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Revolutionary Rant: Battlefield 3 Pre-ordering Is a Mess

Posted on Thursday, August 4 @ 20:09:58 PST by

Battlefield 3. Modern Warfare 3. Battlefield 3. Modern Warfare 3. As an adult, I don't have to choose between these two first-person shooter giants. I can go without food... or soap. There are so many things I could sacrifice to have the funds for both EA's and Activision's tent-pole Fall releases. That doesn't mean I'm set in my decision. If anything, it complicates the matter greatly. Let's focus on Battlefield 3 because Call of Duty is too busy planning an insane convention for itself.

Today, the Battlefield 3 blog detailed all of its retailer-specific preorder bonuses. The following bonuses can be found at entirely different retailers.
  • a weapon pack for one retailer
  • a multiplayer skin pack for another
  • and exclusive multiplayer dog tags for another
  • all preorders come with a DLC map pack
  • more still come with bonuses for the aptly named Battlefield Play4Free
Throwing another wrench into the details is the knowledge that certain pre-orders will come with early access to the Battlefield 3 Beta. Others won't come with access at all. What the hell is going on here? How did it come to this? Easily one of, if not the, biggest releases this Fall is now the most confusing purchase of my life. I'm already guaranteed to get screwed out of some piece of content.

Normally I'm pretty good at navigating these un-consumer-friendly waters. It's easy to pick out the preorder DLC with the most value. Let's face it, any time you're choosing between a bonus level or a multiplayer skin, you should know to go with the item that extends your gameplay.

Of course, Amazon will normally trump this entire debate with $20 credit towards your next game's purchase, but that hasn't happened yet.

So, having laid it all out for y---

F***, I forgot about Origin. EA's downloadable games service has certainly taken a sh** across the entire landscape of Battlefield 3 pre-order madness. The mega-publisher has complicated things to no end and we consumers are left with it sitting in our laps. What's more, not supporting this practice means that we miss out on something of value. We're completionists. We've got no choice but to admit it. That fervor for the 100%, the complete and finished experience (not that that exists on launch day in gaming anymore) will be our ruin. As much as I hate everything about this mess, I'm not about to miss out on free DLC maps or a handful of bonus weapons.

We used to rush to retailers to buy a game on day 1 for a golden cartridge. GOLD! Back in the day preorders meant real value that could be traded on the open market.

So let me speak directly to EA: F***. C'mon, EA. I can't imagine developer DICE has very much to do with this nasty business. I can also understand that you probably don't want to announce that all of this DLC would become available after BF3 has been available for a month.

There's no precedent with you, EA. Maybe with Rockstar Games or Ubisoft or even THQ, I'd believe that everything on offer for day 1 purchasers would be available later, but you, EA, are an enigma. You've got no history of letting the entirety of pre-order DLC out in the wild, even with your Project $10 (or is it $15 now) plans. Why can't you make it clear to us? Let us know what's up!

What's the ideal solution to our problem? Let me know in the comments so I can let EA know what they should be doing, instead of making us all cross-eyed and stupid at the register.
Related Games:   Battlefield 3
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