It seems like forever ago when Battlefield 4 was released, and yet the litany of problems players have encountered since then makes it seem as if they got the short end of the stick. It got the point where DICE delayed releasing pre-planned DLC content until bugs and server issues with Battlefield 4 were addressed.
As an extension of an olive branch to players upset with its seemingly half-finished product, DICE has been promoting Battlefield 4 Fan Appreciation Month. Throughout February, DICE is essentially saying “thank you” to players through different handouts, whether they be double XP weekend, daily giveaways, or community missions.
Thus, we arrive at DICE’s recent announcement: free Shortcut Kits. Shortcut Kits allow players to unlock different weapon sets in Battlefield 4 multiplayer without having to earn them via grinding and leveling up, and players have from February 18 to 24 to claim their first free kit. Premium members get two additional kits each week as listed below and the last pair of kits go live from February 25 to March 4. They’ve available for a cost of $0 from the in-game store on consoles and PC, and premium players on PC can get their secondary bonuses by looking for the ‘Premium Giveaway’ section under news. It’d be much easier if the content was simply unlocked on all accounts but the idea on EA’s side is to get players to sign in and play again.
February 18 to February 24
Shortcut Kit: Hand Guns
Battlefield 4 Premium Shortcut Kit: DMR’s
February 25 to March 4
Shortcut Kit: Grenades
Battlefield 4 Premium Shortcut Kit: Shotguns
By themselves, the kits seem like they mean little. In the context of its Battlefield 4 Fan Appreciation Month, though, DICE continues to apologize for any disappointments or quality concerns players may have had with the hotly anticipated followup to Battlefield 3. Things with Battlefield 4 got so rough that EA’s quality control was brought under a microscope, multiple lawsuits were launched against EA on behalf of shareholders, and alleged insiders claimed the publisher rushed the game’s launch. Giving back to the players while asking them to continue paying for DLC and “premium” benefits is another way developer DICE can attempt to put all of the game’s maladies in the rear-view mirror.
DICE could have easily ignored the broken experience players went through with Battlefield 4, but these free Shortcut Kits are another small reminder that DICE listens and wants to make sure the player has the best experience possible with its products, even if we can take issue with certain features (or missing features) in their last two games. For publisher EA, BF4 was a poor launch followup to the disastrous SimCity release and with Titanfall on the way they can’t afford to botch another major online game launch. Some analysts already label the Battlefield brand as being “tarnished” and with rumors of EA trying to annualize the series, it’s critical that maintain the ‘cool factor’ and positive buzz on their flagship shooter – especially after killing the Medal of Honor series again.
As Titanfall nears its release, EA also wants to retain as many Battlefield 4 players as possible. While players have surely jumped ship at this point, this is EA and DICE’s attempt to not only convince them to come back, but also ensure new players that problems are getting resolved.
In that context, the free Shortcut Kits are more than welcome.