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On August 6th, 2011 in News

Battlefield 3 SteamAfter months of wondering whether the whole debacle between Valve and EA would mean no Battlefield 3 on Steam, we’ve finally got it confirmed: EA has announced that BF3 will not be on Steam, and they’ve given their reason in a forum post to fans:

“Gamers can pre-order Battlefield 3 at as well as over 100 digital retailers worldwide. EA offers games to all major download services. Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. No other download service has adopted these practices.”

Steam’s terms of service were the reason why Crysis 2 was removed from the digital retailer earlier this year (later, more games were removed). Many speculated, including us, that it was simply EA trying to promote Origin, but this proved to be false, after Battlefield 3 was revealed to be available on many digital retailers across the globe.

Many gamers were waiting to pre-order Battlefield 3 until it was available on Steam, but this looks to have been a waste of time. Despite the bleak news, EA says that they are hoping to work out an agreement with Steam.

Last week, game analyst predicted that the lack of Battlefield 3 on Steam would cost EA 100,000 BF3 copies less sold.

On August 5th, 2011 in News

Battlefield 3 awards
DICE has posted another Battleblog entry, this time it concerns unlocks, awards and persistence in Battlefield 3. As many know, Battlefield 2 was the first game to really offer a deep persistence mode, with awards, unlocks and stats that would keep players busy for hundreds of hours.

For Battlefield 3, DICE reveals that the game will feature “more than 10 times the hardware unlocks spread over weapons, weapons attachments, gadgets, and a huge unlock tree for vehicles alone”. Unlocks will be given based on the class you play as and the weapon you use, so if you use a weapon a lot, you’ll get more unlocks for it, same goes for classes.

Regarding awards, the pins have been substituted for ribbons, which will be given out each round (e.g. 7 kills with assault rifles to get the Assault Rifle Ribbon), while it will also feature BF2 style medals, for example, the US service medal is awarded after playing 100 hours as the US Marines. Ranks will be as plentiful as in Bad Company 2, which had 50 ranks in total.

It has also been confirmed that Engineers will get an anti-air rocket launcher, and that Jets will get the choice between air to air missiles, or air to ground missiles/bombs.

On August 4th, 2011 in News

BF3 copyUnlike some publishers who milk their franchises every year (*cough* Activision/Call of Duty *cough*), DICE is against releasing annual editions of their main Battlefield series, according to DICE’s Patrick Bach. Bach recently said in an interview with GameZines:

“The business goals for us are not to release a game every year. If we were to release another big Battlefield title next year, that would mean that we’d have less than a year to build it, and that would mean that we’d have to have another studio building it for us, which would mean it wouldn’t have that DICE seal of approval, which would mean they’d just have to release a copy of the game we just released.”

He pretty much takes a swipe here at Activision and the annual Call of Duty franchise, which has been split between two developers. There has been little to no advancement in the series since the original Modern Warfare was released in 2007. To use Bach’s term, it has been “a copy of a copy”, without much originality or any new features.

Bach also said that EA would never force DICE to do annual releases, and that such a thing would “dilute the franchise” and eventually kill it. Instead of doing annual releases, DICE is more confident in doing expansion packs, like the recently released (and highly successful) Vietnam expansion to Bad Company 2.

We wholeheartedly agree with Bach’s statements. Having an annual Battlefield release — the main series, not BF1943, BF Heroes or BF Play4Free — would dilute the franchise in the same fashion which Activision has diluted Modern Warfare.

On August 3rd, 2011 in News

Battlefield 3 Origin
We recently reported that Battlefield 3 pre-orders in the US had gone live, with Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy each offering something different. But apparently we forgot there was one more offer: from EA’s Origin service.

The Origin offer not only includes the Back To Karkand expansion pack (like all other pre-orders), but also includes the Physical Warfare pack. But Origin also offers something exclusive that no other retailer has: early access to the Battlefield 3 beta, which kicks off next month, in September.

The beta will also be available to owners of Medal of Honor Limited Edition, who are expected to get early access as well. The beta will go open and will be available to all players, at some point. In order to get early access, you can pre-order Battlefield 3 from Origin here.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

On August 2nd, 2011 in News

EA logoThere have been some rumors circulating that Battlefield 3 might require an online pass of sorts for console players to play online. And online pass is usually a code included in the game, and means that players who buy games used will not be able to play online. Instead, they’ll have to fork over some cash (usually $5 to $10), in order to play online. This system has been used quite often lately by publishers, in an effort to curb their losses from used game sales.

According to DICE Patrick Bach, Battlefield 3 will support some sort of online pass system, as he told GamerZines, where second hand players would have to pay an additional fee for online multiplayer. Bach said,

“We would rather have you buy a new game than a used game because buying a used game is only a cost to us; we don’t get a single dime from a used game, but we still need to create server space and everything for you.”

The previous Battlefield game, Bad Company 2, featured an online pass of sorts, called VIP, which gave access to multiplayer and some extra content. However, it did not limit online gameplay. EA has touted its “Project Ten Dollar” method of getting more revenue from used game sales, by blocking online play to those who buy a used console game.

While this is new for consoles, it has always been the case with PC games, where a cd/dvd key was given out and could only be used once — those who bought the game used could rarely play online. Digital downloads are even more restrictive, as you can’t sell your digitaly downloaded games.

On August 1st, 2011 in News

Battlefield 3 amazon
Over the past month or so, European gamers could pre-order Battlefield 3 and get a series of bonuses, depending on where they pre-ordered. Now, the pre-orders have finally arrived stateside, and it’s the same offerings we’ve seen before, only with different retailers. Here’s what we know so far:

Gamestop Battlefield 3 pre-order

GameStop’s pre-order includes the Physical Warfare pack, in addition to the Back To Karkand DLC. If you are part of their PowerUp Rewards, you’ll get a free Prima Battlefield 3 strategy guide as well.

Amazon Battlefield 3 pre-order

If you pre-order on Amazon, you’ll receive an exclusive set of dog tags for multiplayer. On top of that, the pre-order includes the Back To Karkand expansion pack.

Best Buy Battlefield 3 pre-order

Best Buy offers the same Limited Edition version with Back To Karkand, plus a set of new multiplayer skins — the SPECACT Kit. You’ll receive a code to unlock 8 new multiplayer skins when the game is released.

On August 1st, 2011 in Gallery, News

We’ve got a new batch of screenshots showing off the Battlelog service, which will be tightly integrated into Battlefield 3. Battlelog not only shows statistics and player profiles, but functions as a fully fledged social network, with status updates, friends, chat, and more. On top of that, there are separate sections for weapons, awards, and much more, as you can see in the screenshots. Enjoy :)

On July 31st, 2011 in News

By all accounts, we won’t be seeing Battlefield 3 on Steam, to many gamers’ dismay (including ours). Game analyst Michael Pachter, whom we’ve heard from several times here on BF3Blog, answered a question during his latest Pach-Attack! show, concerning Battlefield 3 and how much in sales it would cost EA not to offer it on Steam.

Pachter predicts total sales of 8 million for Battlefield 3, with 10% of the sales happening on the PC platform. That’s 800,000 units, and he believes that Steam would have accounted for half of that — 400,000. Since it’s not on Steam, EA’s Origin will be offering BF3, but Pachter still believes that EA will take a hit if about 100,000 copies — 100,000 copies less sold if Battlefield 3 is not on Steam.

This isn’t a big deal, financially speaking. Many expect BF3 sales to top 10 million, and a loss of 100,000 represents only 1% of the total sales. We can imagine the vast majority of PC gamers who are disappointed about lack of Steam support will eventually buy the game, either via Origin, or another download service, or get in retail.

One things that surprised us about Pachter’s prediction is that PC would only account for 10% of the sales — this seems quite low, as Bad Company 2 has seen somewhere around 2.5 million units sold on PC, out of 9 million in total. In other words, PC sales represented a 27% take. With the anticipation and marketing money behind Battlefield 3, it’s easy to see it sell far more then the 800,000 units on PC that Pachter estimates.

On July 30th, 2011 in News

Battlefield 3 BattlerecorderOne of the big requests from gamers for Battlefield 3 is the return of BattleRecorder, which was featured in Battlefield 2. BattleRecorder makes it easy to record and play back gameplay, making it ideal for those looking to make videos and Machinima content. It’s been uncertain whether we’d see BattleRecorder in Battlefield 3, but there has been some development on that front.

In a recent interview with PixelEnemy, EA’s Battlefield Brand Manager Kevin O’Leary let it slip that BattleRecorder would not be returning to Battlefield 3. This stirred a lot of tension in the community, but then DICE community manager Daniel Matros tweeted that this was not the case — the lack of BattleRecorder was dismissed by Matros. Where does that leave us? Where we pretty much began: BattleRecorder isn’t confirmed, but isn’t denied either. Seeing as how quickly DICE was to correct O’Leary’s statement, and considering how much gamers want BattleRecorder, it’s easy to assume that we’ll see some form of recording capability in Battlefield 3.

DICE had previously mentioned that they had been using BattleRecorder internally to create the videos and trailers we’ve seen of Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. BattleRecorder was a popular feature in BF2 and contributed to a lot of videos, Machinima and other content. With the popularity of YouTube and gaming channels today, BattleRecorder in BF3 would be more than welcome.

On July 29th, 2011 in News

BF3 vs MW3
Later this year, two of the biggest first person shooters ever will go head to head in what appears to be the ultimate heavy weight battle. We’re in the Battlefield 3 corner, of course, and there are plenty of fan boys in the other corner as well. However, according to EA’s Kevin O’Leary and Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling, who both spoke to Kotaku, it’s just a friendly rivalry.

When asked about Modern Warfare 3 and the competition it will bring, EA’s O’Leary was quick to dismiss the notion of competition altogether. He said in an interview with Kotaku,

“Our game focuses on this battlefield experience. We give you so many tools; you can choose your vehicles, your weapons, your class. We want to win over the hardcore guys who may be on the fence. We want to do that with Frostbite 2. It’s 30 frames per a second on console, but we have destruction, vehicles, a new animation system. It’s not about a number. It’s about the full experience.”

Speaking to Kotaku on a different occasion, Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling, who recently said he’ll buy BF3, took the same non-conformist stance with O’Leary, commenting on the intense fan base rivalry that’s going on between the BF3 and MW3 fans. Bowling specifically addressed the criticism that Modern Warfare 3 has gotten from Battlefield fans:

“Any game that has two very different audiences, you’re going to see [negative fan reaction]. Every game has its passionate user base. We see it from everybody.”

When asked what he thought of the intense Battlefield fans who have been criticizing and mocking Modern Warfare over the past few months, Bowling had this to say: “They are passionate”.

So far developers at DICE and Infinity Ward have taken a diplomatic approach, while their bosses at EA and Activison, respectively, have engaged in a heated argument, with Activision criticizing BF3 console performance, while EA has always stated that BF3 is “designed to take down Modern Warfare“.

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