The FPS scene will see a true heavyweight battle this November, as the two biggest shooter franchises will go head to head: Battlefield 3 vs Modern Warfare 3. Game industry analysts have predicted that Modern Warfare 3 will outsell Battlefield 3, but EA doesn’t share that opinion. According to EA’s senior vice president Jens Uwe, Battlefield 3 will outsell Modern Warfare 3. When asked if Battlefield 3 will outsell Modern Warfare 3, he said:
“Certainly. The only question is when that day will be. And for me, the sooner the better. With Battlefield 3 we have a superior games engine and a top notch product. We are convinced that we will, in fact, have a better product than our key competitor in the space. We think this is the perfect year to gain back market share.”
Of course, this is nothing unusual, as EA, like any publisher, needs to sustain consumer and investor confidence. The last Battlefield game, Bad Company 2, sold 7 million units, while the last Call of Duty game, Black Ops, sold twice that: 14 million. Most expect Battlefield 3 to top 10 million units sold, and Modern Warfare to sell north of 15 million.
However, Call of Duty has never had any real competition, something Battlefield 3 will most certainly provide this November. It’s a safe bet that both games will do really well, but who comes out on top is still up in the air.
A few days ago, EA sent a DMCA takedown notice to the host provider of Battlefield 3 fan site BF3nation.com. The DMCA was targeting BF3nation because they used Battlefield 3 artwork, which was quite interesting, seeing that many BF3 sites use BF3 artwork — including us here at BF3blog (e.g. the background image). EA originally released the artwork for this specific reason: for fan sites, clans etc., so it made little sense that they would try to shut down a site for using artwork EA openly supplied.
However, the real motive behind the shutdown attempt turned out to have little to do with artwork or images. EA tried to shut down BF3nation because the site was not only selling fake Battlefield 3 beta keys, but was also selling fake Battlefield 3 hacks — which is puzzling, seeing how BF3 hasn’t even been released.
In fact, it turns out that BF3nation’s “beta keys” are nothing more than a scam, run by the same person who was behind the infamous “battlefield3-beta.com”, a site which EA warned against. BF3nation also ran a fake “free voucher towards BF3″ in order to harvest user emails.
BF3nation hit back at EA, claiming it was a “slap in the face” for community sites. In fact, what BF3nation is doing is the actual slap in the face for community sites: running fake beta signups and promotional offers that do no exist. Not to mention trying to sell hacks for a game that hasn’t even been released. BF3nation is taking advantage of eager BF3 fans by offering fake promises of a BF3 beta in order to profit themselves.
While it’s necessary to BF3 fan sites to stick together, what BF3nation is doing hurts the entire BF3 fan site community and we at BF3blog distance ourselves from them and their actions.
Unfortunately, EA’s attempt to shut down BF3nation proved unsuccessful — the site is still selling fake promises of BF3 beta keys.
According to a document released by EA during yesterday’s financial statement, the company plans to release Battlefield 3 on mobile devices as well. The document, obtained by IGN, shows that Battlefield 3 is listed to receive mobile versions during the same launch period as the PC and console versions.
This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen Battlefield going mobile, as you recall, EA released an iPhone version of Battlefield Bad Company 2. The document didn’t reveal what mobile platforms the game would be released on, but expect it to hit the iPhone, and Sony’s PSP/NGP and Nintendo’s DS/3DS.
Battlefield 3 is slated for release early November, 2011.
EA just released its financial report for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, and buried in all the numbers and financial details were the news that Battlefield 3 has been pre-ordered 7 times more than the previous Battlefield game, Bad Company 2. As you recall, Bad Company 2 eventually went on to sell 7 million copies.
EA didn’t disclose how many copies of Battlefield 3 have been pre-ordered so far. The record as the most pre-ordered game is currently held by Halo Reach, which was pre-ordered 2 million times before its release last year.
EA is currently running a pre-order campaign for Battlefield 3 Limited Edition, which includes the DLC “Back to Karkand”, free of charge.
Predicting how well games will do is often a tricky business, the same way it is when it comes to movies. However, some titles you just know will do a lot of business because they’re part of a franchise, and according to industry analyst Doug Creutz from Cowen and Company, Battlefield 3 will sell 10 million copies, he recently predicted in a note sent out to investors. He based his estimate on the fact that the previous Battlefield game, Bad Company 2, sold 7 million units worldwide. Battlefield 3 is a highly anticipated title with a lot of marketing money behind it, so sales should certainly eclipse those of Bad Company 2.
However, Creutz also points out that he expects Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to sell a whopping 25 million copies, 1.5 times more than Battlefield 3. He based his estimate on sales of the previous CoD title, Black Ops, which topped 14 million copies.
Both EA and Activision will spend a lot of money this Fall marketing their games, with EA’s CEO repeatedly saying that Battlefield 3 is designed to specifically compete with Modern Warfare 3. EA intends to spend $100 million in advertising on Battlefield 3.
EA has previously stated that they intend to spend $100 million marketing Battlefield 3, and they’ve already started with a few TV spots during last nights NBA Playoff games, and today, the roll out of website banners has begun, with banners and full site ads appearing on gaming sites like GameSpot, IGN and GameTrailers. In addition, several non-gaming related sites like ESPN have been spotted with Battlefield 3 banners (see image above).
While it’s somewhat unusual to begin advertising of a game that’s 6 months away, it’s clear that EA is trying to create wide awareness of BF3 before the expected news blowout begins at E3, where Battlefield 3 is most likely to be fully unveiled. E3 is the biggest gaming trade show in the world and the biggest gaming event of the year, and runs from June 7 – 9, a good 50 days from now. However, don’t expect EA to stay silent on the BF3 news front until then.
We’ve gotten some confirmation on the Battlefield 3 launch date, and a few more interesting tidbits regarding its marketing campaign.
EA CEO John Riccitiello spoke at an ad conference in New York, where he revealed that Battlefield 3 will launch this November, and will be paired with a $100 million marketing campaign from EA in order to fight off Activision’s Modern Warfare 3. Riccitiello specifically called out Modern Warfare 3, and noted: “This game [Battlefield 3, ed.] is designed to take down that game [Modern Warfare 3, ed.].”
It’s been speculated for a while that both Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 will launch during the hectic November month. Regarding Battlefield 3′s chances of topping the best-selling Call of Duty franchise, Webush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has said that Battlefield 3 has no chance of topping Modern Warfare 3 this Fall.
How things play out this Fall is up in the air at the moment, as we’ve seen limited footage of Battlefield 3, and it’s only been the singleplayer part. On top of that, we’ve got no information on Modern Warfare 3 at all. One thing is certain: Activision and EA are gearing up for a big battle this Fall, and both are prepared to spend a lot of money marketing.
EA has announced that Battlefield 3 will be unveiled on March 1, 2011, a good six weeks from now. The unveiling will be done at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, IGN reports. EA will use the occasion to unveil several games, but for us, of course, the main highlight is Battlefield 3.
Every few months, EA sends a demo reel around its studios and offices, showing off what they’re working on. The latest of such “demo reels” features a video of Battlefield 3, according to a NeoGAF forum member, who works at EA. He said:
“I saw that BF3 had guns, explosions, vehicles, large maps and was played from the first person perspective. I got a few flashes of the HUD, but have no idea about how they’re evolving the game’s play mechanics.”
The demo reels are distributed among EA’s marketing staff, to stay in the loop on what the company is doing. If they already have a demo reel of Battlefield 3, perhaps a public unveiling of the game is not that far away. It might be revealed as early as GDC in April, where DICE is scheduled to give talks.
Despite all the information tidbits spilling out from EA and DICE on BF3, there’s still no official release date for the game. EA CEO John Riccitiello has previously commented that Battlefield 3 will take on the next Call of Duty game in 2011 — an indication when we can expect BF3.
In an interview with Industry Gamers, Riccitiello once again stressed the year 2011 as a release time frame for BF3.
“…you’ll see a lot about Battlefield 3 next year, which I think is, at least from our perspective, designed to be the one that is the big leap forward; the one that is going to help a lot.
He commented specifically on Activision and the competition in the first person shooter arena.
“Next year we’ll make a lot more progress. We’ve got a couple of third-party games in the form of Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm, and then our big focus is Battlefield 3 in the second half of the year. I’d be shocked if we didn’t take a notch out of [Activision].”
Unless there’s a delay, we can be pretty sure to see BF3 next Holiday season, as DICE is known for shipping titles on time. Read the full interview with Riccitiello here, where he goes in depth in his criticism of Activision.