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The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield 208

Posted by Soulskill
from the profit-motive dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Ben Kuchera at Polygon recommends against buying the upcoming Battlefield Hardline first-person shooter. Not because it's bad — in fact, he doesn't really offer an opinion on how good the game is — but because it's time to stop incentivizing poor behavior from Electronic Arts and its Digital Illusions CE development studio. After EA acquired DICE, Battlefield game launches accelerated, and launch issues with each game were hand-waved away as unpredictable. The studio's principled stand against paid DLC evaporated in order to feed the ever-hungry beast of shareholder value. Kuchera says, "EA continues this because the Battlefield franchise is profitable; we as players have taught them that we'll buy anyway, and continue to support games that don't work at launch." He suggests avoiding pre-orders, and only buying the game if and when it's in a playable (and fun) state. "Every dollar that's spent on Hardline before the game comes out is a vote for things continuing down an anti-consumer path. If the game is a hit before its launch, that sends a message that we're OK with business as usual, and business as usual has become pretty terrible."
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The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of Battlefield

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @04:42PM (#47309555)

    No, one is EA Digital Illusions CE [wikipedia.org]. The other is Dice Holdings, Inc. [wikipedia.org] (I had to look it up. I guess I am not the only one who saw a connection.)

  • Re:"Inciting" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @05:10PM (#47309871) Homepage

    This isn't true.

    Etymology of "incentive" [merriam-webster.com]:

    Middle English, from Late Latin incentivum, from neuter of incentivus stimulating, from Latin, setting the tune, from incentus, past participle of incinere to play (a tune), from in- + canere to sing

    Etymology of "incite" [merriam-webster.com]:

    Middle French inciter, from Latin incitare, from in- + citare to put in motion

    The two words come from completely different Latin roots and arrived in English from completely different sources.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2014 @07:09PM (#47310679)

    Nope, I opted out after my experience with BF3. Still haven't bought BF4 and don't plan to. Definitely won't bother with Hardline.

    The problem with all the paid map packs is that it fractures the player base and massively lowers the server populations. Even if you can afford everything, not everyone can. So the game quickly segments because not everyone is running the same maps. If you have the vanilla maps and back to karkand, you can play on vanilla servers and b2k servers. But you can't play on servers running the other map packs. And people who don't own B2K can't play with you when you're on a server that runs B2K maps. So no matter where you go, you don't have as many choices as if everyone was part of the same map-owning population.

    One other bad idea was introducing such an intense equipment/weapon grind in BF3, because even though it got me to play BF3 a lot more, it also soured me on the entire idea of playing the game going forward. Most of my memories of BF3 are of grinding out weapons on high ticket Metro Meatgrinder servers. In my memory, most of the game was dominated by grinding instead of playing. There was grinding in BF2, but it was a grand total of half a dozen weapons and everyone had them all pretty quickly. There weren't 20 different attachments for each weapon and 30 different subtly different assault rifles, etc. Maybe it made the gameplay less varied, but in BF2 people mostly just focused on playing the game instead of grinding unlocks. The medal grinding in BF2 didn't seem as big an annoyance.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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