Battlefield 3 launched last year, just before Modern Warfare 3, and despite a slightly lower average score from critics compared to its competitor, it was a major success for publisher Electronic Arts for two reasons. From a sales standpoint, Battlefield 3 represented the single-biggest launch for EA to date and it was used to help launch their own digital platform and service, Origin, which now is a mainstay for future EA titles.
For consumers, the story wasn’t as glorious. Battlefield 3 launched with weak co-op and single-player offerings which hurt it critically, further burdened by bugs and missing features in its core multiplayer component. The game required quite a bit of additional development by DICE who – through a series of major updates – have patched the game to a state where it should have been at launch. And now that Battlefield 3 has positioned itself a solid and well-balanced multiplayer shooter, it’s time for the additional content to roll in and that’s exactly what’s happening.
The Back to Karkand DLC previously added popular maps from the franchise for players who pre-ordered the game and more recently, the Battlefield Premium service launched where players could buy into a content plan that would give them early access to all of the upcoming (and past) Battlefield 3 expansions alongside a few added features. Close Quarters released, adding infantry-focused maps and modes, and next month comes Armored Kill, adding vehicle-focused gameplay and the biggest maps the franchise has ever seen.
For players who’ve yet to jump in, now is the time. The game is done (for real), DLC is out, and you can get it all for a much lower price than the early adopters who paid far more for the same content. Individually, the game and the Premium content costs over $100, but with Battlefield 3: Premium Edition, players can get it all for just $69.99, only $10 more than the retail price of the standard edition at launch.
Patrick Bach, Executive Producer, Battlefield 3:
“Since launch, over 15 million people worldwide have enjoyed the thrill of Battlefield, and with the release of Battlefield 3 Premium Edition the community is set to surge once again. Packing a ton of gameplay at an incredible price, there has never been a better time to jump in and see what all the fun is about. We look forward to seeing some new faces on the battlefield.”
The Battlefield 3 Premium Edition includes:
- Battlefield 3: Among the fastest selling titles in EA’s history, Battlefield 3 has sold more than 15M units since release. Lauded by game critics worldwide for its compelling single player campaign, intense co-op missions and its addictive and world-class multiplayer, Battlefield 3 has won more than 130 awards globally.
- Battlefield 3 Premium membership: Battlefield 3 Premium is an innovative offering that includes early access to five digital expansion packs including Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand, Battlefield 3: Close Quarters, Battlefield 3: Armored Kill, Battlefield 3: End Game and the newly announced Battlefield 3: Aftermath. These themed digital expansion packs introduce a massive amount of content including 20 new maps and weapons, four new game modes and more. Players will also receive new soldier and weapon camos, deeper personalization options, and advanced features making for the ultimate Battlefield 3 experience.
- Battlefield 3 Multiplayer Head-Start Kit: This kit will automatically unlock 15 different weapons, gadgets and vehicle upgrades so new players can immediately jump in.
It’s a fantastic deal for interested players, especially with more content coming later this year and into next year as we approach the release of Battlefield 4. It’s also smart on EA’s part because the server counts are outweighing the amount of players actively playing, so the more people they can get online the better for everyone.
The one risk EA may be running against savvy gamers is the precedent they’ve set with Battlefield 3. They forcefully required players to use Origin with this game and released it when the game (and Origin) wasn’t ready for launch, only to follow it up with a much more affordable package after the game was heavily patched. Players with patience would be wise to wait out their next launch until a similar, more attractive edition of the game presents itself.
For those of us with the game already, we’re still hopeful that DICE will allow for mod support down the line.
Are you going to jump into Battlefield 3 with this deal?
Battlefield 3: Premium Edition will be available in North America on September 11 and in Europe on September 13 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. PlayStation 3 players will also receive an additional week of early access to all remaining digital expansion packs.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.