AMD and Electronic Arts send word this afternoon that the Mantle update for Battlefield 4 has been delayed until next month. The update was previously scheduled for late December, however any slippage on that schedule would push the release to January, which it appears is exactly what has happened. AMD and EA have released a short and highly sanitized statement on the matter.

After much consideration, the decision was made to delay the Mantle patch for Battlefield 4. AMD continues to support DICE on the public introduction of Mantle, and we are tremendously excited about the coming release for Battlefield 4! We are now targeting a January release and will have more information to share in the New Year.

With that in mind, for Battlefield 4 players it’s well known that DICE is in the middle of a massive bug hunt due to a number of recurring (and sometimes severe) bugs in the game, which has led to DICE pausing most other development tasks in order to focus on fixing bugs. As such there’s been a lot of speculation over whether Mantle would be delayed as part of the bug hunt, and to minimal surprise this seems to be what has happened.

With that said, while Electronic Arts’ statement is unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) light on details, given the compartmentalized development of modern engines and the bugs facing Battlefield 4 we have good reason to believe that Mantle development itself has only been minimally impeded (if affected at all) since the bulk of BF4’s issues are not in the rendering engine. Instead it’s far more likely that DICE and EA’s QA teams are tied up finding bugs and testing fixes, which would require delaying the Mantle update due to a lack of resources to validate it. The silver lining on all of this being that if our assumption is right, it would at least mean the Frostbite rendering team would have more time to spend on the project while waiting for QA resources to be freed up.

As for the state of the Mantle API itself, we don’t expect that this will change anything. AMD is already working with other developers on Mantle and we’ve already seen Mantle on display at the 2013 AMD Developer Summit, so we know it’s up and running in development form. But as Battlefield 4 is still going to be AMD’s launch vehicle for Mantle, this means that AMD’s consumer Mantle plans are essentially delayed in lockstep with Battlefield 4.

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  • Mountainjoy - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    What it's not coming out tomorrow. My mind has been blown.
  • Bob Todd - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    A software related schedule miss involving AMD? Unfathomable! Whether it is AMD's resources or a 3rd party like in this case, they (product management) need to learn the art of under promising and over delivering. I hope AMD makes their (delayed) January commit for the Eyefinity frame pacing drivers, but I wouldn't bet on it.
  • Beno619 - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    In all fairness this ids most likely, EA's fault.
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - link

    The delay is EA's fault. The marketing around the delay and the constant overpromising and underdelivering is all squarely in AMD's hands. Thus, their fault.

    I agree with the above poster. AMD needs to learn to build in some, "Uh oh, we missed the deadline" time instead of throwing out whatever their absolute best case scenario timing is to make sales.

    One can't ignore the fact they waited until the next to last day in December to admit there was a delay, either, when they had to know once Christmas was here that, "Yeah, EA ain't gonna make it this month." Everyone knows the last two weeks are effective non-weeks for the month of December, but AMD figured remaining silent might sell a few more GPU's.
  • Kevin G - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    AMD is pretty bad on meeting deadlines. Though they're not quiet as bad as Valve in this matter.
  • Mountainjoy - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    I hope the Ultra HD remake of Half Life 2 uses Mantle when it comes out in 2018.
  • hero4hire - Friday, January 3, 2014 - link

    There's a joke in here somewhere. 2018 - 1080p + 4k display / remake variable = 3. Half life 3 confirmed guys!
  • Jumangi - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    Probably wasn't a good idea to be touting increased performance in a new patch when so much of the game play is still. broken
  • Mondozai - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    Will waiting one month make a huge difference? As Ryan wrote, this is most likely more due to EA's Q/A being tied up in bughunting so blaming it on AMD seems lazy.

    Either way, as someone who is getting a free copy of BF4 from a friend who isn't interested after getting a new AMD card, even with my Nvidia card I'd prefer BF4 to be less buggy. So I approve!
  • ericore - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    This is shame this doesn't happen with all the broken EA games; of which there is many.

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