Battlefield Premium has been detailed for weeks thanks to leaks surrounding its early access to DLC; one-price-buys-all payment plan; and the existence of a fifth expansion, ‘Aftermath.’
At EA’s E3 2012 press conference today, Patrick Bach, Battlefield 3 executive producer, and Peter Moore, EA’s Chief Operating Officer, came on stage and officially confirmed the finer Battlefield Premium details that we’ve suspected all along. But they also had an ace up their sleeve.
Starting some time today, on June 4th, the service will be accepting monetary deposits to unlock all that Premium plans to offer, and players on the PlayStation 3 can start playing the upcoming DLC, Close Quarters, immediately. (Xbox 360 and PC Premium members will be plugged in on June 12. Both dates are two weeks in advance of their respective launches for standard Battlefield 3 owners.) With Close Quarters’ announcement at GDC signaling a June release, it was safe to say that Premium was heading out the door sometime within the month. Nonetheless, the almost-instant onset of the service showed that the company managed to keep a lid on one surprise amid a blowout of leaks.
Speaking of said leaks, the rest of the EA announcement concerning Battlefield Premium rang truth into each and every bullet point of the fact sheet that trickled out online last week. For a one-time fee of $49.99, Premium will commission gamers with access (two-weeks ahead of release) to all five DLC expansions – the already released Back to Karkand, Close Quarters (see above details), Armored Kill (September 2012) Aftermath (December 2012), and Endgame (March 2013). Combined, the packs introduce a melange of new maps, weapons, vehicles, game modes, and dog tags, and Premium members will have additional, exclusive access to unique outfit/weapon customization options, strategy guides, and yes, Double XP weekends.
Gamers will no doubt be divided – as they have been since Premium’s first rumors and Call of Duty Elite’s launch before them – on the state of DLC and just how far we’ve come with such contemplations. (Perhaps it shouldn’t be worth noting, but it is: All of the Battlefield 3 stat-tracking, leaderboards, Com-center, and platoon organization available on Battlelog will remain free.) In any case, though, Premium is a good deal for those who would eagerly buy every expansion and five more; at $50, it will save you $25 off of the $75 total cost.
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.