Snippet from a latest interview
below. Apparently the frame rate and load times have been improved over the beta:
Four-player split-screen has only been recently introduced. How long ago was that feature planned?
It's something we'd always hoped for. We got a lot of feedback from the public beta; this is something people really, really wanted. So, we upped the priority on it and dedicated a core number of our programmers just to focus on optimizations and what they could do. So it's come online in the past month, month and a half, and it's all we're playing in the office nowadays. Lots, and lots of trash talk.
So split-screen multiplayer can be attributed to the public beta. What else did the team focus on and learn from the public beta?
It was great, we were really happy to see it. We had 100,000 people in for both the North American and European beta. I think we logged somewhere between 500 and 1000 unique bugs, and we got tons of great feedback. We listened to all the feedback. We implemented some of the smaller ones we could, took some of the bigger improvements that people wanted. People wanted more control over the cameras, so we added camera controls so you can choose how zoomed in you are. That's something people are happy about to see we got that in. And some other things, we'd consider for future versions of the title.
One of the largest complaints from the beta were the long load times. Has that issue been addressed?
It's something we'd always planned on addressing. We didn't want to leave it as-is, but we needed to get the public beta out so we could test the online features. The North American servers were down for the first day or two, but by the end they were quite stable. I don't think we had any servers go down at all for the European public beta at all. It was great for giving us all that online server knowledge, but we were not where we wanted to be with load times and frame rate, and those have both made tons and tons of improvements.