Once consoles became connected to the internet, they allowed for developers to further support their games with patches, DLC, and pre-order bonuses. Many gamers have speculated that this has lead to publishers withholding content to sell off as DLC or pre-order bonuses. Battlefield 3 has caused a spark among internet gaming communities, and the fire is spreading.
There are a few different pre-order bonuses available for Battlefield 3. One is the “Back to Karkand map pack,” which includes “four of the best Battlefield maps ever created by DICE” and “iconic Battlefield 2 weapons and vehicles.” Gamers in the UK who pre-order Battlefield 3 will receive the “Physical Warfare Pack.” This pre-order bonus includes the following exclusive weapons:
Type 88 light machine gun with bipod for superior firepower and total zone control, the SKS sniper rifle flash suppressor that provides increased stealth abilities for Recon soldiers, and the lethal armour-piercing flechette ammo for the DAO-12 semi-automatic shotgun that is sure to tear through anything in its path. Also included is day one access to the highly versatile DAO-12 semi-automatic shotgun itself.
Alan Kertz, senior gameplay designer for Battlefield 3, confirmed via Twitter that the “Physical Warfare Pack” weapons will only be available to those who pre-order, and there will be no way to get them otherwise. There are several gaming communities on the internet that don’t like the idea of exclusive, multiplayer weapons and map packs for those who pre-order the game. Also, exclusive weapons could create an unfair advantage. Reddit is attempting to organize a boycott of the game. As pointed out by people on several forums, EA attempted to make exclusive content for the Battlefield: Bad Company. As a result, Sarcastic Gamer urged people to boycott the game and cancel their pre-orders. From Wikipedia,
Many websites from around the world got involved in or mentioned the boycott making it very popular among gamers and eventually reaching IGN which contacted Electronic Arts, the publisher of the game, causing it to finally cease the idea of paid weapons.
As a result of this, on April 9, 2008, Sarcastic Gamer announced that the goal of the boycott had been achieved and that the boycott was lifted.
EA has released a statement on the Battlfield Blog in the form of a QA. They said,
Q:Why doy offer pre-order bonus items?
A:Because we believe in rewarding our core fanbase with special offers — such as giving them the Back to Karkand expansion pack at no extra charge.
Q: Is the Back to Karkand expansion pack exclusive to pre-orders?
A: No. You can also buy it separately if you do not pre-order Battlefield 3. Back to Karkand will be available the exact same date after the launch of Battlefield 3 no matter if you pre-ordered or buy it separately.
Q: Is the Physical Warfare Pack available in all regions, or just in the UK?
A: It will be available worldwide at select retailers. It was first announced in the UK. Exact details for other countries and retailers will be announced at a later date.
Q: Will Physical Warfare Pack imbalance the game?
A: The three exclusive items in the Physical Warfare Pack were specifically chosen not to be overpowered or imbalance or break the game in any way
Q: Why do I want the Physical Warfare Pack?
A: Owning these items will give you a more varied arsenal, but it will not give you a significant advantage on the battlefield.
This QA certainly clears up some questions. I doubt that the gamers organizing the boycott will believe that the weapons won’t give an unfair advantage, so the boycott is likely to continue. Let us know in the comments if you agree with the boycotts, and be sure to stick with PlayStation LifeStyle, as we update you on how this situation develops.