the cases.  Testing takes a lot of time to flush out all of your bugs and if you don't have enough time to create proper test cases to test as much of your game as possible, then you leave yourself open to bugs that you may miss.  Just finding the bugs isn't the solution either, once that is done, you need to give time for a fix to be created and then retest.  This however is extremely tough to do on a large enough scale without the use of automated tools and even then there are limitations.  Take an MMO for example.  Something like World of Warcraft has hundreds, if not thousands, of things that a player could be doing each moment.  To account for each individual option would be insane, so only the large "transactions" are tested, generally.  These automated tools, such as HP's LoadRunner cost a lot of money to license as well, a possible roadblock for why companies may prefer to do their own style of performance testing.

Scaling seems to be a big issue for a lot of applications, not just games.  When the application or game runs with a few users, resources being used can look linear.  1 user uses up 0.1% of server CPU and memory, 10 users uses up 1%.  However we can't take this scaling and apply it to, say 100 users or worse, 1000 users.  We see bottlenecks and limitations that these servers run into and then all hell breaks loose, response times increase, data is lost, etc.  I have seen applications that handle 1000 users perfectly fine and all it takes is one more user to break everything.  I suspect that's what happens with some server architecture testing, they do ideal situations and scale up that way, not actually testing with a suitable server load.

I know this is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo and not well defined but I hope at least I get the idea across how testing is important and necessary for the success of any application anywhere, on or offline.

Feel free to ask me questions if you'd like to learn more about Performance Testing.  Fyi, in case you don't understand, performance testing comes after functional testing (where components are tested for accuracy) and is used to determine if the transactions an application performs falls within it's service level agreement (SLA), for example, login to the application takes < 5s.

Comment by Rowan - AzureCantabile on June 1, 2014 at 1:03pm

I actually feel pretty good about EA and star wars. I hope for battlefront to be a big finish and for them to show something about that third project they mentioned that hasn't had many rumours about it yet. 

THe main reason I'm hopeful though is that EA have said they're not going to be beholden to releasing alongside the new movies (which I'm far less optimistic about since disney decided every book/game besides the movies/TV show is non-canon now.) and while I know there will be tie in content for those movies, I'm pretty confident gonna be a Disney social/mobile game like tiny death star again and not an EA console release.

Comment by Lucius Silver on June 1, 2014 at 4:29pm

Hello gents.

Great show.

I don’t expect this E3 to be different from previous ones in terms of new announcements. The so-called next gen has brought but a few IPs to the table, with companies betting instead on tried and true franchises.

Still, I would like to see new games both from first and third party studios.

Activision shouldn’t step outside its comfort zone, with Call of Duty and Destiny taking centre stage. A new Tony Hawk game could be announced and I would like to see something from Crash Bandicoot as well;

Aside from Battlefield, I expect EA to show something Star Wars related. My great wish is the revival of 1313;

As far as Ubisoft goes, the major reveals of the last two E3 have come from them (Watch Dogs, The Division). Will they do it again? Nevertheless, Assassin’s Creed and FarCry are guaranteed to show. I’m hoping for a new Prince of Persia...


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