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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“.

On July 28th, 2011 in News

Battlefield 3 pre order
A few months ago, EA released their quarterly earnings where they reported that the highly anticipated Battlefield 3 was pre-ordered 7 times more than Bad Company 2, the previous best seller. This time, during the most recent financial reports, EA disclosed that Battlefield 3 pre-orders had jumped to 10 times that of Bad Company 2. To make matters even more interesting, they revealed that Bad Company 2 has surpassed sales of 9 million units to date.

EA is currently offering a lot of incentives to pre-order Battlefield 3, from the Back To Karkand DLC, to the Physical Warfare pack, to new multiplayer skins to even a bunch of dog tags — there are plenty of pre-order offers to gamers, whether you buy the game in store, or online. However, sadly, Battlefield 3 is still not available on Steam, and judging from how things are looking today, it’s uncertain if we’ll ever see it on Steam.

Last week we reported that Battlefield 3 pre-orders matched those of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which was one of the most pre-ordered games ever. It’s unknown how BF3 stacks up against its main rival, Modern Warfare 3, when it comes to pre-orders.

On July 27th, 2011 in Site news

Dear BF3Blog readers,

As a site grows, attains a readership, gains visitors, it reaches a tipping point where a die hard reader-base is established, where regular commentators are crowned, where friendships and rivalries among readers are formed. And where heated debates are fought every day.

We can safely say that BF3blog is at that tipping point right now. We’re still a young site by any standard, and the feedback and support we’re getting from you, our readers, has been inspirational to us. We’re working hard to bring you the latest and best Battlefield 3 news, and we’re delighted that discussions and debates are now present on every news post, and it’s common see 100+ comments on them.

However, lately, there’s been some trolling, some name-calling, some very heated debates. In small doses, that’s fine, but we’d prefer if everyone from now on could stay civil and generally be respective of each other. Speaking of discussions, be sure to check out our forums as well, with many active members and discussions (and where you can register and secure your username).

We welcome any opinion at BF3blog, be it for or against Battlefield 3, its competitors, or something entirely different. We believe in free speech and rarely delete comments, even if the comments are critical of BF3blog. However, if you post something insulting other members, rest assured that it’ll be removed and you’ll be banned. And please have something constructive to say. Writing “BF3 RULEZ CoD sux!!” is kinda lame.

Obviously, this is a BF3 site, so competing games are bound to take a beating from us — after all, Battlefield 3 will be better than Modern Warfare 3 ;) But we don’t have to act like immature kids to get the point across.

No doubt that many of you are very passionate about Battlefield 3 — so are we, and that’s where a lot the energy on this site comes from: the excitement and anticipation for the game. Let’s just try and act like adults about it. As one of our commenters, Turbo7, said a few days ago:

“Arguments or disagreements are are bound to happen, and welcomed for that matter. But, if we’re going to disagree let’s do it with some dignity and try not to make asses out of ourselves.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

P.S. Thanks to all of you for your passionate support! BF3blog wouldn’t be here without you.

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