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On June 13th, 2011 in News

BF3 physical warfare pack
Over the past day or so, a storm of users on popular news site Reddit have called out for a boycott of Battlefield 3 and a cancellation of pre-orders because of EA’s BF3 DLC and Physical Warfare pack DLC. The Physical Warfare pack, which includes a few exclusive items, is available only to those who pre-order the game at select retailers. So far it is only available in the UK, but US retailers like GameStop are expected to get their own pre-order bonus.

There are discussions on Reddit which number in the thousands of comments, where fans voice their disappointment of EA’s DLC policy. A few years ago, EA attempted something similar with Bad Company, but a successful community boycott made EA change their minds.

We’ve gone through hundreds of comments on Reddit, and there seems to be a few misunderstandings regarding the DLC and the pre-order bonuses.

Misunderstandings

The main discussions on Reddit seems to have misunderstood EA’s whole Back to Karkand DLC policy — which is no surprise, since it’s quite confusing. Since we’ve been covering this for a while here on BF3blog, we’ll try to explain:

Back to Karkand is offered for free to those who pre-order the game. You can only pre-order the Limited Edition now, which retails at the same price as the regular edition — $60. Regardless of what retailer you pre-order the game at, you’ll get a free copy of Back to Karkand. It’s as simple as that: pre-order and you get Back to Karkand free. There have been countless pre-order bonuses on video games before, and Back to Karkand is just that: a pre-order bonus.

The Physical Warfare pack is where it gets a bit tricky, and which we believe the boycott is targeting. The Physical Warfare pack is only available to those who pre-order the game at select physical retailers, and is not available to those who pre-order or buy a digital copy of Battlefield 3. Unlike the Back To Karkand DLC, you cannot buy the Physical Warfare pack later on.

While the Physical Warfare pack in an of itself isn’t a huge deal — the items included don’t seem to be items that can unbalance the gameplay — it is disappointing that the only way one might get them is to buy the game at a brick and mortar retail store. PC gamers who will buy the game as a digital copy (us included), won’t get a chance to get the new items and weapons.

Back To Karkand wasn’t part of BF3

There have been accusations of DICE and EA taking the Back to Karkand content out of Battlefield 3 and selling it as DLC. Many publishers have been accused of this before, but in this case, it actually doesn’t hold up for one reason: Back to Karkand is a remake of Battlefield 2 maps, weapons and vehicles. It’s not supposed to be a part of Battlefield 3 to begin with, which makes it a real DLC, as opposed to something that was removed from the game. Many games have remade maps and sold them as DLC, including Activision’s popular Call of Duty franchise. However, we can certainly understand why gamers think it’s been removed from the game, since the DLC is offered on day one.

Still, the community boycott is understandable for several reasons:

  1. EA’s has made the whole DLC/Back to Karkand/Limited Edition/Physical Warfare thing very confusing where even EA isn’t sure what’s what.
  2. EA announced the first DLC, Back To Karkand, way too early. There hasn’t been enough time for BF3 to establish itself before announcing map remakes.
  3. The “Physical Warfare” offering at select retailers feels unfair, especially since it’s not available to buy elsewhere.
  4. By offering DLC from day one, gamers get the impression that the content has been taken out of the game (which we don’t believe is true), and that EA is nickle and diming people.

So far EA’s only response has been issuing a FAQ on the official Battlefield 3 page, which oddly enough, doesn’t address much of the criticism.

Active discussions on Reddit:
Battlefield 3 pre-order DLC boycott coordination
Funny note on EA’s reply to a pre-order cancellation due to the DLC
Whom to contact at EA to complain regarding the DLC

On June 12th, 2011 in News

BF3 beta scamWe previously reported on a site which was trying to sell fake Battlefield 3 beta keys, whose owner had run other BF3 beta key sites. EA tried to take the site down with a DMCA claim that it was using BF3 artwork without authorization, but that didn’t hold up, mainly because the artwork is freely available (and is used by BF3blog, among other sites).

Our friends over at Battlefieldo.com did some digging and found several new sites that have been popping up around the web, all offering Battlefield 3 “beta keys”, including:

  • battlefield3cracked.com
  • battlefield3betafree.info
  • bf3-beta.com
  • bf3beta.com
  • bf3beta.co.cc
  • battlefield3betakeygenerator.blogspot.com
  • EA-Battlefield3.com
  • dice.bf3beta.net.tc
  • battlefield3-beta.net

All the sites feature one scam or another, trying to trick you into giving up your email address, or worse. A select few are selling direct access to BF3 beta keys, while others are offering users to download a BF3 beta key generator. And we imagine, a ton of spyware bundled with it.

The problem has reached such proportions now that we at BF3blog are getting emails from users asking us where they can buy a BF3 beta key, and if BF3blog is considering selling keys (!). Here’s a recent email we received from one reader regarding the issue:

Hey,
I have seen web sites where I can purchase beta keys and generators, are those official by dice and ea? Will you be selling beta keys in the future, as i would prefer buying them from you :) or can i buy them directly from ea?

We wish EA would take a look into this matter, as the sites are pretending to be associated EA and the Battlefield brand, and are ultimately hurting the game, its loyal fans, fan sites, and especially, the newcomers to the franchise.

UPDATE: there are now even videos giving “tutorials” on how to get a beta key scammed. Like this one on YouTube.

On June 11th, 2011 in News

Bobby Kotick BF3While everyone was impressed with Battlefield 3 at E3 — where the game walked away with several awards — Activision CEO Bobby Kotick wasn’t one of them.

In an interview with business network CNBC, Kotick challenged Battlefield 3 on the console front, saying what’s been shown so far has only been on the PC, whereas most of the business is on the console side. Kotick said,

“So far I’ve only seen Battlefield 3 on a PC, I haven’t seen it on a console where the bulk of the business is. If it’s just a PC title, as it looks like today, that’s just a small audience to participate.”

Battlefield 3 was only playable on the PC at E3, while a PS3 version was shown behind closed doors. The Xbox 360 version wasn’t shown at all, with DICE saying it simply wasn’t ready. As for Modern Warfare 3, BF3′s main competitor, it too was mostly shown behind closed doors at E3, where very few got a chance to actually play it.

Despite this, Kotick’s words aren’t surprising: Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 will go head to head this Fall, and like to heavyweight champions, what we’re seeing now are just the pre-fight smack talking.

On June 11th, 2011 in News

E3 is over, we’re back home, and we thought it would be a great idea to roundup all the Battlefield 3 information and news that has been unveiled during the hectic E3 show.

New Battlefield 3 information revealed:

  • 3 game modes have so far been confirmed: Conquest, Rush and Team Deathmatch
  • Squads will hold 4 members, including squad leader
  • No kill cam (at least at E3)
  • No “commo-rose” communication command
  • Players will be able to create custom dog tags
  • Grenades and Knife are equippable like in BF2
  • New destruction allows for falling debris to kill enemies
  • Players will be able to opt out of being revived
  • New “suppressing fire” feature: players who are suppressed cannot heal and their screen blurs and darkens a bit.
  • Health bar is back. So is regenerative health.
  • New classes has the Assault with medic capabilities, Support with ammo resupply ability.
  • Faction specific weapons (USMC and Russian forces were playable at E3).
  • Machine guns can be mounted on a surface to increase accuracy.
  • Prone is back. There is no “dolphin diving”.
  • Three firing modes: Automatic, Single shot, Burst.
  • Flashlights can be mounted on select guns and can blind the enemy.
  • BF3 will have 3 times as much DLC as Bad Company 2
  • Release date on October 25 on PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and later, on Mobile devices.
  • PlayStation 3 version will include free copy of Battlefield 1943
  • Will be released on the new Wii U console in 2012.

Battlefield 3 E3 news/articles:

Battlefield 3 E3 videos:

On June 10th, 2011 in News, Videos


We previously revealed that Battlefield 3 would have a mobile release, and now EA has teased a bunch of games which are slated for release on Apple’s iOS devices — iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Among them was Madden NFL, Need For Speed, and, Battlefield 3.

This wouldn’t be the first time a Battlefield found its way to a mobile device, as Bad Company 2 was released on the iPhone/iPod Touch last year. As for Battlefield 3, the release of a mobile version is scheduled to take place during the release window of the regular PC and console edition.

On June 10th, 2011 in Videos

While we didn’t get a chance to chat with DICE at E3, GameTrailers luckily did. They took DICE’s Patrick Soderlund aside during E3 where he spoke about Battlefield 3 and confirmed a few features in the game, for instance, you’ll be able to shoot lights out in the tunnels and dark places for tactical purposes, and the level of micro-destruction that BF3 has, something we were impressed over when we played the game here at E3.

He also confirmed that we’ll have artillery vehicles in Battlefield 3 multiplayer, although it’s uncertain whether he meant tanks in general or specific mobile artillery vehicles.

On June 9th, 2011 in News

Battlefield 3 Wii U
At this year’s E3, the big news was that Nintendo revealed their new console, the Wii U, and with it, revealed a bunch of third party titles including Battlefiled 3. EA’s Frank Gibeau said that the new console and controller enables EA to “uncover new plays to play Battlefield”. Gibeau continued,

“You can imagine that there are new ways of playing the game from a commander mode or for being able to drive from a different position inside of a vehicle. What I really liked about it was how good it felt in your hands. In addition to that it’s super powerful. It allows you to do a lot of things that no other controller can do.”

The new Wii U controller has touchscreen which can complement the regular TV screen, for instance, Zelda was shown at E3, with the TV screen showing regular gameplay, while the screen on the controller showed a map of the dungeon.

It’s easy to see how Battlefield (and other games) can benefit from the extra screen — you could see map objectives, manage your squad, your weapon load-out, or use the smaller screen as a alternate monitor for night view mode (as our mock up above shows).

Wii U will be released in Fall of 2012, which gives DICE plenty of time to properly port and and implement Battlefield 3 features.

On June 9th, 2011 in News

Battlefield 3 jet
So far it is confirmed that Battlefield 3 will have three modes: Conquest, Rush, and Team Deathmatch. Now DICE’s Patrick Soderlund has revealed that one of the much anticipated features in Battlefield 3 — jets — will only be available in the Conquest mode.

Soderlund’s reason was that only the Conquest game mode offered maps big enough to fit jets, which makes a lot of sense. The Rush mode maps are very linear where jets wouldn’t have much room nor much purpose, and Team Deathmatch is most likely an infantry-only game mode.

As previously confirmed, jets will be playable in the Battlefiled 3 singleplayer campaign.

On June 8th, 2011 in News

Battlefield 3 DLC
During the hectic time here at E3, EA decided to skip the show for one announcement: during an investors call, EA announced that the upcoming Battlefield 3 will have “three times as much DLC as Bad Company 2″. Bad Company 2 itself had 7 downloadable content packs, ranging from small updates which included new maps and game modes, to large updates like the Vietnam DLC, which offered a whole new setting, weapons and vehicles.

The first DLC for Battlefield 3 will be Back To Karkand, which has already been announced and will be offered for free to those who pre-order the game. Everyone else will have a chance to buy it approximately one month after BF3′s release (rumored to cost $10). Battlefield 3 ships on October 25 on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

On June 8th, 2011 in Videos

While we didn’t get a chance to shoot any footage of the multiplayer booth here at E3, there was a show on Ustream that recorded a lot of footage yesterday, showing some folks playing multiplayer. We have another video after the break. We’ll try and shoot some HD footage of the booth today, if EA allows us :) READ ON »

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