EA is trading guns for cash with Battlefield 3 pre-orders.
Most pre-order bonuses are something fun but trivial, like the extra costumes in Mortal Kombat or your very own villager in Fable 3. But the pre-order bonuses for the limited edition of Battlefield 3 are potential game changers, and that has more than a few people upset
Players who pre-order the limited edition set at GAME or Gamestation in the UK, will gain exclusive access to the Type 88 Light Machine gun, and will be able to unlock the DAO-12, an automatic shotgun that was rather popular in Battlefield 2, on day one. They will also get an exclusive flash suppressor for the SKS sniper rifle, and exclusive armor piercing flechette ammo for the DAO-12. This might not seem like a big deal, but the new weapons will give anyone willing to spend a little bit more money an advantage in the game's multiplayer.
A Reddit thread about the "Physical Warfare Pack," as it's called, telling people to protest by cancelling their pre-orders, has accumulated more than 1200 comments in 20 hours. This isn't the only protest against the pack either; another such thread on the official EA forums is up to 40 pages.
It's a bit of delayed reaction - the pack was announced three weeks ago - but it doesn't make peoples' complaints any less valid. It's one thing to have an unexpected combination of weapons or equipment prove to be overpowered, but it's quite another for developers to build it into the game, and then offer it up to people as a prize. What's worse is that DICE has been making online multiplayer shooters for years, so you'd think it would know how unbalancing this bonus would be.
Battlefield 3 comes out for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 25th.