The first Battlefield 3 expansion pack Back to Karkand is just the beginning of a set of expansions, according to EA. During their conference call with investors yesterday, EA revealed that Battlefield 3 has an “aggressive downloadable content plan”, according to EA’s Frank Gibeau. So far Back to Karkand is the only announced DLC pack, which will be free to owners of Battlefield 3 Limited Edition. But Battlefield 3 players have more to look forward to, according to Gibeau, who added:
“Our plans over the next 6 months is to have a very robust set of expansion packs past on Strike at Karkand and that we think the community’s going to be very, very excited about.”
Gibeau continued, saying that EA will be constantly improving “servers and infrastructure with new features and enhancements”. No news on what kind of expansion packs we can anticipate, but we expect the usual new maps, weapons and vehicles. Unless EA and DICE have a surprise in for us (Battlefield 2143, anyone?).
For more on Back to Karkand, check out the recently revealed Strike at Karkand screenshots.
EA just released 6 new screenshots from the upcoming Strike at Karkand map, from the Back to Karkand expansion pack. In addition, EA revealed that Back to Karkand will be coming this December, and will include 10 new weapons (full list here), 3 new vehicles (including the BTR-90 and the F35B jet), and a “new persistence system where players complete assignments to earn their rewards”. In addition, the DLC will include new dog tags and new Xbox 360 achievements/PS3 trophies.
Back to Karkand is free to everyone who bought the Limited Edition of Battlefield 3. The DLC includes 4 Battlefield 2 maps remade for Battlefield 3: Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Wake Island and Sharqi Peninsula. You can check out the first screenshots of the new Karkand map below:
The first Battlefield 3 expansion/DLC, called Back to Karkand, will offer 4 maps that have been remade for Battlefield 3. The maps won’t be recreated block for block, but will bring some changes and updates with them.
A new competition from DICE gives players the chance to name a control point in the new version of Gulf of Oman, one of the most popular Battlefield 2 maps. DICE’s new design philosophy is that the new Gulf Of Oman is set “a few years later in time than the original battles”. For a comparison, they’ve released the above screenshots, showing Gulf of Oman’s “beach” capture point in Battlefield 2, and its remake in Battlefield 3. You can check out the competition here.
To all BF2 fans out there, what do you think of Gulf of Oman’s new look?
The latest Battlefield 3 trailer gave us a glimpse of Strike At Karkand, one of the Back To Karkand maps, but what you may have missed is that the trailer included a few frames of the map without destruction, and a few with full destruction. We’ve extracted those from the trailer so you can see for yourself on the image above (and make sure to check out the high-res version).
We’re previously known that Battlefield 3 will be getting a lot of DLC, in fact, 3 times as much as Bad Company 2. Even before the release of the game, the first expansion, Back To Karkand, has been announced. According to DICE’s Lars Gustavsson, who recently spoke in an interview with MCV, the DICE studio has been “completely restructured” around DLC now.
“Nowadays, we have operations team who looks at the title when it starts getting closer to launch (or long before) with potential downloadable content and so on, to really have a plan.
Otherwise you’re quite likely to start slipping. If you’re focusing just before release on what you’re going to ship post-launch, then I think you have problems.”
Gustavsson concluded by sating, “yes there is a massive [DLC] plan in place.” Battlefield 3 is DICE and EA’s biggest game in a long time, and it’s no surprise that they’re investing into long-term DLC plans. Downloadable content has gotten very lucrative for publishers lately, who can sell a few $10-15 map packs and greatly increase the revenue of a game. The last Battlefield DLC, the Vietnam expansion for Bad Company 2, has reportedly sold over 1 million copies to date.
Last month, EA and Sony announced that the PlayStation 3 will be getting a one week head start on DLC, ahead of the PC and Xbox 360.
EA has announced that Battlefield 3 will begin pre-loading the game to those who pre-ordered on October 21, 4 days before the release on October 25. Furthermore, Amazon will begin pre-loading as well for those who ordered via their digital distribution channel. In general, pre-loading is a good idea for two reasons, one, it makes sure players have the game on launch day, and two, it eases on the bandwidth stress that would come from thousands of players trying to download the game at the same time. You can still pre-order Battlefield 3 on Origin and get access to the Back to Karkand expansion, plus the Physical Warfare pack.
Those who pre-order Battlefield 3 get a free DLC called Back To Karkand, which will feature 4 maps remade from Battlefield 2, and a series of weapons from BF2 as well. Until now, we didn’t know what those weapons were. Thanks to our tipster Anand, we’ve gotten a preliminary list of exclusive weapons that will be available to Back to Karkand owners. What’s best, you’ll be able to use the weapons in both Back To Karkand and on regular Battlefield 3 maps. Check out the full list of the 10 exclusive weapons, with images, after the break. READ ON »
Timed exclusives are nothing new, and it appears that Battlefield 3 will join the list of games that offer exclusive content on a selected platform for a set period of time. Much like Microsoft and Activision, which have a deal on Call of Duty DLC arriving earlier on Xbox 360, Sony and EA have teamed up to bring Battlefield 3 DLC earlier to the PlayStation 3.
According to the official PlayStation Blog, where DICE’s Tommy Rydling announced that Battlefield 3 DLC will arrive 1 week earlier on the PS3, starting with Back to Karkand later this year.
We can’t say that we’re surprised by this, especially considering Microsoft’s deal on exclusive Call of Duty DLC, which has been very lucrative for them. Also, a week is much shorter than the 1 month time frame that Call of Duty DLC gets on the Xbox 360.
EA and DICE have previously stated that they plan up to 3X the amount of DLC for Battlefield 3 compared to Bad Company 2. Speaking to OXM, DICE producer Patrick Bach revealed a few interesting details about Battlefield players’ views on downloadable content. Bach said:
“We actually got a lot of flack for giving away free maps. I know it sounds weird, but people got really upset with us. People said: ‘if you’re giving it away, why couldn’t you give it away earlier?’ There were a lot of complaints.”
DICE released a lot of Bad Company 2 content, mostly maps that were redesigned to support other game modes, and remade maps from Bad Company 1. However, the only paid DLC for Bad Company 2, Vietnam, was well received, despite costing $10.
“The only thing we’ve done that was more or less 100% positive was Vietnam: it was a bigger pack and we charged for it, but everyone saw the value, and everyone enjoyed the game.”
Bach said that when gamers paid for something, they expected a much greater value than if it was released for free, saying “people get very suspicious when they get something for free”. He also stressed that this hasn’t discouraged DICE from not giving away free DLC — they still plan on giving out free DLC for Battlefield 3.
Even before the game is out, there is already a free DLC available: If you pre-order Battlefield 3, you’ll get the Back to Karkand expansion for free.
DICE’s Alan Kertz, one of the lead designers of Battlefield 3 (and an avid Tweeter), has confirmed that Battlefield 3 will ship with 9 maps, a fact we’ve known since GamesCom. However, Kertz also revealed that all 5 game modes — Conquest, Conquest 64, Rush, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch — will be available on all 9 maps.
In addition to the 9 maps, those who have pre-ordered Battlefield 3 (1.25 million of you), will be getting additional 4 maps from the Back to Karkand expansion pack: Strike At Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Sharqi Peninsula and Wake Island. Back to Karkand is scheduled for release approximately 1 month after the release of Battlefield 3.