Post-Mortem of Battalion 1944 – Why It Failed, What It Needs To Do [Discussion]
No one was more eager to play Battalion 1944 than I was. I remember waiting for the game months prior to the release and hoping for them to have another round of Alpha Stage buy-ins so that I could get in on the game. When the game was actually released on Feb. 01, I bought it instantly and geared up to play while it downloaded ever so slowly.
Fast forward to today, it is a Saturday evening as I sit here and write this on my laptop. Yet, there are less than four hundred players actually playing this game. A game which had so much promise and seemed to be on course for being a niche eSports title that could give Rainbow Six Siege a run for its money seems to have turned to dust a mere few weeks after its release.
Today, let’s go ahead and take a look at why Battalion 1944 seems to have failed and whether or not we can hope for a comeback.
Why Battalion 1944 Failed?
I was mentioning buying the game on launch day earlier, so once I had done that, I decided to go ahead and launch the game to see if all of the wait had been worth it. After a quick go through of the settings and a sensitivity correction using the Practice Mode, I was ready to head into the game.
However, that was where everything went sour. No matter how hard I tried, I found it impossible to get into the game. From one bug to the next, the loading screen wouldn’t come. After quite a few tries, I did manage to get the loading screen, only to find out that there was a problem with the servers and the vast majority of the players were simply unable to get into the game.
At that point, there were at least 20,000 trying to get into the game. This is proof of the fact that the game had done everything right up to that point. 20,000 people wanting to play your game is by no means bad for a game that had zero backing at its inception and had to do a Kickstarter Campaign in order to raise the funds required for its development.
The fact is that the game had managed to peak an interest of quite a lot of people within the gaming industry. We saw many Counter Strike pros trying the game including former Cloud 9 star-player Shroud.
Lex, another Counter Strike player who played for North American organizations such as Winterfox decided to quit Counter Strike altogether in order to focus on playing Battalion 1944. He was a former Call of Duty 4 pro, so that was quite understandable.
The fact is that if the developers had foreseen the amount of traffic that was going to come to their servers and had adequately prepared for the game, then their game would not have had such a terrible reputation from the beginning and probably would have more players than it does now.
Battalion 1944’s Overzealousness
It is always good to have ambitious developers who are all about making their game much better than the expectations of the public.
However, there comes a point when you need to realize that this is enough for now and focus on stability rather than adding new features. The developers of Battalion had a great product which they needed to refine before they moved on, and yet they decided to keep on pushing their luck.
I do not know whether to call it arrogance or staying true to what you believe in but the developers of the game have been hell-bent on pushing it as an e-sport. The fact is that Battalion was always going to be a competitive shooter due to its nature and focus on balance, but the game needed a dedicated casual community to support the game and give it the player base required for a successful e-sport.
From day one, it seemed as if the developers were putting way too much emphasis on having the game kick off as an e-sport with their numerous different tournaments and their plans to have the game as a regular addition to the insomnia gaming events in the UK.
Not one of the successful e-sport games except perhaps Overwatch ever set out to become a successful e-sport game. Counter Strike was meant to be nothing more than a mod for Half-Life, and Riot Games were more than surprised when the first ever League of Legends World Championship was viewed by so many people.
Battalion 1944 continued to believe that it was going to be an amazing competitive game that could challenge other competitive shooters in the market, and yet it failed to notice that it was constantly alienating the casual community by not having enough updates and leaving massive bugs in the game for way longer than they would have to be.
Lastly, the developers refused to service the Asian community. A large part of the player base was going to come from Asia, as that was one of the few places where Call of Duty 4: ProMod was still a force to be reckoned with.
However, the fact that SEA servers came out over a month after the release of the game and were delayed so much that there were never any players to play with on that server meant that there was no chance for Battalion to crawl out of the hole that it had dug for itself.
And that is the sad thing. Battalion 1944 was quite fun to play and could have been a decent competitive FPS catering to the niche crowd of old-school FPS lovers who wanted a game much more fast-paced than Counter Strike and Rainbow Six Siege but not as fast paced as the arena shooters of the 90s.
However, Battalion will probably just be another failed Early Access experiment that no one will remember a few years from now.
That was Battalion 1944’s Post Mortem. Let us know your thoughts on the game through the comments section below!