Newell: We Need EA Back On Steam
Valve Software’s managing director Gabe Newell spoke to industry news source Develop about the ongoing conflict between Steam and EA (which you can read about in our earlier articles here and here if you are unfamiliar with the debacle). Many high-profile games developed and/or published by Electronic Arts have disappeared from Steam in recent months, including Dragon Age II and Crysis 2, and at the moment it’s looking like Battlefield 3 won’t be available on Steam on release day, although whether it will after that remains to be seen.
The cause of the conflict between Valve and EA over distribution via Steam has not been specifically explained by either company; EA has simply claimed that Steam’s terms of service “restrict [EA’s] ability to directly connect with consumers” and “limit[s] how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content”. Industry analysts have been analyzing up a storm about it in the past couple months, and the general consensus seems to be that Valve won’t let EA sell DLC and other extra content through the game itself, instead requiring that it be sold through Steam (where Valve gets a cut of the profit), although obviously this is purely inference and speculation and has not been directly confirmed by either party.
Speaking to Develop, Newell feels that the conflict, while complicated, is one that can be successfully resolved, saying, “we have to show EA it’s a smart decision to have EA games on Steam, and we’re going to try to show them that.” Here’s the rest of what he said, quoted from the Develop article:
“Companies have to earn the right to install content on their customers’ PCs on a regular basis,” he began.
“The same thing is true of Steam. We have to prove we are creating value on an ongoing basis, whether it’s to EA or Ubisoft or whoever.
“We really want to show there’s a lot of value having EA titles on Steam. We want EA’s games on Steam and we have to show them that’s a smart thing to do,” he said.
“I think at the end of the day we’re going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam. It’s our duty to demonstrate that to them. We don’t have a natural right to publish their games.”
For all of you gamers out there who love Steam and have been grumbling about BF3’s conspicuous absence from its otherwise expansive catalog of titles, there is hope yet! Even if Steam doesn’t offer Battlefield 3 on release day, it seems like there’s still a very strong possibility that it will be coming to Steam at some point in the future once EA and Valve reconcile their differences.
Gamescom 2011 - Day 1 summary
The first day of Gamescom 2011 has come to its end. During the 60 minute presentation we got a lot of footage and details regarding various EA games, such as Mass Effect 3, Need for Speed: The Run and, of course, Battlefield 3.
“So what new from Battlefield 3?”, I hear you shout. Well, we are only on the 2nd day of this year’s Gamescom, and DICE and EA have released lots of Battlefield goodies, such as trailers, gameplay videos, screenshots, documents and more. What also interesting to note is the return of the fan favorite commo-rose. However, we will unfortunately not be seeing any footage of it in Gamescom since it has not been integrated into the game yet.
Caspian Border MP Gameplay
This trailer is so far (and will most likely remain) the biggest reveal of Battlefield 3 in Gamescom 2011. I can’t find words to describe how amazing Battlefield 3 looks in this video, so my only advice to you is to do so watch it right now if you haven’t done so already.
Co-Op Campaign Gameplay
During the EA Press Conference on the 16th of August, Karl Magnus Troedsson and Patrik Söderlund, played live the cooperative mission “Hamid El Zakir”, which looks very promising for the tactical gamers out there.
New BF3 Screenshots
Some new Battlefield 3 screenshots have emerged. Some of them are taken from the same map shown in the trailer above: Caspian Border.
BF3 Fact Sheets
DICE has released 4 fact sheets showing the so-far-confirmed list of weapons, maps, vehciles, etc. Please note that this is most likely NOT the final list of features for the game, but we can expect to see all of these during Gamescom and PAX.
Commo-rose and Console Server Brower confirmed
Good news people! The most anticipated feature from the battlefield community - Commo Rose - is making its return in the final game of Battlefield 3. This was confirmed by the BF3 General Manager himself, KM Troedsson. What also has been confirmed is the integration of a Server Browser for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
Frostbite 2.0 seminar with K. Magnusson
Kenny Magnusson is a developer for Battlefield 3, and he just recently held a seminar in Germany about the amazing technology that empowers Battlefield 3 - Frostbite 2.0.
During the 55 minute long conference, he talks about the technologies behind Bad Company and Mirrors Edge, and what kind of new features and technology Digital Illusions wanted for their newer titles, such as dynamic lightning and extensive destructable environments. He then describes how they managed to create the state-of-the-art game engine as well as the multiple problems the Swedish studio has run into during its development.
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Note: You haven’t missed our Gamescom contest, have you? If yes, click here to read all about it!
Oh, and don’t forget to stay tuned on Battlefieldo.com for news regarding tomorrows EA Press Conference!
Gamescom speculations & Battlefieldo contest
The final countdown for the launch of this year’s GamesCom has begun, and the clock is now showing less than 48 hours for the long anticipated event in Cologne, Germany. However, we can expect new Battlefield 3 details, footage and gameplay as soon as tomorrow!
That’s right! On August 16th at 10:00am EST (04:00pm CET), EA will be holding a Press Conference where they will be showcasing BF3 once again. This time, we can expect to witness more Battlefield awesomeness such as Jets, Large Maps, Conquest Mode, and what not?
It is believed by many that DICE will reveal most of its secrets that have so far been kept safe at its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Will Community Manager, Daniel Matros, finally be able to give an answer to all the unanswered questions that have been bombarding him for the last few months? Most are convinced about all the above, but we can only but speculate on the fact so far.
In any event, what are YOUR expectations regarding Battlefield 3 during Gamescom? What do you think will be shown and revealed during Gamescom apart from the confirmed Jets and Conquest? Will there be a new feature making its debut on Battlefield or maybe an all-time Battlefield classic making its comeback?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and estimations by posting a comment on this article. If your estimations prove to be accurate, you might be the one lucky winner we pick who will receive a Battlefield-related prize in the near future!
If you choose to participate in the contest, please keep your comment simple, creative, but also to-the-point, and don’t forget to double-check your email before you submit!
The contest ends on August 16th 2011 at 10:00 EST (04:00am CET). The winner will be announced at a later date.
Stay tuned tomorrow on Battlefieldo.com for the latest BF3 news!
BF3 at PAX and GAMEFest; DICE Seeking Testers For Battlefield 3
In addition to their impressive showing at the upcoming Gamescom 2011 in Germany, including a real-life jet on display, Battlefield 3 will be making appearances at a few other gaming conventions around the world in the next month or two. NVIDIA and EA have teamed up to run a BF3 booth at PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington from August 26-28th with prizes for playing BF3 including some fully decked-out gaming rigs for a few lucky players. For those of you living in the UK, BF3 will also be present at GAMEFest in Birmingham, September 16-18th.
For those of you lucky enough to live in or near Stockholm, Sweden where DICE’s headquarters are, good news: DICE is seeking 14 on-site QA Testers to work for a 3-month contract at their Stockholm office testing BF3.
Although video game testing can be fun and rewarding, it is hard work. We are looking for responsible, dependable candidates who have an eye for detail, great work ethics, excellent verbal and written communications skills, and the ability to work in a team environment. We need people who are able to work a flexible schedule as work days may vary from week to week. There will be overtime opportunities.
What skills does DICE look for?
- Self starter
- Good organisational skills
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Basic to advanced software troubleshooting skills
- Ability to remain focused until project completion
- Experience and understanding of console or PC game testing
- Software troubleshooting
If you are looking for an opportunity to contribute to the Imminant Battlefield 3 and work with one of the best teams in the Gaming world please apply to the position with a latest copy of your cv. This role is onsite in Stockholm due to the short nature of the contract we are only considering candidates who can work onsite and are able to come to work without relocation support.
We are not considering overseas or remote applications.
Head over to the original post on the BF Blog and mail your CV to email@example.com to take advantage of this opportunity.
BF3 Co-op, Conquest Modes to be Revealed at Gamescom 2011
As the upcoming German gaming festival / convention Gamescom 2011 rapidly approaches, the internet has been buzzing with the news that we’ll get to see a lot of new Battlefield 3 footage and features. The event runs from August 17-, starting only about a week and a half from today!
According to GamersBook, EA brand manager Kevin O’Leary (who we saw a lot of at E3, the Summer Showcase and other high-profile events) has revealed that we will be learning more about BF3’s cooperative multiplayer mode, although it is not clear whether or not we will actually get treated to ingame footage or simply learn some new details about how co-op works.
Additionally, DICE general manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson tweeted recently about playing BF3 Conquest mode as the team prepares BF3 for being shown Gamescom 2011. This seems like a very strong indicator that we can hopefully expect to finally see some Conquest mode gameplay, although of course this is still unconfirmed.
When someone asked him about whether or not jets were included in the Conquest map for Gamescom, Troedsson responded with a simple and crafty “:)”, so hopefully this means we will finally get to see jets in action later this month. When we hear any more word on what to expect from Gamescom 2011, we’ll let you know, and of course we will be covering all of Gamescom as we did with E3, Dreamhack and other important BF3 events.
BF3 Pre-Order Bonuses Announced
Today, several US retailers have gone public with their individual pre-order bonus incentives for Battlefield 3. For United States residents, preordering BF3 on Origin or from Best Buy, GameStop, or Amazon will come with various special bonus content. All come with the Back to Karkand expansion pack. Additionally, for people living in Australia, a preorder bonus has also been announced for retailer JB Hi-Fi.
Preordering through EA’s new digital distribution service Origin has the most benefits overall - it will allow you to preorder BF3 before release so you can play it the moment it unlocks, and will grant you exclusive early access to the BF3 Beta in September. In addition to the Back to Karkand expansion pack, you will also receive the Physical Warfare pack which gives you day-one unlocks on the DAO-12 shotgun and Type-88 LMG as well as flash suppressor and flechette ammo customizations. On top of that, you get a couple of BF:Play4Free items.
If you preorder from Best Buy, you will receive the SPECACT kit (like in BC2), which gives you an alternate set of player skins (8 in total, purely cosmetic) for each class, as well as Back to Karkand. Preordering from GameStop will get you Back to Karkand, the Physical Warfare pack, and for PowerUp Rewards members only, a free digital copy of the Prima strategy guide to BF3. If you preorder Battlefield 3 from Amazon, you’ll get Back to Karkand and a set of five unique dog tags you can use to represent yourself ingame.
For Australian consumers, preordering from JB Hi-Fi will get you both Back to Karkand and the SPECACT kit as well as a collector’s Battlefield 3 hat and real-life dog tags. So far those are all of the retailers who have announced their preorder bonuses - we’ll keep you updated as other major retailers announce theirs!
New Wave of Alpha Invites
For those of you who have not checked your EA account email inbox, check it as soon as you can.
Another wave of invites have been sent today for the Battlefield 3 Alpha and already users are reporting access.
If you don’t have an email in your inbox or spam filter, be sure to try logging into http://bf3alpha.battlefield.com
as some users are able to log in without having a email (Most likely due to speed of some mail servers).
If you were lucky enough to receive an invite, be sure to update to the new NVIDIA and ATI drivers:
GamingExaminer Interview With Karl-Magnus Troedsson
Gaming Examiner: A lot is being said in regards to the whole Battlefield 3 vs. Modern Warfare 3 showdown due to both games releasing very closely to each other. Based off what has been seen of both games so far, you must be feeling confident of taking over the FPS crown. What are your feelings on the whole match up?
Karl Magnus Troedsson: It’s going to be an interesting autumn that’s for sure! We’re 100% focused on finishing the game and want to deliver the best Battlefield game ever this holiday, and really do not spend much time worrying about what our competitors are doing.
GE: Battlefield 3 made a very strong showing at E3 2011, picking up over 40 awards. I imagine this would have a huge effect on the development team. How has this got the team feeling leading up to the final stages of development?
KMT: We’re extremely pleased with the outcome of E3 this year and the awards and accolades that followed have had a really positive impact on the team and the entire studio. When you invest so much time and energy into one game it’s always very uplifting to read that people enjoy what they saw and played.
GE: The Frostbite 2 engine is, from all accounts, an absolutely amazing piece of technology. How is it working with this new engine in comparison to the previous Frostbite engine?
KMT: Frostbite 2 has made some really big progress since the first installment we used for the first time in Battlefield: Bad Company. Things like streaming, better workflows and pipelines speeds up iteration times which leads to higher quality and more polish. The new lighting and animation definitely makes it easier to create a prettier game as well. This in combination with the more classic Battlefield elements like the possibilities of large scale maps, great destruction and advanced vehicle physics makes for a much better platform to build a game on. At the same time it’s more or less an entire new engine and that always come with some challenges when creating a game.
GE: Bad Company 2 had an entertaining and rather quirky storyline with memorable characters. Can we expect the same tone for Battlefield 3, or is realism and grittiness the name of the game here?
KMT: With Battlefield 3 we decided to take a step away from some of the more slapstick elements in the story and with the characters in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. We wanted to create something that is much more authentic and feels more plausible. So Battlefield 3 will have a rather different tone compared to Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
GE: For many players, the multiplayer is what Battlefield is all about. With such high expectations from gamers you must feel a lot of pressure to make sure you give them what they want. It seems like you have heard what the fans are saying and responded with what looks like an outstanding multiplayer mode. What are some of the major changes made in this version compared to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and how do you think people will react to these changes?
KMT: Battlefield 3 is the spiritual successor to 2005’s Battlefield 2. At the same time we’re bringing in a ton of learning from the multiplayer components of Battlefield: Bad Company 1 and 2. A lot of the changes we’ve made come directly from the community with typical examples like bringing back prone and 64 players on PC. The challenge lies in trying to satisfy as many of the online players as possible and on some topics the community is really split. We’re also hell-bent on making sure that both the PC and the console version get their separate love, making sure none of the versions are a port of some other.
GE: Bad Company 2 was critically acclaimed for placing an emphasis on teamwork by working with your squad mates. In what ways does Battlefield 3 push the envelope once again?
KMT: Team work has always been at the heart of the Battlefield franchise and Battlefield 3 will introduce a lot of new elements to this. The new suppression mechanic is one example where you and your squad can work together and be successful as well as getting rewarded for it. We also have some other, unannounced, cool new vehicles and gadgets working together in new ways which I believe the tactical team players really will enjoy. This in combination of the social elements of Battlelog making it easier to play together and communicate will take the team play one step further.
GE: Bad Company 2 pushed the envelope in destructible environments. How is Battlefield 3 going to further enhance this feature?
KMT: One key element of the destruction which will take a big step forward in Battlefield 3 comes from the denser, more urban environments we introduce. In these you can take down the facades of huge buildings and expose or take out the enemies entrenched on the different floors.
GE: A lot of the community is asking for details about the Battlefield 3 Beta. Is there anything you can tell us at this stage?
KMT: All I can say at the moment is that our Beta will take place in September, as announced at E3. We’ll have more details soon.
GE: What do you say to the gamers who have expressed their displeasure over the console version being limited to 30 FPS and 720p resolution?
KMT: Console gamers shouldn’t worry about this, this topic is discussed out of proportions. For those tech-savvy enough to have looked into the actual resolution of their console games it won’t come as a surprise that a lot of console games today do not run at 1080p but rather 720p. We’ve done this for our last games and we believe it can still look amazing. When people ask for 1080p they don’t see the compromises that would be needed to get there. As for the frame-rate we’ve made a conscious decision to stick with 30 FPS on console. It’s not a technical problem with getting our game to run in 60 FPS but we do this in favour of the large amount of players, large scale maps, huge amount of vehicles, full on destruction and so on. The pace in Battlefield is slightly slower than some other twitchy shooters of today which lends itself well to this frame-rate.
GE: What would be considered a success for Battlefield 3?
KMT: That the people who play the game tell us that they enjoy it!
Questions and Answers on BF3 Alpha Trial
Our friendly neighborhood DICE community manager zh1nt0 has posted on the official Battlefield blog with a few frequently asked questions concerning the BF3 alpha trial (running until August 1st) and the upcoming beta in September.
Hello folks! I´ve been getting many questions on twitter regarding the Alpha Trial and also the upcoming beta which was announced at E3 to be in September.
It´s amazing that so many people want to share their experience and are so keen on playing Battlefield 3.
Here are some questions and answers you might find useful :):
How can I get into the Alpha Trial?
It is a highly tech focused test period where the main purpose is to do a number of server related tests in preparation for game launch requiring a set amount of players online to ensure the final experience is as much fun and easy as possible.
Is this the Beta promised to buyers of Medal of Honor: Limited Edition?
No, this is an Alpha Trial, meaning this software is still not at the “Beta” development milestone. The Open Beta will start in September. The exact date for when Medal of Honor: Limited Edition players can join the Beta will be announced at a later date.
Can I join the Battlefield 3 Closed Alpha Trial?
The Alpha is a closed test and by invitation only. If you’d like to have a chance to be called upon make sure to register for our newsletter and ensure your Veteran status is up to date.
We are also not giving away keys to the Alpha Trial on any of our social networking platforms.
Recently a Medal of Honor: Limited Edition Beta newsletter went out to users. What is that all about?
Well, that newsletter says you are entitled to play the beta in September. It is however not a ticket or a code. If you purchased a copy of Medal of Honor with the Battlefield 3 Beta sticker on it, you are eligible for the Beta. If you have not received the newsletter, make sure you opt in on your EA Profile to receive them. Also, if you haven´t received the newsletter and own a copy of Medal of Honor: Limited edition, you are eligible to play in the beta.*
If you have any questions regarding this blog post, feel free to contact me on www.twitter.com/zh1nt0
Not much of anything we don’t already know, but hopefully this clears things up for those of you who have been bombarding our Twitter with questions about how to get into the alpha. If you are one of the lucky few to be in the alpha, remember that discussing the alpha or releasing videos or images captured from it is in violation of the NDA you agreed to by downloading it. That’s why you haven’t seen us here at Battlefieldo posting any of the widely available leaked alpha videos and whatnot. Hopefully DICE will lift the NDA at some point and we can post alpha impressions, screenshots, and gameplay video.