Archive for MW2
According to an EA forums user, Tom Goldberger (EA’s UK publicist) has emailed him that:
The Beta should go live on June 21st for 360 owners. Further confirmation will be posted on the official site.
If this is true, it’s not so bad – except for the Xbox 360 BFBC2 VIP players like me, who have missed the possibility to kickstart the demo early (even on PS3).
Until now, the feedback in the forums is mitigated. A lot of haters, but I guess the people who like the beta wouldn’t waste gameplay time posting! Reportedly, the most serious issues until now are the PS3 version freezes. The gameplay, as we can also guess by the videos, is more arcade, more intense than BFBC2, in the veins of Modern Warfare.
UPDATE: It has been confirmed that the Xbox beta will be available on the 21st.
Access to the beta version of a title has become over the last years a major part of the promotion/marketing/sales strategy of the video game ecosystem.
In some cases beta keys are offered for free and to everybody. That’s rare. That happened for BFBC2 .
In the rest of the cases, beta keys are given to those preordering the game and possibly though video game websites, on a first come first served basis (through their website, twitter or facebook accounts) or by some sort of improvised contest.
Recently, hundreds of twitter users have been glued in front of the screen, waiting for a Halo Reach beta code. I was too, almost getting one!
Fans have complained about Modern Warfare 2 not getting one, since Call Of Duty 4 and Call Of Duty: World At War did. The fact that the game was riddled with bugs was considered by many as some sort of justice!
As we speak we are in the right in the middle of the MEDAL OF HONOR beta key hysteria! People want their beta key, and they want it now. The problem is that EA has problems satisfying the demand that they have created with the recent E3 announcements. As a matter of fact, I am sure that a few EA executives are stressed to the max right now, having to find solutions in double quick time in order to avoid the fiasco.
The beta was announced at the E3. Hours before the announcement, and while there was no info whatsover about the possible dates during which it would run, play.com accidentally leaked some dates in their preorder pages for MEDAL OF HONOR. The beta would run from the 5th to the 17th of July. The info/rumor spread like wildfire across most video game websites.
An official EA announcement ended speculation declaring that the beta would open on June 21st. Members of the also newly announced Gun Club would get earlier access on June the 17th (today). In both cases, the game has to be preordered. That’s how the mess starts!
There’s select stores offering the full beta access from the 21st of June, the rest of those offering beta access, do it from the 5th of July. The full list of the participating retailers was delayed creating a lot of confusion, especially amongst european customers: the initial list at the official website included only one retailer shipping physical copies and not electronic downloads. That retailer was amazon.com which does not ship videogames anywhere in the world, and when it does, it’s with high shipping costs.
Later the list was populated. You can check it out at beta FAQ page. Yet, only a tiny portion of consumers started to get their beta codes today, making it appear unlikely that Gun Club members will benefit from the VIP offer. Indeed, it seems that there isn’t any mechanism/procedure in place to ship today the beta keys.
For example Game.co.uk states that customers who have pre-ordered BFBC2 from them as well as placing a order for MOH will get there codes tonight, the rest on Monday the 21st. So it would be their job to check if somebody is entitled to early access, while the Gun Club site is supposed to be there for this exact reason.
Amazon.co.uk, play.com, gamegears.co.uk won’t give the codes out till July 4th, which is ridiculous. If EA wants to achieve as many preorders as possible, they should offer the whole thing to everybody.
Add to this mess the fact that the Xbox 360 version of the beta got delayed for next week, and you will understand that we are talking about a marketing campaign that is about to go wrong. But EA is a big corporation right? They can get things sorted out. Whether it will be in a way respectful for the customer, it’s what we will see.
Right now I am trying to find a way to get my own beta key! I am eagerly anticipating M.O.H. because its multiplayer was built by DICE, creators of the awesome BFBC2, and it appears to as fast and intense as the gameplay of my all-time fave COD4. In other words, this might be the Modern Warfare 2 that we were due to, but didn’t get because Infinity Ward screwed up.
Amazon customer service have informed their customers following their inquiries, that they will email beta keys on the 21st. It seems that the promise for an early access through Gun Club was a joke. EA should put in place the appropriate procedures first, then make such offers.
I have been able to obtain a beta key, but the beta key redemption portal is closed, stating that the beta starts on the 21st!
- Through http://twitter.com/electronicarts we learn that “we are expecting the redemption portal to go live this afternoon”. Indeed, since this post’s Update#2 the redemption portal has been updated and now states ” [...] players who own Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and have pre-ordered will be able to enter on June 17th. [...] You can redeem your key for the PC and PlayStation 3 here starting on June 17. Follow us at twitter.com/medalofhonor and facebook.com/medalofhonor for updates about Xbox timing and availability as well as when to come back here and redeem your Beta Key on June 17.”
- Concerning UK customers who’ve been told by GAME that in order to access early the beta they must have ordered BFBC2 from them, we read at http://www.medalofhonor.com/en_GB/betainfo that “You do not need to have purchased Battlefield Bad Company 2 from Game. Your VIP status is in-game and not as a result of where it was purchased”.
- We have been informed that french site fnac.com has started mailing away the beta codes.
Apparently the mess is slowly getting sorted out…
According to the MOH twitter, EA is currently in the process of resolving the issue with the Amazon pre-order (they wouldn’t ship the codes before the 21st).
The optional multiplayer update is live now and it weighs 283MB. We still don’t know what it is about! Despite what the official blog mentions, the online store does not feature any details about Map Pack#4.
Map pack#3 is also live for PS3/Xbox 360 VIP BFBC2 owners (which is pretty much everybody except those with second hand and pirated copies). Once again, it feels strange because there is no need to download, as if somebody just flicked a switch and made it appear.
Weird map pack strategy this is! Activating new modes for existing maps and calling them “map pack” that we should be grateful to receive for free… I mean it sounds great in theory: giving map packs gratis in order not to divide the multiplayer community, charging instead for camo upgrades and co-op component (eventhough honnestly, Onslaught mode could be included in the game from day one or for free, just as “Spec Ops” for MW2 did) . But it starts reaching the limits of what you could call a rip-off marketing strategy.
Let’s hope that DICE will not disappoint us in the long term like their main competitors Infinity Ward did, by releasing a sequel (Modern Warfare 2) inferior to the original (Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare), then six months later practically admitting it by selling two expensive map packs which included 50% new maps and 50% old rehashed COD4 maps!!!
The forced departure of the leading duo of Jason West and Vince Zampella from Infinity Ward has received tremendous coverage on the media, so you probably have read about it. They have formed a new company, Respawn Entertainment (awesome name btw!), and have signed a deal with EA, which will leave to them total artistic freedom and ownership of the Intellectual Property they will create.
Eurogamer has published online a very informative interview with the duo.
From a FPS multiplayer fan’s perspective, let’s hope that whatever they do next, its multiplayer component will have dedicated servers and will not be a peer-to-peer toy like Modern Warfare 2.
You probably have noticed a mention to this article from The New York Times in the BFBC2 Official Twitter, but in case you didn’t check it out. It speaks loud what many critics have expressed in a shy manner.
“Multiplayer battles in Modern Warfare 2 feel like chaotic arenas with people running all over the place looking out for themselves. In Bad Company 2, teamwork and voice communication are essential; the combat environments are more interesting and feel more akin to what I imagine a modern war zone to be.”
Gunners and Gamers is another classic story that hit recently the video game news websites. It’s about the “Call Of Duty Effect” and how the ACR rifle was one of the top google searches because of Modern Warfare 2. Indeed, ACR has been voted as the most people’s favorite weapon of the game (it was mine too).
Well I’m not american and I am not particulary fond of the idea of having guns available almost unconditionally to the public: give guns to the people and they start killing each other and themselves, either by accident or on purpose. But saying that, I’d love to be able to fire some real life weapons on a shooting range.
Undeniably playing military FPS games, can leave to a weapon fetish, which most of the times is perfectly harmless. The article in question has been written by a N.R.A. (National Rifle Association) so take it with a pinch of salt.
And talking about gun fetish phenomenon amongst FPS players, if you’re one of those guys (like me) who when they like shooting a weapon in a game, want to have all the background about it and go search info about it on the webernet, wikipedia, etc, you might wanna check The Firearm Blog. It has lots of cool pictures and some crazy info about weapons that have never been produced,
A classic one! It also compares BFBC2 to MW2 when appropriate.