DICE Against Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Because It Might Cause Hacks
Author: William Usher
published: 2012-08-19 15:19:09
You know why you won't be getting mod tools for Battlefield 3 and why Battlefield 3 will never get a mod equivalent to DayZ (or something better)? Because DICE thinks that mod tools will bring out the hackers and that it's too tricky to make mod tools available for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Yes, the reason really is that stupid.
According to Gamasutra, Karl Magnus Troedsson, general manager at DICE spoke a bit about why modding tools aren't available for Battlefield 3 especially after the huge success of the DayZ mod, which helped bring in one million new players to Bohemia Interactive's military simulator, Arma II. Troedsson says "we're afraid of all the things that can come with releasing the code." and this includes hacks and exploits...uh, like Battlefield 3 isn't being plagued with hacks and exploits right now? Sure, buddy...whatever you say.
The other reason was a bit more asinine and would probably only be taken at face value from a blind monkey who doesn't understand the difference between his mouth and his anus and effectively can't tell the difference between food and poop. Troedsson stated that "If we do mod support, we want to do it really, really well," and "we are not ready to do this yet." Why? Because according to Gamasutra, Troedsson stated that it's tricky getting mod tools to work on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Ehh, what?!
All right, so the answers were so bogus that some gamers felt that maybe DICE was trying to give hints as to why an SDK wasn't made available for Battlefield 3 and their stupid answers were code for: “EA doesn't want us to release an SDK because free map-packs would cannibalize sales for DLC map packs.”
No one said DICE had to release SDK toolsets right at launch, but instead of working on map packs and DLC they could have been spending that time working on perfecting the SDK for public consumption.
The major problem is that big studios don't see the benefit of mod support. They don't see long-term playability and replayability as a high-point of brand success or community support. Instead, they see it as a profit-eating entity that derails sales of DLC. If you think that's bogus, that's exactly why Blizzard killed LAN support and modding for Starcraft II and Diablo III.
Here I'll refresh your memory with a quote from Chris Sigaty, the production director at Blizzard, who stated that...
Honestly, WarCraft III, was and still is, one of the most popular games in the world as far as DotA [Defense of the Ancients] goes, and it was basically played sight unseen across all that. We basically stood around and waved at it. So yeah, piracy plays a factor and that is a reality.
Pfft, what an idiot. You'd kill longevity and replayability just to get some fast, upfront sales? Really? It doesn't take a lot of guesswork to figure out why people still love Valve, Bethesda and CD Projekt.
Speaking of Valve, both Blizzard and EA seem to be missing the big picture here: Mods prolong a game's lifespan long after its initial sales, Half-Life and Half-Life 2 are proof of this. Just a short while ago BioWare's director of online development, Fenando Melo, was encouraging other developers at GDC Europe to embrace day-1 DLC as a way to extend a game's life.
EA, DICE and BioWare are missing out on a huge boost in both community credibility and long-term sales growth of their property brands by replacing the SDK paradigm with the DLC paradigm.
Just think, it could have been EA and DICE picking up all those extra sales of Battlefield 3 with a DayZ-type mod, had the SDK tools been made available to the public. Instead, they get to watch on the sidelines as a new gaming phenomenon takes off right in front of their eyes and soars to success on a $0 marketing budget and a whole lot of positive word of mouth.
At least CD Projekt RED was smart enough to jump on the bandwagon while the bandwagon is smoking hot with the new REDKit for the The Witcher 2. I wouldn't put it past EA or Blizzard to hop aboard after the next big mod becomes a community phenomenon.
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