Last week, EA released a new bundle of DLC for Battlefield 3 that basically rewards people for being lazy and rich.
Called the Ultimate Shortcut Bundle, and costing around $40, it allows the gamer who didn’t get all the guns, gear, and vehicles to squirt through to a more competitive playing field, unlocking everything.
I don’t have a problem with paying for DLC. Hell, part of the reason why I kept my Red-Ringed Xbox around was all of the crap on the hard drive that I didn’t want to have to download again (I know I could’ve downloaded it again, but I’m oldschool I guess).
You can even go to any “free” iOS game and buy packs of coins, new levels, or whatever-it-is-that-helps-you-win. But there’s the rub, right? It was free, and Battlefield 3 is the exact opposite of free. If you started out today with the game and the DLC, right there you’re out almost $100. And it’s still not God Mode or anything; it is basically an end-around from stupid amounts of grinding.
That model has been employed in lots of F2P MMOs, and with Ben Cousins’ proclamation that most games in the future will be built on that concept (go here for the full interview—fascinating stuff), I think we might be seeing the beginning or middle of that transition.
I’m still on the fence about the DLC (who am I kidding? I hate it…), but I can see arguments in favor of it. It doesn’t necessarily tarnish the achievement of actually earning the gear, and even if you buy the stuff, you still have to put the time and effort into actually learning how to play the game (it’s not Modern Warfare—you have to employ group tactics). And while it seems like cheating a bit, surely a game that has spent so much time banning cheaters wouldn’t bring in cheat codes…
It might just make those kills a little sweeter, knowing that the chump you shot in the face actually paid for the M98B…