Remember the brouhaha last week about the discovery that Electronic Arts may sell additional weapons in their upcoming shooter Battlefield: Bad Company?
Electronic Arts today got back to us with their take on the whole situation. In a nutshell, yes, they will be selling some weapons through microtransactions when the game comes out. But EA says that you can get those weapons for free if you buy the Gold Edition. They also say they will have plenty of other weapons they're giving away during promotions leading up to the launch.
Here's their official take:
Per our conversation, Battlefield: Bad Company features numerous weapons in the core game. In addition to the core set of weapons, Battlefield: Bad Company will release five unique weapons free of charge through five different promotional programs prior to launch. EA will again make these weapons available to players free of charge after launch, in case anyone missed the pre-launch promotions.
At launch, EA will release a Gold Edition of Battlefield: Bad Company which will feature an additional five new weapons. For players who do not purchase the Gold Edition of the game, they can still buy the five weapons at a small individualized price per item. All weapons are balanced for gameplay. More weapons offer players more choices but do not create an advantage/disadvantage for players who do not opt to buy new items.
Currently, the menu in the Battlefield: Bad Company beta notes all ten weapons; the five available free of charge pre-launch as well as the additional five available in the Gold Edition.
We will have more details on the pre-launch campaign and Gold Edition of Battlefield: Bad Company in the next few weeks.
While this makes it slightly less onorous than we initially thought, I still have to agree with Fahey on this. Making gamers pay extra for something that is essentially core to the game seems wrong. I realise they say the weapons are all balanced, but the fact is having a wider selection of weapons to choose from can be a tremendous advantage in a game. What worries me more is where this is all headed. I can't help but think that this is just EA testing the waters.