I swear, Battlefield fans have to be the unhappiest people on Earth.
They hate Modern Warfare. They hate Origin. They hate Electronic Arts and for all I can tell, they hate the game they play so much. It's a community that seems committed to proving itself to be the most knowledgeable, least appreciated, least understood and most pissed-off class of video gamer, an uber-treehouse among our treehouse culture.
This week Battlefieldo, described as "one of the larger Battlefield 3" communities, decided they'd had enough. Of what they have had enough, it's still not clear. It sounds like they resent a "lack of transparency and communication" between the game's developers, DICE and the community, like we're talking about representative government. Alright. This is blamed on Electronic Arts, as most things are.
Well, Battlefieldo will not be ignored! The community called for the Battlefield equivalent of a general strike. Usually a boycott is what gets attention, but when the product was sold more than four months ago, there's not a lot of damage you can do to the bottom line. Battlefieldo called for 24 hours of silence — no playing, no server activity, no social media mentions. That'll show 'em!
Naturally, they're claiming victory. They got EA/DICE to cough up patch notes, everyone! Patch notes "including bugfixes, tweaks and gameplay balancing changes." Oh, there's also going to be a weekly feature on the official Battlefield Blog called "Inside DICE".
There's a great deal of legitimate disenfranchisement felt in gaming, whether that is through DRM, obtuse, repeatedly revised EULAs and crap like SOPA and PIPA. The Battlefield blackout plainly sought to capture the net roots spirit that has shut down obnoxious legislation and shed light on abusive publisher practices. And yet they went pitchfork-and-torches upon DICE in order to get... patch notes and marketing copy? This is egregious self-parody even in a culture well-known for its disproportionate reactions.
If you want to talk about harm done to a video game community, Battlefield's can start by looking at itself. I have no desire to buy or play Battlefield 3 because its community seems to be staging a pageant to determine who can be the angriest hypercritical entitled ingrate in video gaming, which is saying a hell of a lot. Look at the reaction to the multiplayer beta. Look at the reaction to DICE's reaction. Read the comments any time anything is said about Origin or Modern Warfare 3.
Who the hell wants to be a part of that?