One business decision that might come back to bite Battlefield 3 this year is the decision to forgo using Valve’s Steam distribution channel for their upcoming release. While Battlefield 3 is still a week away from release, the competition (Modern Warfare 3) is steadily topping the list of best selling games.
Since September, Modern Warfare 3 has been in the top ten best selling games on Steam according to Valve. Over the past few years, the Call of Duty franchise has proved to be an experience that is developed for consoles and ported to PC, but Infinity Ward has suggested that they are focused on recapturing their PC audience. A bungled Call of Duty: Black Ops release on PC left many Steam users unable to play the game without tinkering with console commands, and the still it took Treyarch many months to get the game working properly. These problems don’t seem to be slowing down pre-orders of the game however. While all of this popularity can’t be soley attributed to the lack of availabilty of Battlefield 3, it’s certainly leaving Steam loyalists with limited options.
Recent rumors suggest that Battlefield 3 could be heading to Steam sometime following the game’s release on Origin on October 25th, but those rumors have proven to be unfounded at this point. Being one of the largest digital outlets for games, EA definitely is taking a big risk without Steam, but it does give EA one more avenue to sell their game if Battlefield 3 sales turn out to be less than expected.
Battlefield 3 releases on October 25th 2011 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC while Modern Warfare 3 heads out on November 8th.