The time to “fight back” has apparently come. After years of spreading wide for EA and letting them have their way with the innards of gamers, a large gaming publication has finally stepped forward to say… “Enough is enough”. I almost feel as if it’s a little late, but something is better than nothing, right?
Over on Polygon, controversial writer Ben Kuchera takes to the soapbox and preaches to a choir of riled up gamers over the upcoming, currently in beta, Battlefield: Hardline; the latest game from EA and DICE to milk righteously the teats of gamers’ wallets like a farmer at a dairy ranch.
I’ve rarely ever seen eye-to-eye with Kuchera on many of his writings. There was definitely a divide over how he portrayed his thoughts about the used game fees that Microsoft want to impose as a regulatory standard in the pre-owned sector of the interactive entertainment industry (for Xbox games, of course). He called it “The Death of the Used Game Market” and sparked quite a debate.
However, in this case, it’s not about rallying against the herd or fighting the crowd in their anguish over Battlefield: Hardline… he’s actually doing the opposite. In this instance, Kuchera’s stance is that EA has grown big on their blunders… blunders that gamers won’t punish them for. He encourages gamers to hold their wallets and discourages gamers from pre-ordering and supporting EA’s greed tactics that involve shipping games that are broken out of the box.
Kuchera chronicles the poor launches of Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4 and even proposes an inevitable situation with Hardline where the likelihood of the servers being up are about as high as Lebron James passing the ball to his teammates.
Let’s also not forget that EA and DICE were well into 2014 before Battlefield 4 began to stabilize. DLC was already mapped out, Premium subscriptions were already being milked and pre-order plans were likely already in place for Battlefield: Hardline. This is all happening while angry shareholders were mounting lawsuits against EA and gamers kerfuffled under their breath while forking over cash to a game that frequently deleted their saved games, as reported by Digital Spy.
So what’s the stake in this game? How about a bit of gamer pride and community integrity. Kuchera notes that it’s time to tape up the external lower intestines and gird them like steel pinballs. As noted in the article…
“This is my advice: Don’t pre-order Hardline. Don’t give EA a dollar for the game, no matter the incentives and “free” guns or whatever. Don’t buy the game at launch — wait until the servers are stable and you know it works.”
No complaints here.
In fact, he mentions that he’ll be “at the back of the line”, waiting for the noobs to buy into EA’s history of false promises to see if the game is worth purchasing or not. I mean, in this day and age we all know that first-adopters are beta testers, right? Although, in the case of Battlefield 4, first-adopters were more like alpha testers.
Anyway, if Battlefield: Hardline has enough content to justify $60 (which doesn’t seem likely) and offers the kind of playability to warrant a day-one buy (which also seems unlikely) then by all means, step into the “cycle of EA” like it was going out of style. For everyone else, it might be best to hang back and see how the launch unfolds over the course of a few months and then decide whether or not Battlefield: Hardline is worth purchasing.