Army of Two started off on the seventh-generation of consoles with high hopes. The game was flawed, but had interesting ideas with its Co-Op focus that could be expanded in a sequel. So Army of Two: The 40th Day was developed and had those improvements, but it didn’t sell. Still, another sequel came, Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel and it was just awful. What happened?
It turns out that the team was battling with “a negative trajectory of morale.” Executive Producer Julian Beak spoke of the development on his LinkedIn profile (via VideoGamer) about the many struggles he and the team had to endure throughout development. Beak was “recruited late in development to nurture the team at Visceral Games Montreal to deliver a struggling product in very little time,” and that he successfully “reversed negative trajectory of team’s morale.” He believes that he, “rebuilt confidence and a trustworthy culture through hard work and the frequent celebration of success,” and that he “modeled and coached honesty, tenacity and commitment at all levels.”
However, it appears to have come to late. EA wanted the product out at a certain time and it was too late to add in this new found morale. The effects were heavily felt. Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel received horrible scores and it was reported that EA shut down Visceral Games Montreal.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel wasn’t the only game EA shipped out the door in a horrendous state throughout 2013. Both SimCity and Battlefield 4 were launched way too soon and suffered from bugs and glitches. Battlefield 4 was so bad that EA has had two lawsuits filed against them. Hopefully the publisher learns from its rough 2013.