Fans will be waiting just a bit longer...
EA announced today that Battlefield: Hardline will not see a release date in 2014, but rather in early 2015. Some people will be angry, but this is most likely a better situation than EA releasing a broken and incomplete game (maybe learning from Battlefield 4?).
EA says that with the beta, they have received a lot of feedback and are now really starting to process it and see where they need to make some changes. The fact that EA is recognizing some major changes need to happen before they release the game is definitely something to be happy about. What those changes actually mean, or what they turn out to be, is still unknown. I'm sure we'll complain and/or commend EA for whatever it is.
With the feedback and subsequent delay, EA says they can address these issues in that time:
1. Multiplayer Innovation: Coming out of our E3 beta, internal focus tests, and work with our community, we have received a lot of great Multiplayer thinking. We’re going to be adding some new feature ideas direct from the community that will evolve the cops and criminals fantasy into a truly unique Battlefield Multiplayer experience.
2. Single Player Story Depth: In order to ensure our Single Player experience delivers on player expectations, we’re spending more time polishing our core features, as well as adding a few new ones that will support a deeper “crime revenge” story experience.
3. Stability: This has been a focus for our team since day one and we’re going to be using the extra time to continue to optimize the game for a stable launch. We have learned a lot from Battlefield 4, are continuing to learn from our Community Test Environment and will learn more from another Hardline beta. More time allows us to surface issues that the team can attempt to fix prior to launch.
#1 and #3 are really important and it is good that EA is recognizing some changes need to be made in those areas. #2, is not really super important, seeing as nobody plays Battlefield for the singleplayer these days anyway. I'm, sure many fans of the franchise would be happier if they spent more time on the multiplayer experience. However, if they can make an engaging and well-thought out singelplayer, then more power to them.
With the state that Hardline was in already, a delay can really only mean the game will have the chance to be better. As Hardline stands now, it is nothing more than a relatively large DLC for Battlefield 4.
So don't fret, and let's all hope something better comes out of this delay.