Following massive community backlash, Electronic Arts has scrapped plans for downloadable weapons in its upcoming multiplayer FPS Battlefield: Bad Company.
EA had originally planned to make ten weapons available only to gamers who purchased the Gold Edition release of the game, or who paid extra for them as downloadable content via Xbox Live . Fans responded angrily to the idea that EA was essentially blackmailing them by putting them at a disadvantage in online play unless they were willing to pay more money for the DLC, with many calling for boycotts of the entire game. EA attempt to defuse the situation by announcing that five of the ten weapons would be given away as part of a promotion, but had little success in calming the waters.
EA has now changed gears, telling GameSpot that the Gold Edition purchasers will still get the weapons out of the box, while everyone else can get free access to them by increasing their online ranking to the maximum level. “I should pretty much start at the end, we listen a lot to what people say out there. I think that’s important to show, because we don’t have time to comment on everything, because there’s so much noise out there, but DICE is built upon the multiplayer community, and we do listen to what people say out there,” said Battlefield: Bad Company Senior Producer Karl-Magnus Troedsson.
“When we saw this big uprise about people that really felt it was dissatisfying that some people bought the Gold Edition, those five weapons you couldn’t get or that you had to buy if you had the ordinary version of the game, that we just decided that all weapons will be free in the game, and that’s how it is now,” he continued. “These Gold Edition weapons, we won’t give away, you have to do something as a gamer. The Gold Edition guys and girls that actually buy that game will have some time where the weapons are exclusive, because if you don’t buy the Gold Edition, you have to earn them. That means you have to rank up all the way to the top rank, which is rank 25, and then you have a massive unlock of five new weapons which are the same that are in the Gold Edition.”
While Troedsson added that future DLC for the game is “not something that we’re planning right now,” an EA representative suggested the opposite, saying, “There’s other content we’re looking at after the game releases.” Battlefield: Bad Company is currently slated for release in June 2008 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. More information is available at badcompany.ea.com.