Aw man, EA. Why do you have to do this to yourself?

Battlefield 1 looks good. Really, really good. I haven’t been interested in military shooters since Modern Warfare 3 left a pretty sour taste in my mouth. By going back in time, EA has given the series, and potentially the whole genre, the shot in the arm that it needs.

Too bad EA has to EA and start tainting the product before it even hits store shelves.

The United States, Britain, Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy and the Ottomans are confirmed to be the armies you can choose from in multiplayer. There are a couple major factions that weren’t announced that had me scratching my head.

In simplified terms, World War I was fought between The Allies and the Central Powers. The Allies initially consisted of United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire. The United States didn’t enter the war until 1917, the last year of the conflict.

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The lion’s share of the fighting in Europe was contained in the trenches of France and Belgium, or what is known as the Western Front. The Eastern Front was mostly fought by the Russian Empire against the Central Powers until the Russian Empire was overthrown in 1917 by the Bolsheviks, leaving the country embroiled in its own civil war.

Not having either France or the Russian Empire represented in the multiplayer is a curious choice, to say the least. Today, it was revealed that France would be available to players... as premium DLC.

A quote from DICE’s Julien Wera from the above link:

“To really do justice to the French army in multiplayer and, once again, to show a side that we’re not used to seeing, we have chosen to dedicate an entire premium expansion with special treatment after the launch of the game.”

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Oh.

That seems nice, but look at the buzz term “premium expansion”. They didn’t straight out say that the French Army would cost you, but the word “premium” tells you all you need to know.

There is something subtly crass and so... EA about the whole thing. Using armies that lost over a million soldiers each as a way to scrape more money into their coffers is so EA that it practically hurts. I shouldn’t be surprised.

This is a company that cut single player from a $60 Star Wars game with a $120 “COMPLETE EDITION” simply so it could come out before the Star Wars: Episode VII. This is a company that added multiplayer and microtransactions to Dead Space because of their belief that single player games aren’t money makers. This is a company that has bought out and then promptly buried so many great studios that listing them here would only bring me sadness.

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And EA wonders why it has such an image problem.

If you think I am being too sensitive about history, take the historical aspect out and think about it purely as a consumer. These paid for multiplayer DLCs are baffling, and EA is far from alone in doing this. A lot of people either don’t have or don’t want to spend $120 for the full season passes, complete editions, whatever you want to call it. All this achieves, outside of making mad cash, is segmenting your user base into haves and have-nots.

Add to the fact that on top of DLC, EA will have microtransactions in its $60 game, and you can see why I am so reticent to purchase another title from the publisher, even one that looks as good as this.

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The Russian Empire is still nowhere to be seen, but don’t worry. I am sure you can play as them for the low, low price of $19.99 post launch.


When I am not writing about games, I sometimes stream them at twitch.tv/omegaredpanda. Also, follow me on Twitter and check out my newest venture: The Awesome Bomb Wrestling Podcast.

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