Burnout 3 Takes Down Xbox Live, EA Pulls Back Into The Pits

EA's Live tinkering causes problems

Posted by Staff
Burnout 3 Takes Down Xbox Live, EA Pulls Back Into The Pits
Electronic Arts is coming under serious flak this week, vexed by technical problems thwarting the integration of Xbox Live online play into the just-released Burnout 3: Takedown. This is EA’s first Live project, and some teething problems were certainly expected: although the current situation is more severe than had been anticipated.

The fundamental problem is that EA wanted to do things its own way when Microsoft has already set up a fairly rigid, and pleasingly workable, online gaming community. Indeed, it was this difference in views that prevented EA taking advantage of Live at an earlier stage. However, the arrival of Burnout 3 was hoped to remedy this conflict: bringing the two corporate giants together in a joyful jig of international gaming goodness.

Reports from Live enabled Burnout 3 players have, however, deviated from the entirely positive remarks expected. In fact, people are getting seriously frustrated that the product they were promised seems to have fallen flat for seemingly inexplicable reasons. Players are getting booted off servers, log-ins are failing, Xboxes are crashing, Friends Lists are vanishing… it is, in fact, a small catastrophe for the makers of Burnout 3: which is an absolutely excellent title (offline, at least!).

EA should expect some hefty criticism over this issue. Online gamers have been receptive towards the Xbox Live way of doing things, and EA’s intervention: separating game lobbies on a national basis and forcing opt-out mailing lists, has so far proved problematic. However, it is hoped that these problems will soon be rectified.

Later on today, Burnout 3 will be closed for play as EA carry out “scheduled server maintenance” and “lobby server deployment”, which will hopefully smooth out a few of the issues experienced thus far. We certainly hope so anyway: especially on behalf of all those who ran out and bought Burnout 3 on its release day specifically to get involved with Xbox Live!


Joji 14 Sep 2004 13:12
Oh dear, EA in a nasty car accident already. Slow down and observe the carnage on roadside.

Really strange that this happens with their first Xbox Live title, but I'd rather problems occur now than when FIFA 2005 turns up. This screams of sloppy, hope they can iron out the problem though. Everything happens for a reason, and maybe some good will come of it.
config 14 Sep 2004 13:18
For EA's sake, I hope that the problem lies with the server.

Any issues with the game are going to be a real bitch to resolve, aside from a recall and replacement programme.
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tyrion 14 Sep 2004 13:28
Surely most of the Live! code in the game would have been written under the observance of Acclaim, not EA?

The articles I've seen in Develop seem to point to the fact that the Live! layer is a huge job to integrate.

Unless, of course, Renderware has an exceptionally good network layer. Burnout 3 is networked on PS2 as well. In which case, the fault almost certainly lies at the server.
saurian 14 Sep 2004 13:54
If as you think (and I agree) the code was written under Akklaim, then surely it would have been written to run on the usual microsoft network of servers. Could the problem be that after the aquisition by EA, they made the decision to use their own servers and just 'bolted on' an interface between the two? Whatever went wrong, I hope it is sorted because it makes live play so frustrating I just play something else instead. There are no problems on any other games. By the way, could any Playstation live owner comment on how Burnout performs on their machine?

williewagga 19 Sep 2004 14:11
Burnout 3 is very poor online via PS2, joining a game fails 90% of the time, creating a game and starting it successfully fails 90% of the time, EA server timed out etc...have to log in again, told I'm already logged in, have to reboot. After selecting a game to join, I can see a good ping, then told can't communicate with these players, though I can hear them on my headset, decide frustratingly to create a game, others players join, all six ready to go, told to press the start button, I press, and press again nothing happens then EA server timed out again have to log in again, after 2 hours of this crap I just give up, and by the look of the numbers actually trying to play most nights last week 30-50 UK/IRL while there are now over 10,000 registered online to play, I am not alone in my anger and frustration.
I worry the the same problems will occur with Timesplitters 3 and other EA titles, the future looks far from perfect.

EA Games: challenges your sanity
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