Does anyone remember June? Back when the weather was slightly better than it is now and the Eurozone was just fucked, rather than really fucked. Also in that month, a little gaming event going by the name of E3 took place in California. Among the amazingly mediocre presentations from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, there were some small exclusive content announcements for PS3 owners to digest. The first of these was from EA, announcing an exclusive track for SSX, exclusive cars for NFS: The Run and one-week early DLC for Battlefield 3, as well as a free copy of Battlefield 1943 on the Blu-Ray disc.
|2009 didn’t look too bad, in retrospect|
Now, Battlefield 3 came out at the end of last month and through all the reviews and CoD comparisons, there was one thing just not quite right – Battlefield 1943 was nowhere to be seen. This was puzzling, considering it was being used at the Sony conference as a carrot for consumers to buy the game on the PS3 rather than other platforms and some pre-orders would have followed as a result and for good reason – this was a great deal for a decent freebie.
All the more confusing was the response to this. Rather than let people know in good time, the Battlefield 3 twitterfeed decided to inform everyone of the situation one day prior to the US release date. As a compromise, they said that EA would let all PS3 owners have DLC one-week early instead. Hang on, part of that sentence seems very familiar… oh yes, I wrote about it earlier on in the first paragraph.
|See how I reference the thing above?|
Now, this tweet appeared on the 26th October, while the blog post I linked to when mentioning the early DLC was posted 1 month and 4 days previous. There’s something not entirely right about that – either they knew about 1943 not being on the disc back then and didn’t mention anything, or they just lazily hoped most people hadn’t noticed they’d already mentioned this.
But there’s more! At that same conference, Sony also announced that THQ would be putting some PS3 exclusive content in for Saints Row: The Third revolving around the game’s ‘signature weapon’, which just happens to be a giant purple dildo. Now, this has also vanished into the ether, with THQ declining to comment on the situation to all asking outlets.
|Freud would have had a field day with the devs…|
Both of these situations just show how bad customer service is in general for gamers. These are things that have been announced at the biggest gaming event of the year and then haven’t been mentioned again, despite being questioned about it. The Saints Row one I’m actually quite happy that all versions are identical, but you have to inform people of the fact in advance so they can buy the game for the console of their preference rather than forcing them onto one machine if they want to play the whole game, not maintain a stony silence. That’s not how to engage with an audience who, if they took the announcement at E3 true to its word deserve an explanation.
What I’m more annoyed about is the Battlefield 1943 saga. Yes, it may be a comparatively old game to BF3, but this was a great idea given the size of the Blu-Ray discs and as much as platform exclusives are unnecessary and annoying, this was one of the more sensible implementations, both financially for Sony and EA and in entertainment value for the consumer. But once again, there’s no explanation as to why it’s not there, just a flat no and one-week exclusive DLC, perhaps the most pathetic exclusive deal I’ve ever seen in gaming.
Companies need to engage their audience far more and actually respect them, rather than treating us like kids and just telling us we can’t have things with no explanations.