The Battlefield 3 “Physical Warfare Pack” isn’t unfair, here’s why…
Posted on 15 June 2011
I don’t believe there was a bigger hit at E3 than Battlefield 3, but the “Physical Warfare pack” has caused quite a stir due of the addition of premium content available in limited editions of the game. Many people have cried “foul” but I don’t think there is any proof to support these claims of gross inequity and here is why…
During the PAXEast convention I attended the Turbine keynote given by the great Fernando Paiz. He discussed the premium content model used in LoTRo, Dungeons and Dragons Online, and other popular games.
Watch this snippet from the keynote where he discusses his findings regarding purchasable premium content and why he feels that it’s really not a factor in the long run.
Some titles like EA’s Battlefield Heroes and Paiz’s own Lord of the Rings Online allow for the purchase of in-game items that provide specific, tangible advantages (premium content) over the stock experience. Better weapons, faster leveling, added faction, all above normal baseline abilities.
These models have been around for a while and are the perfect examples to study. Granted BF3 isn’t a “free-to-play” game, but I feel the commentary still applies because the “Limited Edition” costs more and provides extras not available at normal retail cost.
I give little credence to forum posts proclaiming the unfair nature of a few minor additions to a limited editions of Battlefield 3 because all I’m reading is “It’s unfair,” which doesn’t hold up in the long run vs. the data collected so far.
These claims are based on the premise that everyone should be on equal footing at all times but is that EVER the case in a multiplayer PVP setting? I don’t think so.
Another free-to-play title is League of Legends, which has quite a large in-game store FULL of purchasable weapons, champions and stat items and it’s been incredibly successful.
League of Legends allows for the purchase “Riot Points” (via PayPal, Credit Cards, pre-paid cards, etc..) which can be used to purchase in-game items that give an advantage.
Those same items can also be purchased with “Influence Points” which are free and gained over time but the markup in point cost is incredibly high. It’s common for a premium item that costs 975 Riot points to cost 6000+ Influence points. It’s clear why a player would choose to shell out a few bucks for a quick advantage. Sure, there are some people who complain that it’s a rip off, or not fair, but overall it doesn’t seem to affect game play in the slightest.
In fact, it’s probably done the opposite and Riot’s success was demonstrated when it was recently acquired by Tencent and valued at $472 million.
I found this incredibly fascinating and I think it applies to the Battlefield 3 discussion. Ultimately FPS’ers such as Battlefield 3 still rely on skill, strategy and teamwork…so much that these little “bought” advantages don’t end up meaning much in the long run.
In fact, it may open the door for some people who aren’t normally FPS’ers and isn’t that a good thing for everyone?
Have you ever purchased a limited edition specifically for the “extras”?
Have you ever paid cash for in-game items?