Battlefield Extortion

Battlefield Heroes is now open to all. I would call this a time for rejoicing as I had the pleasure of playing in the beta and would certainly recommend giving it a go. I’m something of a dabbler when it comes to online shooters; I enjoy them, but I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to anything that isn’t story-based. My hardcore FPS days are long behind me. A free BF game that I could entice my friends and family to play is definitely something I can get behind, especially with the cartoon style and tongue-in-cheek attitude. I could even see me paying some real cash money for some new threads. I like micropayments, they give me something to do with the odd few quid left in my bank account at the end of the month.

So it was with great dismay that I viewed the release version of the BFH store. The more I think about it, the more I feel that I was being a bit soft on EA when describing it as extortion. I’m not sure if there is a harsher word for extortion, but if there is, then this is it.

For starters, there are no micropayments. You have to buy “Battlefunds” in chunks, much like MS Points. The smallest denomination is 700 Battlefunds for £4.50, so it’s not too bad. I mess around with the store for a bit and play dress-up with my avatar like some kind of virtual Action Man. Totting up the clothes I’ve chosen gives me a result of 910 Battlefunds. A spot of maths and I work out that’s £5.85. Nearly six quid for an outfit for an online shooter. Bloody hell. You’d be hard pressed to find a clothes designer in Second Life that charges that much and SL wrote the book on overcharging for virtual clothing.

Then I notice that 910 Battlefunds would only buy me that outfit for a month. Can you imagine the outcry if Blizzard declared they were going to start charging you £5.85 a month for every set of armour you had in WoW? Thankfully, there is an alternative. I could buy my outfit permanently. For £23.40.

£23.40!

£23.40 for an outfit for virtual man-Barbie? You can get a real set of clothes for £23.40!

Photobucket

The basic BFH Royal outfit and the one EA wants to charge £23.40 for.

I think I speak for the rest of the rational individuals in gaming (all seventeen of us) when I say that EA have fucked this one up royally. It’s not often that I wish bad things to happen to free games, but I sincerely hope that BFH crashes and burns due to no-one spending any money on it whatsoever.

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~ by bigjonno on June 26, 2009.

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