Battlefield 4 is the first game scheduled to take advantage of AMD's close-to-the-metal Mantle API. A Mantle-optimized BF4 patch was slated to come out this month and expected to deliver better performance for folks with AMD hardware. However, according to an EA representative quoted by SemiAccurate, that patch has now been delayed to January. Here's the full statement:
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.
The delay appears to be related to issues that have nothing to do with Mantle itself. EA sources told SemiAccurate that it's taking longer than expected to fix bugs in the standard version of the game. That explanation certainly seems reasonable given a statement made by EA earlier this month. "We’re not moving onto future projects or expansions until we sort out all the issues with Battlefield 4," the publisher said.
The BF4 problems have been so severe that EA is facing two class-action lawsuits alleging that it made "materially false and misleading statements" about the quality of the game. One of those suits points out that senior executives sold quite a lot of stock before BF4's release. The lawsuits seem to be backed by disgruntled investors rather than unhappy gamers, so I doubt we'll see Radeon owners banding together to take AMD to task for being a month late on the Mantle patch. Let's hope EA can work out its BF4 issues fast enough to avoid further delays.