Battlefield 3 and the DLC Backlash (Updated)

13 Jun 2011 | Posted by

battlefield 3 physical warfare pack boycottAs I’m sure you’re well aware, given my constant posting of anything slightly related to this game over the past few months, Battlefield 3 is coming out later this year setting its sights on taking the FPS crown away from Call of Duty. As is the norm with games these days, a bit of pre-order DLC was offered in the form of the Back to Karkand expansion pack which gives early purchasers access to the map pack on day one, whereas late adopters will have to wait and buy it at a later date.

While this did cause some outcry, the Back to Karkand controversy pales in comparison to the furor that has cropped up around the Physical Warfare Pack. This add-on is only availble in the UK through GAME and Gamestation stores and features items that will not be obtainable in the retail game. Naturally, fans of the game are quite incensed and a boycott has already been arranged on Reddit, calling for EA and DICE to remove this pre-order incentive from the game.

In this day and age we’re no strangers to pre-order DLC; for example, L.A. Noire had some of the most segmented add-ons that I’ve ever seen (even though they were all up for purchase at a later date). The problem with the Physical Warfare Pack is that it takes items out of the game and makes it so that you can only get these weapons and mods through a pre-order. DICE hasn’t said whether or not these items will be part of a DLC offering in the future, but the marketing copy for the pack makes it pretty clear that this is a one time deal.

What do you guys think about this? Has EA gone to far with this add-on as some gamers think, or are we just being reactionary? Should EA back off on the Physical Warfare Pack, or at least offer it as a bonus in all regions?

UPDATE: DICE has issued a statment on the Battlefield blog concerning the Physical Warfare Pack and its exclusive status. Apparently its regional availiblity is just a timed lock, and the pack will be up for grabs worldwide at a later date. Furthermore, the pack will be distributed to players shortly after the game’s release free of charge. Good on DICE for clearing the air on this one.
Source – Reddit, Battlefield blog

8 Comments »

  • Sean said:

    Thank you Mitch for covering this. Thank you. Seriously

    What do I think about this? F*&$-Videgame-Companies. Seriously… This isnt just DICE, this is all of them. DICE just went that one step over that makes it a cardinal sin.
    I hate Pre-order DLC. I hate it. Its a cheap tactic to get my cash early and MAKE Me get your game. If its cosmetic stuff, fine. I dont need a golden gun to whoop your ass. If its early access to a NON payed for feature like a high level gun, fine. Im good enough to own you regardless. But when you make it so that I wont get something that someone else did….oh man, you made a BIG mistake. Map packs are a different story, I can still play the game. But when you put in content thats exclusive to the kid with more money or one who pre-ordered, you just committed a gaming SIN. Why? Because it takes content away from players. It honestly does. So now if I play with guys in Britain, they potentially could have an overpowered weapon. It could have the same stats as another gun, but it may have something else on it thats different, like a better fire rate. If its purely cosmetic, say so. If the physics of the gun work JUST the same, say so. Does that make it right? No, what if I wanted that gun? And to boot it IS DIFFERENT. A flash suppressor for an SKS, that apparently makes a gameplay difference. That is going beyond the line. That is being unfair and changing gameplay. What if there was a $50 DLC that allowed you to have a one hit kill pistol, would that be fair, No. So dont pull crap like this either.

    Should EA back this off. Yes, 100% they should quit this. I dont care if everyone in the world can have it, I dont want to HAVE to pre-order in order to get the content. Thats a shitty new strategy that companies are now employing and it really annoys me.

    Thanks again for covering this Mitch, it has me and a bunch of my friends up in arms.

  • Fishbro said:

    I honestly don’t think that there is too much of a problem here. Remember that BFBC2 had pre-order weapons too and they weren’t exactly game changers, actually they weren’t that great and while this pack may give players the advantage early on there will surely be other weapons which balance it out.

    All in all, EA should probably back off on this one for the sake of Battlefield’s popularity more than anything else as nothing is being lost particularly. If you pre-order BF3 chances are that you are doing it for the game, not these bonuses so they will probably lose less sales by conceding this then by letting this boycott ruin what could be the shooter of 2011.

  • wse11 said:

    I am not a fan of making you buy a game early just to get stuff early. It seems that with each new game the offerings get more outlandish and hurtful to the customer. Also did you hear about the Arkham City pre-order bonus?
    Link: http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/06/13/batman-arkham-city-will-let-you-play-as-robin-as-long-as-you-pre-order-from-best-buy/

  • Sylux said:

    [quote comment=”16795″]I honestly don’t think that there is too much of a problem here. Remember that BFBC2 had pre-order weapons too and they weren’t exactly game changers, actually they weren’t that great and while this pack may give players the advantage early on there will surely be other weapons which balance it out.
    [/quote]

    The only reason that pre-order bonus went over well is because it only gave you weapons that you would get at a low level anyways. These are apparently exclusive to pre-orders. If they were to just remove the exclusivity of the bonus then this whole situation will blow over. That is, of course, if the people who bought the pre-order already rage about that the exclusivity is the REASON they pre-ordered it.

  • Julez said:

    I’m always so confused by these Pre-Order bonuses. I think those of us on Gamersushi who are excited about BF3 will pre-order it (I am one of those), and people who aren’t excited are not gonna be swayed by bonus maps or early guns / items. WHO DOES THIS APPEAL TO? Is there really a large group of people begging for a gimmick or else they’re gonna pirate the game instead? Come on…

    The only Pre-Order stuff I like is through STEAM, when they offer you an earlier game in the series for free. (see: Deus Ex, Portal, etc)

    If there really IS a group of people swaying the industry this way, we need to start killing people and demanding our content back.

  • SkubaPatr0l said:

    I’m pre-ordering it from Game regardless as they’re my traditional go-to store for games.
    I doubt it will remain as an exclusive and I doubt it will overpower anyone (DICE are excellent at balancing) and making it exclusive to a UK retailer isn’t going to make as much money as an American retailer so I’m sure it will become… purchasable? Wait, available for download (that’s better) soon after the launch.
    I do think these exclusive DLCs are becoming ridiculous but in the end, is it really that much different from console exclusivity? It isn’t the end of the world.

    Also, on a final note: does anyone SERIOUSLY think this boycott will be followed through?

  • Cossack69 said:

    Pre-order incentives aren’t inherently evil, but then again, neither are firearms. It pisses me off when developers withhold content from players because they want us to jump into their games without reading reviews and knowing how crappy their game actually is. It’s not about the fact that I won’t be able to use some old-ass boring shotgun (who really gives a darn about the TOZ-194, which has been in EVERY other modern Battlefield game?), rather it’s the very principle of it all. Even if they release the content later, just put it in the game! Stop segmenting it all up to nickel-&-dime us! I’ll buy your frikken game and I’ll actually respect your company if you treat me with respect and give me quality products without forcing me to pre-order or buy mini-DLC packs.

    Well, at least Back to Karkand is available in, ya know, MY COUNTRY. Geez, who cares about Britain anyway, trollolo.

    @ SkubaPatrol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvdf5n-zI14

  • SkubaPatr0l said:

    @ Cossack, I lolled and couldn’t have put it better.