Boycott Against Battlefield 3 Is Underway

By John Walker on June 13th, 2011 at 11:36 am.

Oh, little pack, you've caused so much trouble.

This morning RPS awoke to inboxes bursting with emails telling us off for Battlefield 3′s DLC announcement. This was confusing, as we are not EA. You can tell by the lack of Will Wright posters on our walls. It seems a Reddit campaign has been organised in reaction to news that BF3 pre-orders will come with DLC that others won’t be able to get. The Back To Karkand expansion pack is (somewhat mistakenly) the focus of this ire, not only because it will mean those who buy the game on release will need to spend extra to have the same content as other players, but because they apparently won’t be able to get at all of it. The extra weapons and ammo that come in the Physical Warfare Pack are not to be included in the post-release version.

The Karkand DLC was announced in May, offering classic BF maps, Strike at Karkand, Wake Island, Gulf of Oman and Sharqi Peninsula. However, it seems what they’re actually angry about is the Physical Warfare Pack that was announced more recently, and contains the Karkand content.

In there you also get a Type 88 Light Machine Gun, DAO-12 Shotgun, Flechette Shotgun Ammo, and a Flash Suppressor, along with the extra maps. But it seems that while Karkand will be available for purchase after the game is out, the weapons and ammo will not, and campaigners are claiming this will give an unfair advantage to those who have pre-ordered.

Buoying their activities is the memory that a similar campaign worked for Battlefield: Bad Company, organised by Sarcastic Gamer. Since EA backed down last time, it seems odd that they’re doing the same this time.

Clearly we are not big fans of day one DLC, especially when it’s announced months ahead of release. While those in the industry argue that such content can be developed at the end of the development process, in a time that’s too late to make the full game, but a way to keep everyone at the studio employed throughout the certification processes, etc, it’s not an argument that holds much merit this far ahead of release. The game isn’t due until the 28th October, and they were demoing “pre-alpha” footage at E3, which would rather strongly indicate the game is nowhere near finished. It’s obviously designed to be an incentive to encourage gamers to pre-order. But the consequences are that those who wait to read reviews or hear word from friends before committing a large chunk of their money toward a game are getting punished. Certainly financially, and this latest campaign claims, also within the game. Although we’ve yet to see any evidence for that.

So whether that’s the case or not we don’t know, and we’ve contacted EA for comment. They are looking into the matter and promise to get back to us soon.

It’s also worth noting that inundating RPS’s mailboxes with the same email a million times does not win sympathy, and almost put us off covering this. Day one DLC is an issue we care about, and a simple email from the campaign organisers letting us know would have done. Wasting our time with dozens of identical emails just succeeds in pissing us off.

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198 Comments »

  1. Daniel Rivas says:

    Tedious. On all sides, for once, which is nice.

    • godgoo says:

      Agreed; tedium ad nausea.

    • seattlepete says:

      I hate the idea of a 0 day DLC, particularly this one where I’d have to get the game from a particular retailer. But the thing is, this is essentially EA projecting the news that BF3 will be buggy on release. Some folks will have gear that others can’t get, which will cause balance issues. That’s a design flaw. I don’t want to play a game that will be buggy on release (either through poor QA or poor design decisions), so I will not be buying BF3.

      Frankly I find it rather refreshing to hear from a major studio that they plan on releasing some crap. Even if they mistakenly feel like it’s AWESOME (marketing).

    • vodkarn says:

      “(either through poor QA or poor design decisions)”

      The QA done is never POOR. Either issues found are not addressed in time (or are considered not worth fixing) outside of the testing department. THe idea testers ‘wouldn’t find’ these issues is ridiculous.

      Hell, when I worked at EA they had a BF2 bug – ‘sometimes allies show as enemies’ as a low priority bug, and this was over a YEAR after the game came out, and the bug was 2-3 years old.

      On the topic at hand though – this is a dumb move. It’s confusing to many customers, and no-one benefits.

    • gwathdring says:

      I rarely make day 1 purchases, but tend not to mind Day 1 DLC as it often gets added into other DLC packs later or even free patches. Either one of those makes it ok by me.

    • pl4t0 says:

      @gwathdring: They’ve made it clear via Twitter that it is entirely exclusive to the pre-order – it will not be released for free afterwards. Wish I had the link.

    • gwathdring says:

      Ah. And seeing as they were some pretty fantastic maps in BF2 … that’s a problem. Well, since I’m not getting a real gaming rig until 2013, I’ve got time to wait for EA or (fan remakes of the best BF2 maps) to fix that.

      But this is rather bad form.

  2. skinlo says:

    Hmm, tricky situation. In one side, I hate day 1 DLC, no doubt this is an EA thing, with weapons that could easily be included in the full game. On the other side, I want the PC version to do really well so that publishers start making more PC games.

    • Jolly Teaparty says:

      Yeah, I don’t know how angry I can get at attempts to give added value to legitimate purchasers, as I think that’s what they’re shooting for. I like the trend and it’s certainly better than more fruitless investment in DRM. Problem is the pirates will have this DLC so it’s ineffective, and there will probably be DRM too.

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      Zephro says:

      Yeah I still don’t see the issue with Day 1 DLC. If I don’t care about or enjoy a game I don’t buy the extra DLC. Devs/publishers can divide up and sell their products as they choose really.

      Seems like a massive storm in a teacup. Then again I’m really not a terribly competitive gamer and just enjoy jumping in for some casual fun with these things.

      I’d probably get annoyed if it restricted the main game in some way, say having to pay 10 dollars for the ending to the plot.

    • poop says:

      people object to day 1 dlc because it is literally publishers stripping content from teh finished game and attaching a price tag to it.

    • noodlecake says:

      So? You don’t have to buy it. It’s their product. They can do what they want.

    • BadHat says:

      Teaparty, I think you could be misunderstanding the nature of the DLC – the weapons are pre-order and retailer specific. You only get them if you pre-order from a few selected retailers, and there will be no way to buy or earn them after launch. This isn’t about rewarding “legitimate” purchases, it’s about rewarding pre-orders and business to their favoured outlets. If you want to argue that this sort of practice is done with the customer in mind, I’d love to hear how.

      noodlecake, you’re quite right, it is their product! You clearly understand a lot about business ethics, please do tell us more.

    • Jolly Teaparty says:

      @poop That isn’t true in general, the game will have gone to production a while before the release date, and at that point no additional content can be added to the release (except maybe by day 1 patching). The idea with day 1 DLC, as described in this article, is that it’s stuff that didn’t make it in time for production. I think it’s fair enough because if the DLC hadn’t been made then the development team wouldn’t have been required for the time to make it, so it’s fair not to include it free with the release.

      I don’t know if I agree with EA planning to have release day DLC though, because they could instead plan to go to production later. I’m kind of with noodlecake on this one though, they can present you with whatever product they want. Whilst you can ask for something different your only real power is in voting with your wallet.

      @BadHat No idea what to make of it then, if it’s not an antipiracy measure then it just sounds like a really bad decision. One they’ll probably go back on judging from this article.

    • abremms says:

      @BadHat – I really doubt that this DLC will be unavailable after launch. There will be a few months of exclusivity, but then they will slap a $9.99 price tag on it and advertise it like they made a brand new game. they always do.

      I don’t like launch DLC any more than the next guy, though I do see its purpose as a deterrent to reselling, but the “You only get them if you pre-order from a few selected retailers, and there will be no way to buy or earn them after launch.” argument doesn’t really hold water. Most major releases get their launch DLC released for a price a few months down the line, especially when the publisher smells a willingness to pay for the content.

    • thegooseking says:

      Do we have a problem with pre-order bonuses that no-one cares about? Is it a problem when games on Steam have a pre-order bonus of a new hat for TF2, which people who want to wait and see how the game is received rightly feel they can live without?

      Is the issue here that BF3 has a pre-order bonus that people might actually want?

    • poop says:

      heres the thing, teaparty, the game has not gone gold yet, it makes sense for day 0 patches and dlcs when it actually is just the developers adding content after the game itself is done but this pretty obviously isn’t

    • abremms says:

      @Jolly Teaparty – this who,le thing is part of EA’s Project Ten Dollars or whatever its called. the idea is to add on some additional content that only the original buyer gets. its mostly aimed a places like Gamestop that make a killing reselling used console games. PC gamers are collateral damage. (although there are people who resell pc games… who well, digital distribution is putting an end to that).

      it makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint (when someone buys a used game, the publisher and the developer get exactly no pennies), even if it does suck for the consumer. especialy the PC consumer, but business is business.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      The difference between your average pre-order bonus and this one is that this one is actually useful. Cosmetic pre-order bonuses? Sure, whatever, it doesn’t affect the game. This one? Actually affects the damn balance of the multiplayer, giving players access to weapons to use against other players that don’t have them not because they aren’t good enough, but because they had the gall to DARE not to pre-purchase BF3 from GAME.

      Fuck everything about this attitude, Sarcastic Gamer has my sword.

    • BadHat says:

      @abremms – http://twitter.com/#!/Demize99/status/79581478253625345
      But hey, if you’d honestly be okay with paying for this shit post-release, kudos to you for setting a terrible precedent for the rest of us.

      Edit: Link didn’t quite work, you’ll have to copy+paste, if that wasn’t obvious.

    • DrGonzo says:

      This isn’t added content for legitimate customers. You must not have read the article properly. It is added content for pre-orders, and fuck the rest of us who buy it after release.

      Although, I really doubt it will end up this way, it will either be released as extra dlc available for the rest of us, or they will back down. Either way, it’s still left a sour taste in my mouth.

      It is still my most anticipated game, but maybe I should just steal it? If I buy it I will be missing out on content anyway, so what’s to stop me from piracy? It’s madness if you ask me.

    • RandomGameR says:

      How does this differ from all the other games that have done this in the past that we didn’t have self-entitled outrage over? For example, when I pre-ordered RIFT, I got an item that lets me add extra fire damage to my weapons anytime I want, that is on top of other buffs.

      @poop, You’re wrong about 0-day dlc. You assume that the content getting sold at an extra price tag would just be included in the game if they didn’t do 0-day dlc because it outraged enough people. In fact, that content would just never be made. You see, games are funded by money. In order to justify making content, they need to show projected earnings. 0-day dlc came about because dlc is cheaper to produce and brings in a good amount of money. This means that a company can project higher earnings and allocate resources toward more things. Without those higher earnings, those resources don’t get to exist (i.e. fewer people are hired and the game doesn’t get extra content).

      In the end, as a consumer, you shouldn’t get upset over WHEN the dlc comes out. You should look at the game without any dlc and its initial price tag and figure out if you’ll get your money’s worth out of it. If not, don’t buy it.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @ RandomGameR

      “In the end, as a consumer, you shouldn’t get upset over WHEN the dlc comes out. You should look at the game without any dlc and its initial price tag and figure out if you’ll get your money’s worth out of it. If not, don’t buy it”

      That’s exactly the point: this model of pre-order ‘bonus’ DLC means you as a consumer are unable to figure out whether you can get your money’s worth. That’s what pre-release reviews were for traditionally, so that we consumers could make some kind of informed choice about what it was we were paying to consume. Now we either order in advance and hope it’s worth the money, or we wait and have to pay extra. Either way, making an informed choice – that classical economics demands of us if the market is to work properly – becomes impossible.

      From a moral perspective it’s bankrupt, and from a rational economic perspective it’s bankrupt. And in an age where publishers’ greatest defense against piracy is essentially a moral argument, behaving like this is both hypocritical and possibly counter-productive.

    • Gnarf says:

      So? You don’t have to buy it. It’s their product. They can do what they want.

      So? They don’t have to do a thing about the boycott. It’s my spare time. I can boycott what I want.

      It’s not like they’re getting sued over this or anything. You saying that what they do is actually legit doesn’t address any point made by anyone.

      Personally I think it’s shitstorm-worthy. YMMV.

  3. luckystriker says:

    I’m not really an FPS guy. How much of an advantage would those weapons and ammo really give a player?

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      john_silence says:

      Well, basically, imagine a teenage mutant ninja turtle fighting against a regular turtle?
      It’s not at all like that.

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      Shakermaker says:

      No one knows. People are making assumptions.

    • FakeAssName says:

      probably dick, and most of the people who pre-order are the types to jump at every “new shiny” so a lot of it will end up in inactive accounts after 3 months anyway.

      (ya know, when the next title with “pre-order exclusive DLC” that they simply must have to be competitive comes out)

    • MaXimillion says:

      Not any advantage, just different ways of playing. And in the case of the two weapons not really even that, since there will most likely be very similar weapons available for everyone

    • scardb says:

      @MaXimillion “FLASH SUPPRESSOR FOR SKS SNIPER RIFLE. Exclusive weapon mod
      This exclusive item is the only sniper rifle flash suppressor in the game.” This doesn’t seem to indicate that there will be similar options for other players. And the ability to suppress rifle flash sounds quite powerful. As was said earlier everything is based on assumptions right now but they really should be trying to communicate an equal playing field for all if they want to attract the attention of those who take competitive multiplayer seriously.

    • subedii says:

      From what I understand, the pre-order bonuses were something EA was pushing for, not DICE. As a result the weapons being given for pre-orders are average at best compared to the stuff you’ll be getting in-game regardless.

      This is just something I read that a dev tweeted though, I don’t have a source for it.

      Either way, I’m not particularly bothered about the weapons. The MAPS however, that I really don’t like. Splitting the playerbase right from the start is stupid.

    • Whitechip says:

      @ john_silence
      You sir made my day.

    • MaXimillion says:

      scardb:
      Unless they’ve radically changed the system from BC2, muzzle flash suppressor is going to be pretty much a novelty item

    • Heliosicle says:

      Pre order stuff in BC2 and MoH was just unlocks that you got from the start, nothing was restricted to players that didn’t pre order afaik.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      As long as they are balanced, it won’t matter at all. Take Brink for example, seriously please take it – it’s shit, there are only two weapons and one body type worth using.

      Battlefield games are notoriously not like that making all the weapons a joy to experiment with.

      Best solution, get a decent education, get a better job, save your money, buy day one purchases and stop whining about what is effectively nothing.

  4. Njordsk says:

    As much as I hate boycott and think they’re pointless, I hate even more pre order bonuses which gives advantage to other, or other weapons in that case
    .
    Though I’m wayyyy more annoyed by the back to karkand back than the physical warfare one. People will have to add an extra 10€ just to get what preorder have, that’s not acceptable.

    • Mike says:

      Apparently a similar thing happened for Bad Company 1, and EA backed down. So I understand why people are doing this.

  5. DeepSleeper says:

    Requesting that screenshot of the “Boycott Modern Warfare 2″ group where 85% of the people are playing MW2.

    • Gundrea says:

      The first time I saw that image it brightened up an otherwise crappy day.

    • Njordsk says:

      It’s more about letting them know we’re not pleased at all rather than a real boycott.

      Who on earth will boycott BF3, that’s not sain :p

    • Archonsod says:

      I’ll be boycotting it. As I did with the rest of the series. In fact, I’ll continue to boycott Battlefield until it actually becomes worth playing :P

    • subedii says:

      That pic was always weird to me. It’s a screencap of the first page of a group of, say, maybe 800-900 people, the topmost of which were even online. it only showed maybe 20-30 odd people playing Modern Warfare 2.

      I dunno, it’s always trotted out, but I don’t think it really shows what I think everyone says it does. There was always going to be a batch of people who were still going to buy MW2 regardless, but it doesn’t really tell me most of the group was at it either.

      Still stupid regardless, like the Left 4 Dead boycott, but I always thought that screencap was pretty dumb too.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      You have a point there. It’s great for a quick laugh, but under critical analysis it probably doesn’t hold up.

      On the other hand, it really can’t have helped their point any either.

    • Milky1985 says:

      “Requesting that screenshot of the “Boycott Modern Warfare 2″ group where 85% of the people are playing MW2.”

      Isn’t it funny how the percentage of people that were playing the game goes up each time someone mentiones that scenario!

      I swear it was only about 50% when i saw it,but it might have actually been 30% but it was meanted 4 times before i saw it.

    • Tubby McChubbles says:

      Bear in mind that a fraction of all steam users are online at any one time, and most people have more than one game. Of course you won’t get an entire group all playing the game at once.

    • Highstorm says:

      Here’s that pic. Of the 36 people shown on that page (4 of which are offline), 19 are playing MW2 which is about 53%. However that’s a snapshot of just 36 of the 833 total members of the group so it’s only really showing that 2.3% of the group bought and were actively playing MW2.

      And if no one really wanted to analyze this old thing, well too bad. I’m at work and bored.

  6. bookwormat says:

    I’m going to look at what content I get for which price and then I decide if this is something I want to spend money on or not. Easy.

    .

  7. The Hammer says:

    The physical warfare pack is £30 at GAME. For that kind of price it’s a definite purchase for me:

    http://www.game.co.uk/lowdown.aspx?lid=15388&cm_sp=battlefield-_-topnav-_-battlefield3

    • lunarplasma says:

      That actually isn’t a bad price. At least it’s not £45 or some crap like Starcraft II was for like, FOREVER (until recently).

  8. Unaco says:

    The “Back to Karkand” thing was announced at the same time the first information about the game was released. I remember ranting about it a little here. Not only is it Day 1 DLC, but it’s old/’classic’ maps as DLC, something MW2 was rightly criticised for selling. Now, it might be ‘free’ if you pre-purchase, but then, you’re putting somewhat blind-faith in the game, buying it before you’ve heard any reviewers opinions, or other players, or generally seen the reception for the game. And then, what if you buy it on release day or shortly after (after you’ve had enough of an opportunity to confirm the game isn’t total dreck)? It’s going to be full game price, plus £5 or £10 for the map pack.

    EA/DICE might be being very nice to PC gamers (with the lean and prone and dedicated servers), but they’re still pretty brazen gonif.

    • Raniz says:

      If you can get the preorder bonuses for a reasonable price after release I don’t really have any issues with them.

      If you preorder a game you’re essentially saying that you trust the developers/publishers and that you have faith that it’s going to be an enjoyable game, and if the developers/publishers wishes to reward you for showing faith in their product by giving you some free DLC I think that’s ok.

      However, when that DLC isn’t available to anyone else, things change; it goes from being a bonus to an exclusive and you must preorder in order to get on an equal footing with everyone else.

      As I understand the article here the preorder is contained within the DLC, so I don’t see any problems with this – anyone can get their hands on both the extra maps and the extra weapons.

    • Unaco says:

      “The extra weapons and ammo that come in the Physical Warfare Pack are not to be included in the post-release version.”

      Didn’t read that part then? The weapons/ammo will ONLY be available (currently) to those who preorder. If you want those weapons, or you’re some sort of completionist, then you’ll have to pre-order the game, and so risk ending up with a £30-£40 coaster, or worthless 15GB download (severe I know… but this game COULD end up being an abomination).

      That’s one thing though. The other thing is that to get the game + old/’classic’ maps, if you preorder, that’ll be whatever price £30-£40. If you don’t preorder, buy on release say, an impulse purchase perhaps, then it’s going to be £30-£40 + £5-£10 for the DLC. Yes, that might be a reasonable price… but I don’t see why I should pay price X one day before release, and price Y one day after release, when all of the content is the same (actually, I’ll be getting less after release, because I won’t be getting the weapons).

  9. MaXimillion says:

    So it’s not just “unlock these at L1 instead of having to grind for them”, but weapons you absolutely can’t get otherwise? Very disappointing, although not quite enough to make me cancel my preorder.

    • FakeAssName says:

      no, it’s not like the “EMP pack for pre-ordering with D2D vs the INC pack for pre-ordering with GFWL” DLC promotion that Section 8: Prejudice had.

  10. sigma83 says:

    This feels like an EA thing rather than a DICE thing. Boo EA boo.

    Also maps splitting the community boo.

    • Njordsk says:

      My feeling too, spliting community sucks. And they said it thelmselves for BC2, which makes me wonder why such a backpedal.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Yes, they shouldn’t do that, at release or after, all MP maps should be available to all players without additional costs of it breaks the game. I’m not saying they should release free map packs, just that if they do release a map pack it should be free, if they can’t justify dev time then just don’t make the map pack.

  11. gornmyson says:

    I must admit, I nearly email RPS about this, but held off knowing others would. The comments on this announcement over on the offical Battlefield website make feelings (if biased ones) very clear, basically a lot of swearing, ranting, and people asserting that they will either no longer buy the game, or intend to pirate it.

    Personally, I think it’s fairly obvious and unnecessary money grabbing, and I’m sure that many would go in for it, maybe more would if this wasn’t a well established series. I didn’t expect EA to be quite as mercenary as this, and would go as far to say as it feels like something COD /Elite types would cone up with.

    A sad day for battlefield. If only gamers were getter at expressing thier anger at EA that using shouty-caps-lock swears on comments sections.

    I hope the reedit campaign bears fruit for that reason if no other.

    I’ll still buy it, it still looks great.

    • Resonance says:

      “or intend to pirate it.”

      What kind of logic is that?

      Gamers are the worst….

  12. Binman88 says:

    Looks like they should pre-order it then if they want this stuff? Sounds like they intend to buy it anyway.

    I just can’t get angry about stuff like this. If it bothers you so much, don’t buy the game. EA can and will release this game in any manner they think is best for their company – its up to you to choose if the product holds any worth for you. (Just read the Joystiq article linked above, and I’m pretty much saying what they were saying back then).

    • Unaco says:

      I might buy this game… But I’d like to know if it’s a good game or not. That means I won’t be preordering and I’ll be waiting to see what people I trust and respect think of the game. That means, if I do buy the game, a week or two after release, I’m going to have to buy the game itself (likely at full price), and this Day 1 DLC pack. So, I get penalised, I have to pay more for the same package, because I wanted to be somewhat careful with my purchase.

      Maybe, the people who are calling for this boycott are not be calling it for their own benefit, as they’ll be pre-ordering the game… but instead are calling for it for the benefit of others. Or it could be for themselves… they could be people definitely interested, almost 90% ready to purchase, but want to wait til after release to make sure the game isn’t a total pile of crap. I think a lot of PC Gamers have been burned at least once with a pre-order on a big title that turned out to be a let down.

    • Binman88 says:

      Fair enough Unaco, but I don’t think it’s quite that bad. Having an exclusive gun or perk might give the player a minor advantage, but the Battlefield games have always favoured player skill and awareness over how good your gun is, at least in my experience. I’m sure players will unlock guns and perks as good as or better than these exclusives after the first few levels anyway, so the advantage won’t last that long.

      The fact that the Karkand map is a bonus is a tad annoying, but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of other good maps for everyone to play. I’m not going to pretend I think it’s awesome, but I don’t view it as the post-release buyer being penalised. The pre-order buyer is being rewarded, in a sense, and the post-release buyer is getting the standard game as advertised.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      My issue is the Karkand map. So do I pre-order and have a map that fewer people can play, or not pre-order and get kicked from the server every time it switches to that map?

      Maps should never be exclusive or paid DLC.

    • Binman88 says:

      Well, the map is part of an expansion pack (which includes 4 re-made BF2 maps), and will likely be distinctly separated from the standard BF3 maps. Server admins won’t be able to mix and match – you’ll either be on a standard server, or an expansion server. If that’s the case, there’s not much point taking issue with this. If you want to play the expansion and didn’t pre-order, you’ll just have to wait a month and pay. The only reason I can see people being annoyed about that is thinking they should get it free simply because it was technically free for some people at some stage, which isn’t how these things work. If you want this extra stuff, you have to take the risk and pre-order, or you’ll have to pay for it as DLC. I don’t see the problem.

    • Milky1985 says:

      I would like to pre-order teh game, but they put up pre-orer stuff like this for PC and saying “pre-order now or don’t get this content”, but havn’t bothered to even put up a predicted system requirement yet, and i don’t mean a which exact card, i mean if the rumors about it being DX11 only are true!

      Maybe they should worry about stuff like that before giving people extra guns?

    • jon_hill987 says:

      @Binman88: I wasn’t aware of that, I’m just remembering the crap SEGA did with their map packs and bonuses for AVP which was a disaster for the multiplayer of that game.

    • Binman88 says:

      @jon_hill987: I’m not 100% sure that’s how they’re doing it (and it will suck if the map can appear alongside standard maps in a rotation), but judging by the wording of the small print and how they’ve treated expansions with BC2 it seems likely.

  13. JonathanStrange says:

    Kinda curious why the folk boycotting the game are emailing RPS, I mean you’re a brilliant site and all, but… well… why? Publicity for their campaign? Was it just RPS or all gaming related news sites? Was there some collective call to arms where someone stood atop the proverbial soapbox list in hand reading out websites to bombard with emails?

    Seems a bit silly to me.

    As for the news… bleh, EA’s hand at work I suspect. It seems every game that EA has a hand in is ridden with DLC. Happened to Bioware, not surprised it’s happening to DICE as well. Distasteful. A few gun unlocks wont stop me from buying the game if it’s good enough, but it has left a sour taste in my mouth.

    • fiddlesticks says:

      Well, considering that this entire boycott relies on gathering enough publicity and support for their cause, I’d say sending this information to one of the biggest PC gaming related news website was a fairly obvious move. Especially since, as John pointed out, RPS already made their dislike for Day 1 DLC quite clear.

  14. Njordsk says:

    Oh while we’re at it, I made a little survey on EA forum about regenerative health.

    http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/6846131.page

    feel free, might be pointless, but maybe someone, somewhere will notice it.

    • MaXimillion says:

      In the case of BC2, medics are already damn powerful with the regenerating health system, so it’s more a case of having it making them not be completely overpowered instead of making them useless.

    • Njordsk says:

      Well, reduce points by “tic” when healing.

      And resurection will e harder too, you’ll have to “warm” the pads, so they’ll do way less I think.

  15. rareh says:

    “Day one DLC is an issue we care about”

    Its funny if Valve does it(Portal 2), its okay,revolutionary and innovative.

    If EA do it, its evil, shameless etc

    Wish people would not be fanboys for once.

    • Njordsk says:

      portal 2 DLC are all cosmetics DLC.

      BF3 are weapons, maps and vehicules.

      See ?

    • Icarus says:

      Day-one DLC is stupid no matter the publisher, and it does annoy me quite a lot that Valve gave in. But their DLC is cosmetic silliness, whereas this is an actual in-game advantage in a competitive FPS environment.

    • Davee says:

      I’m not bothered at all by the “DLC” in Portal 2 (but a bit worried that Valve tried). It’s useless character customization items that do not affect gameplay in a game where you only have one teammate and no competition. It’s not really “content” per say.

    • Gorgol says:

      Well spotted.

    • subedii says:

      I don’t recall anyone saying optional GIANT eyeglasses were revolutionary or innovative, just that they didn’t care.

    • John Walker says:

      First of all, we wrote an angry post about how stupid the Portal 2 in-store items were:

      And secondly, it wasn’t DLC for the game. It was in-game store hats that made no difference to how it’s played. The DLC for Portal 2 has been announced as free.

      Perhaps before making such wildly stupid accusations, you might want to engage your brain.

  16. Teronfel says:

    Seriously? people won’t buy the game because they can’t have two extra weapons? hahaha

    • grasskit says:

      youre missing the point, its day1 dlc. whether its a weapon or whatever is of little importance

    • Resonance says:

      I have to agree with Teronfel – the idea that people claim they will now pirate the game, or no longer buy it [after being hyped enough about the game to post on forums about it] over a couple of weapons is ridiculous.
      They don’t even know how it fits into the game yet…if it’s anything like the original Bad Company the DLC weapons will be utterly useless…

    • Milky1985 says:

      Only way to let them know your unhappy about it is to not buy it.

      (well you can DDOS/Hack their website as that seems to be a theme going around at the moment but if you do that loads of sony fans appear and start accusing you of supporting the hacking of the PS3 :P)

  17. Davee says:

    I’d be fine with it if we could actually unlock these things later on in the game (the DAO-12 can supposedly be unlocked, but not the rest). But since that dosn’t seem to be the case, I hope this may sway EA/DICE’s decision to go ahead with it as it is. It’s a matter of principle. Why should we be left with no way of obtaining this game content just because we live in a certain region or purchase the game at a different time?

    • MaXimillion says:

      Well it’s quite unlikely that there won’t be another semi-auto sniper rifle, so I doubt people will miss the T88 that much

      EDIT: OK, apparently I can’t read and it was the LMG variant, not sniper. Although that just means that there’s certainly going to be other alternatives.

    • Davee says:

      Who said anything about a semi-auto sniper (I can see how you would make the mistake though)? :P

      The Type 88 is my favourite LMG in Bad Company 2. Hope I can get my hands on it in BF3 eventually.

      EDIT: Not to mention that the SKS (old USSR weaponry ftw) is one of my favourite weapons in any game, ever. And apparently the flash suppressor attachment will be the only one of it’s kind in BF3…

    • MiniMatt says:

      Yeah that flash suppressor is the only one that makes me a bit worried about in game advantages – the rest of the weapons are just variety that boil down to personal preference. Since the M60 rebalancing all the LMGs in BC2 are pretty much on an equal footing with personal preference largely the only factor.

      Splitting the community is an odd one though, either you’ll find half the servers are unavailable to you if they cycle through DLC maps or no-one will run DLC map servers because not enough people are playing them. Though in early days I suspect neither will be an issue.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I think you’ll probably find that all preorder bonuses will be available for download a couple of months after launch, just like with ME2. After all if EA is such a greedy company why would they stop their customers from spending more money?

  18. l0z says:

    It’s pathetic really. It’s one thing being slightly miffed that you can’t use a virtual gun that is virtually identical to the other virtual guns you have. It’s quite another to spend precious minutes of your life starting an angry internet campaign.

    Whiny, entitled idiots of the world, unite!

    • bleeters says:

      Oh, the irony.

    • Unaco says:

      And what about this comment? You spent precious minutes/seconds writing a ‘pathetic’ comment about a ‘pathetic’ campaign.

      Self-important, conceited, shmendriks unite?

    • poop says:

      entitled is my new favorite buzzword for product defenders on internet forums

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      It ranks slightly above accusations of nostalgia in terms of boring ad hominem.

      Unless your intention is to be a dick, you should be making coherent, refutable arguments, not insulting people. I see otherwise intelligent people wittering on about “entitlement”, and it means absolutely nothing as a rational argument. It’s just an insult.

    • Wilson says:

      Yeah, entitled is quickly becoming one of my least favorite terms, up there with fanboy. Also, l0z’s post is hilarious.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Phinor says:

    Pre-order bonus weapons need to be singleplayer only. The moment you start handing out multiplayer content others have no access as pre-order bonuses is the moment you start asking for trouble. Even if they made the pre-order bonus weapons and ammo the worst items in the game, you’d see topics and debate popping up every day stating the weapons are the best in the game, they horribly unbalance the game and are pretty much just win-buttons.

    Surely billion dollar companies can think of better pre-order bonuses than multiplayer content.

    • Davee says:

      You nailed it.

    • frenz0rz says:

      Yup, that pretty much nails my point of view right there. DLC or ‘limited edition’ content needs to be singleplayer or purely cosmetic only, otherwise there will always be balance issues. The guns I dont even mind so much – its the fact that flechette ammo allows you to fire through metal(!) walls, and the flash suppressor allows a sniper to completely cut out his muzzle flash, which is absurdly overpowered if you have to pay extra for it.

  20. FakeAssName says:

    FFS people, EA is simply doing this to drum up attention for the game, hell I’d be surprised if the organizers of this “boycott” didn’t work for EA’s marketing dept.

    Don’t go losing your shit over some stupid PR notice months before the game ships, have you all forgotten that this is EA your taking about and that the only thing the like better than lots of Pre-orders is lots of DLC sales after the game has shipped?

    three months is more than enough time to potentially drum up some extra pre-orders by people who actually think they wont be able to get this content otherwise, only to relent at the last moment and announce that due to their benevolence towards the players they will eventually put this DLC up for non pre-orders sometime after the game shipps …. all while this stupid Boycott hammers the game into the lime light with twice the force that game could ever manage on it’s own merits.

    • Davee says:

      It’s all a conspiracy!
      But yes, you have a point. There have been campaigns like this before, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the case here too. Typical corporate behaviour ;)

  21. bigtoeohno says:

    this looks like it could be the nasty work of updownleftright
    Edit UPLEFTDOWNRIGHT

    2nd edit: disregard

  22. ckpk says:

    I think I would be more sympathetic to the boycott if it wasn’t for the fact that this isnt particularly unusual, or even particularly bad necesarily. If the weapons are balanced (and thats a big if), they just give different options to people rather than giving them an advantage.

    Unlocking exclusive weapons for pre-orders has been done before pretty often; the only reason I initially felt anything for this boycott was that it implied that parts of the core game had actually been removed and made into exclusive unlockables (which would be completely unacceptable). From the sound of it however, these weapons just sound like a bit of frosting you get added to an already complete and very tasty cake if you buy it from a particular bakers.

    If it does turn out that these weapons are overpowered, or are types of weapons you cannot get without the exclusive pre-order, I’ll be right behind the boycott. Until we found out however, this boycott is looking more than a little ridiculous.

  23. Stuart Walton says:

    While there is an argument for first sale incentives and retailer incentives (as long as you offer everyone to buy the DLC as well), making items exclusive to a subset of players is a ridiculous thing to do in an MP title. Vanity items are fair enough but anything that has the potential to upset game balance should really be avoided. The developer may be confident that their assymetric offerings don’t give a fraction of the players an advantage, they no doubt playtest looking for exploits. But it’s more work for them and the more items they offer, so eponentially increases the number of combinations to be tested, too much to realistically evaluate.

    The flechette rounds are a worry, combining slug and magnum ammo perks in Bad Company 2 gave you a shotgun with incredible long range accuracy and stopping power. Heck, I used to kill snipers half way across a map with it. I bet the campy bastards were fuming at that. (Pro Tip: The most effective Recons in BF:BC2 get right into the action and don’t sit in the same spot where magnum slugs can find you). How those are going to effect gameplay is a frightening unknown when not all players have it, and if it’s too powerful then it’ll likely get nerfed (and we all know how balanced most BF games have been on release), so are these retailer incentives actually worth it?

  24. DiamondDog says:

    An advantage like a higher level player having access to better weapons? Come on. In BC2 it doesn’t really matter who has what weapon. It just comes down to experience and skill, like any FPS. Oh, and lots of teamwork. I just can’t see where this perceived advantage is coming from.

    The map pack thing is more annoying. I intend to pre-order if this is the case, but I don’t see why people should lose out on maps because they are cautious and want to wait.

    Still, it’s not often you get a display of righteous indignation from the gaming community. No, sorry, that’s all we get.

    • Tomm says:

      The map pack thing is by far the thing we should be more annoyed about. I’ll pre-order this game, but many of my friends will probably pick it up after the release date. Then when we want to play, what happens when one of the remake maps comes up in rotation?

      Having experience of BC2, you can put the perceived worst weapon in a pro’s hands and he’ll be owning with it. I’m not fussed about another LMG, it just gives a bit of variety in the way that the Tommy Gun and Colt did in BC2.

    • The Hammer says:

      @Tomm: It won’t. It’s a proper expansion pack, selectable from the main menu just like Bad Company 2: Vietnam is. It’s pretty much a remake of Battlefield 2, with only four maps.

    • Tomm says:

      It’s still day one DLC, whereas Vietnam wasn’t. And that doesn’t sit well with me.

    • The Hammer says:

      For the record, it doesn’t sit well with me too good either, but at least it is an expansion pack, and won’t change your perception of the core game too much, apart from the exclusive weapons.

  25. noodlecake says:

    I think it’s a good idea! If you don’t want the extra content, don’t pre-order. Simple. Chill the fuck out.

    • Premium User Badge

      frymaster says:

      this is fair enough, if a bit shit, for single player.

      For multiplayer, where you get a permanently reduced set of weapon choices because someone you’re playing against pre-ordered from a specific retailer, it has the potential to be balance-breaking.

      (potential only; there’s always the chance these exclusive items are crap)

  26. Ratchet says:

    This is only a big deal if the weapons and other items in the Physical Warfare Pack aren’t unlockable through normal game play for people who don’t pre-order. If they are only early unlocks for people who do pre-order, like they did with various items in BC2, then it’s a non-issue.

  27. Theodoric says:

    Honestly, I don’t really care if that map pack (including map-specific weapons!) costs me a bit more. It’s probably worth it. I don’t really like the whole ‘exclusive weapons and gadgets’ thing, though. I mean, I can understand it if they add in some singleplayer bonuses or such, but if they add in exclusive multiplayer items, at least allow the other folks to get it, be it at an in-game or real cost.

  28. Teddy Leach says:

    I’m one of those people that generally don’t care about DLC, day 1 or otherwise. I’ll still be buying Battlefield 3.

  29. Robert says:

    I just wish the boycott wasn’t a validation to pirate.

    • johnpeat says:

      It isn’t – at all – in any way…

      Keep talking yourself into it tho by all means…

    • subedii says:

      I just don’t get it, it never makes sense for anyone to even bother pirating a game that’s primarily going to be multiplayer anyway.

      I don’t have much in terms of expectations for the SP, to be honest I’m expecting it to be as tedious as BF:BC2′s.

      With multiplayer however, even on the presumption that you can find pirate servers to play on, they’re inevitably going to be crap, loaded up with cheaters and hacks and all sorts of nonsense. The playerbase itself will be small-to-nonexistent. The server browser will pretty likely be broken, as will ranking and other systems. And the servers themselves will likely be modded in increidbly stupid ways and there won’t be much chance to find a “vanilla” server.

      Don’t spend money, get a crap game. Woohoo?

      Oh but wait, the gameplay being crap justifies the fact that it was pirated right?

      So it’s actually don’t spend money, get a crap game, then lambaste “fools” for spending money on such a clearly crap game, and finally smugly revel in how smart you are whilst others have fun with the game that you can’t understand how anyone would have fun with.

      Great trade-off.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Quoth subedii: “I just don’t get it, it never makes sense for anyone to even bother pirating a game that’s primarily going to be multiplayer anyway.”

      Interesting how things have changed since Counter-Strike. Back when I was playing 1.5, myself and everyone I knew who had it was playing it with a pirate copy of HL. The shift from mostly LAN gaming to mostly Internet gaming has had a huge effect on the value of a pirate copy of a multiplayer game.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @VelvetFistIronGlove: It’s also had a huge effect on the value of a bought copy without LAN: for me and my LAN party friends, the value of a game without LAN support is zero, and we’re just not buying them.

  30. sinbad269 says:

    This is like what they did with Medal of Honor. Offering the MP7 to all pre-orders on [at least] Steam, and offering Day 1 Tier 1 Access, AND an M60 to everyone who pre-ordered via GameStop. I know there were other pre-order options available, and while I know the Special Edition for Steam made the MP7 available also [at extra cost], this is still along the same path

  31. johnpeat says:

    *Yawns* put the effort into something worthwhile eh?

    If you don’t like their way of doing business – don’t buy their game – end-of.

    If you want to protest, choose a more worthwhile cause – tho it might mean leaving your keyboard, which I imagine would be a new experience for most people who read Reddit…

  32. Unaco says:

    I hope that when Activision announce the Modern Warfare 3 pre-order exclusive/Day 1 DLC that the discussion here will be as reasonable and measured as the current comments.

    • johnpeat says:

      Why do you hope that – what’s in it for you? :)

    • Unaco says:

      Restored faith in the RPS readership. Evidence of the rationality and reasonableness of at least a portion of the PC Gaming community. And it would show that the people aren’t applying double standards.

    • DiamondDog says:

      I think you’re going to be disappointed.

    • subedii says:

      What is going to happen is about 100-odd posts slagging off CoD and comparing it unfavourably to Battlefield, whether it’s relevant to the discussion or not.

      This is something you already know to be true.

      Not that I feel CoD’s gameplay is all that good or anything, but it’s fairly predictable what any story regarding MW3 is going to be followed by.

  33. westyfield says:

    Problem is, I really want to play BF3. I want to pre-order it so I can play it as soon as possible. But if I pre-order, I’ll be seen to be ‘supporting’ pre-order bonuses and day one DLC.
    What’s a gamer to do?

  34. robitii says:

    exclusives are just bad

  35. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    What a bunch of whining bitches.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      I believe you mean “fag camping bitches”.

      Seriously though, we are taking a punt on their game buying it on day 1, so we are rewarded with a few more bang sticks. That’s it. Don’t like it? Shoot me, then run over and nick my kit.

  36. Ogun says:

    Is the flash suppressor really that different to the SPECTACT (sic?) pack you can get for BC2?
    That’s purchase-only and is supposed to give you an advantage by providing a darker uniform/weapon.

    I’m sure that even if they’re saying this is totally exclusive now, it won’t be a few months after release when they’re looking for other DLC to sell.

  37. squirrel says:

    I sincerely hope EA would understand the outrage and change their policy accordingly. Boycott on pre-order has direct negative impact on number of online players at launch. If EA doesn’t handle this wisely this could totally ruin this great game. I honestly am not so bothered by the missing of the day one DLC even as I would not pre-order this game, just as I rarely pre-order other games. However, if there are not enough players to support a game in day one, it’s game over for the product.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I don’t think you need to worry about low player count on launch. This boycott will probably increase preorders as for every person that refuses to preorder on principle, there will be two who rush to preorder so they don’t miss out on the extra weapons. Then a couple of months after launch they’ll be available for DLC anyway. All I see here is free publicity for BF3 which can only be a good thing for player population.

  38. AlexW says:

    I do hope you did actually block anyone stupid enough to repeatedly e-mail you about this matter. Anyone like that is probably not going to provide critically valuable insights for the RPS team in the future.

  39. Zarunil says:

    Pre-order bonuses and day 1 DLC are diseases that have infested PC games in later years.

    I never pre-order. I’m not giving my money to a developer before reviews are out and I can get a picture of wether or not I’ll like the game.

    DLC that is for sale within the first month of a game’s release, to me puts the developer in a bad light. This is content that should have been included in the game. I won’t buy it, and in fact, if I hear that a game that interests me will get DLC, I usually wait for the GOTY edition, or until the whole package is on sale.

  40. Gothnak says:

    You have to remember that 70-80% of console sales come within the first 2 weeks of a product, therefore the more sales you make in those weeks before the 2nd hand market is flooded the better. I doubt these weapons will be better than any others, but they will be different and will incentivise consumers to buy from GameStop or wherever.

    This is done quite a lot on console games, i guess it’s annoying for the PC though where sales stay pretty steady whether it’s the first week or 5th as the 2nd hand market is nowhere near as rampant.

  41. noobnob says:

    This whole thing is free Battlefield 3 adverstising on the front page of several gaming news outlets, which will just help EA to secure more pre-order/day1 copies…

  42. metalangel says:

    It could be worse.
    Anyone who preordered Test Drive Unlimited 2 from GAME got exclusive access to the Veyron Super Sport, the fastest and therefore best car in the game. Thus, unless you had one, racing against them was pointless unless your opponents were spectacularly inept and crashed a lot (which in many cases was true, but still). They eventually made it available to buy as DLC which evened the playing field somewhat – well, apart from every single race just being Super Sports.

    These weapons might be superpowered balance-destroyers. We won’t know until it’s too late. EA know we know that, and are banking on us grabbing the bonus guns “just in case”. It’s vitally important to ensure you preorder an online game, so you can then not play it for the first ten days due to the servers being overwhelmed.

  43. SmithM says:

    What is amazing is that, worse than the DLC, people are again blindly buying into a DICE game, DICE who is known for its horrendous netcode, hit detection and bugs. And if they dished all that with an old engine imagine the amount of bugs a new engine will have, like FB2.

    I am going to enjoy the drama in the forums as most who pre-ordered realize that when they start playing the game.

    I also say anyone using the word whining and entitled should be automatically branded as fanbois.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Sorry to inform you but I’ve checked the Internet Users Manual and your use of “fanbois” has automatically invalidated your entire opinion. Please edit and re-submit.

  44. itsallcrap says:

    I think the pre-order clause negates this as a day-one DLC issue.

    Releasing the ‘whole’ game and then immediately saying, “but if you give us more money, you can have the rest of the stuff we’ve already made” is one thing, but this is an incentive to pre-order.

    It’s fair enough that they want you to pre-order and so it’s fair enough that they make it more expensive if you don’t.

    Of course, the end result is that the release day price for the whole lot is massively expensive, and I think that’s what people should be complaining about if anything.

    • D says:

      In my mind, the more a developer wants you to pre-order, the less confident they are their game will provide lasting fun. To me the whole idea of trying to get someone to buy into your promises of quality smells like a scam. Why are they afraid of the second hand market if they made a genuinely good and lasting game?
      The exception is indie devs, as they sometimes don’t have bankroll to continue development without pre-orders, but DICE and EA?

  45. Gothnak says:

    Actually, the more i read this, the more i think it is the retailers wanting this so they have ‘exclusive pre-order bonus’ to stick in store. I’d assume the publisher would be happy to allow it to be bought after sale (In the end it means more money), but that the retailers are likely demanding it can’t be.

  46. Deano2099 says:

    I can live with day-one DLC but pre-order bonuses… well I’ll tell you what I do with pre-order bonuses.

    I don’t pre-order games. So if a game is £29.99 and comes with a pre-order bonus that they sell on its own for £7, then I peg the value of that game without the bonus, according to the publisher, as £22.99.

    Since I don’t pre-order games, I therefore won’t be buying that game on launch. I’ll be waiting until it’s £22.99 or less. Because it’s obviously not worth £29.99 and even the publisher thinks so.

    Did this with Dragon Age 2 and picked it up for £10 from Play a few months later.

    Pretty simple basically. I’m not willing to pay as much as other people have paid and get less for it. Just because I didn’t want to buy it until the thing was actually released. Note: yes, I do apply this equally to indie games. Frozen Synapse and Minecraft both look great, but I’m going to wait until they’re in a sale as they’ve been cheaper before. The difference is I might be tempted to pre-order an indie game if I want to support the developer, thought that’s very rare (Desktop Dungeons is the only one so far).

  47. Sigh says:

    Remember when people would organize around and protest in the name of real-world meaningful causes?

    I always find these sort of protests, boycotts, and embargoes rather ridiculous. People are boycotting luxury non-essential goods…I have little sympathy for these absurdist “causes”.

  48. Vagrant says:

    I wish all these people would start a real meaningful boycott campaign instead of taking the same stance of an 8 year old.

    How about we boycott any PC games that launch at the silly $59.99 price on PC? There’s no console publishing fees, they’re only charging that extra $10 because most of us are dumb enough to pay it.

  49. zugu says:

    People who pre-order a game are taking a risk. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding risk-takers. This is why I call bullshit on this boycott.

    • FieldOfTheBattle says:

      Why do people pre-order anything in the first place? Especially BF3 that will most likely have terrible server problems in the first week because EA will as usually fail to anticipate the load on the login server.

    • Milky1985 says:

      It doesn’t cost anything to pre-order in game itself, so your not taking a risk at all as far as I can tell.

    • Deano2099 says:

      There is something VERY VERY wrong with rewarding risk-takers, when the risk is that the game might be rubbish, and the people rewarding the risk-takers are the ones responsible for making the game not rubbish.

      It’s like offering you ten quid to run out in front of a moving car, when I’m also the one driving that car.

  50. Premium User Badge

    PoulWrist says:

    If you played BC2 you’ll know that this doesn’t really matter much.

    • Moni says:

      After the controversy of the Bad Company 1 DLC the unlockable weapons turned out to be pretty useless.

      The only one with a unique attribute was the sniper rifle, which was semi-automatic and unsilenced. It also didn’t shoot straight, and the bullets just tickled a bit.