Fans of EA-published titles will be very familiar with microtransactions by now. From Mass Effect 3’s random reinforcement packs, to the ability to buy resources for Dead Space 3’s weapon-crafting system, and even the chance to get in-game coins for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare’s sticker packs, it seems as though vamers are never too far from paying to make things that little bit easier.
Now, Battlefield 4 is getting in on the microtransaction gravy train with paid Battlepack options. According to a post on the Battlefield website from developer DICE, the microtransaction Battlepacks will include the same content as the current in-game versions, including “a mix of in-game items including accessories, emblem shapes, profile pictures, dog tags, XP boosts, knives, and paints.”
The Battlepacks come in three varieties: Bronze Battlepacks will cost $1, Silver Battlepacks will cose $2, and Gold Battlepacks will cost $3. The Battlepacks will be available at the Xbox Live Marketplace’s in-game store and the PlayStation Store, as well as through Origin.com and Battlelog.com.
DICE also makes it clear that Battlepacks will still be found, and earned, the old-fashioned way — by playing the game without spending extra cash. The post states that the Battlepacks “can still be earned through normal gameplay progressions.” It also offers a rationale for the microtransactions, explaining that Battlefield 4 is “now giving players the option to purchase Battlepacks as a shortcut to catch up with their friends on the Battlefield.”
Unsurprisingly, few were excited by the news. In a lot of ways, this is seen as adding insult to injury, after gamers have struggled with a multiplayer mode that has been cursed with a wide variety of bugs and server issues from day one. Not to mention, these fans have had continued to support the franchise even as EA executives accuse DICE of “over-promising on Battlefield 4” and knowing about the technical issues before launch.
Some fans may see this as one step forward and two steps back for DICE. They’ve been trying to improve the first-person shooter with recent community testing for PC and have hopefully solved the rubber banding, but this is not the type of community-friendly announcement that wins back gamers. Moreover, with many already voicing their displeasure with regards to EA’s overabundance of microtransaction-fueled products, it will be interesting to see just how well these Battlepacks fare.
Battlefield 4 fans: what do you think of the Battlepack microtransactions? Are you likely to buy some to catch up with friends or give you the edge in-game? Or are you frustrated at another title asking for extra money for content?