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Preorder Incentives: Is this really something new?

Recently, a number of fans have supported a petition on Reddit in regards to Battlefield 3‘s “Physical Warfare Pack,” that it will “create an unfair advantage for people who preorder.” At the time this article was written, over three thousand fans had voted EA’s preorder…..

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Preorder Incentives: Is this really something new?

by on June 19, 2011

Community  EA Battlefield 3

Recently, a number of fans have supported a petition on Reddit in regards to Battlefield 3‘s “Physical Warfare Pack,” that it will “create an unfair advantage for people who preorder.” At the time this article was written, over three thousand fans had voted EA’s preorder incentive to be a “bad idea.” But why? Publishers have included extras in their games to entice people to preorder their products for years. Even EA’s own Medal of Honor (2010) included the MP7 as a weapon available to gamers who preordered the game. Red Faction: Armageddon was released with the Commando and Recon packs (including various weapons and armor upgrades) as preorder bonuses as well. However, when Battlefield was announced to include its bonus weapons for those who preorder, a petition is announced to encourage EA to erase the idea.

Arguments also extend to how the “Back to Karkand” map will be offered for free if preordered, but those who wait till launch day or later will have to pay for the maps at a later date. Sony released Killzone 3 under same conditions in regards to the “Retro Map Pack”; if the game was preordered, the map pack was free, otherwise it could be purchased on PSN after launch. Why is it that this group of fans have suddenly come out and started a campaign against BF3’s bonuses when there are so many other games out there that fit the same criteria? For instance, why is it the business about how ‘Commander Mode’ from BF2 may not end up in the next installment’s multiplayer not being covered nearly as much as something that has been a part of the industry for years? Or, why are there no widely publicized articles over Call of Duty’s $15 map packs when Halo’s map packs, of the same size and general content, are $5 less or why COD’s maps release on Xbox Live months before its other platforms? Not that this is yet another article pinning Call of Duty and Battlefield against each other. But, these are issues that also effect the player’s experience, or their wallets. Free maps and weapon packs would be amazing, companies like Valve are notorious for supplying free DLC to their customers, it’s true. In a perfect world, everything would be free. Unfortunately, we live in a world where businesses have to make a profit and the rest of use have to decide what’s worth buying and what is a rip off.

Perhaps, people are more out to try and find  something wrong with Battlefield 3. When games are hyped to their highest level, every single aspect of the game gets analyzed under a microscope and rightfully so. If EA is going to make BF3 out to be one of the best shooters of all time, then they obviously have to deliver on all fronts. Or, why is it that ‘Commander Mode’ from BF2 may not end up in the next installment’s multiplayer? And why is it not being covered nearly as much as something that has been a part of the industry for years? Is a preorder ‘option’ that has little impact on the masses’ overall experience with the game more of a shock than something that is central to the core gameplay mechanic? Anyone who doesn’t preorder the game is most likely going to buy the game well after release, when the price drops. In that case, they’re going to be facing a massive number of people who are going to have better weapons, so a “Physical Warfare Pack” probably won’t make much of a difference to them. If a customer feels these DLC packages are more of a turn off than an incentive to buy the game, then that is their choice. However, if someone wants to wait until the game is more affordable, save money, buy the “Back to Karkand” pack online and save more than those who preordered the game and face the minority of players who will have (not that they may even use it) the weapons they received as a reward for paying the full $59.99, then that is their choice as well. But is it really worth demeaning a game’s merit or overall experience?

UPDATE: DICE and EA have confirmed that the “Physical Warfare Pack” will be available to those who don’t preorder at a later date, for free. As it was always intended according to the blog:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/Battlefield/status/81395538259476480″]

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