EA Gives Away Free Battlefield 2 “Booster Packs” (Unless you play on a PC)

Somewhere deep in the bowels of EA, someone decided that because I bought Battlefield 2 for the PC, that I care about Battlefield 2: Modern Combat for XBox. This is part of a Battlefield Newsletter email that I received today:

“Play 3 new maps; Frostbite, Full Frontal and Hidden.
Take control of the new attack snowmobiles with dual-mounted machine guns, modified pickup trucks with .50 cal armament, assault vans loaded with mini-guns, and a RIB boat with four open positions.
All-new arctic camouflage for your soldiers helps you blend into the winter background.
Download the Warsome Booster Pack from Xbox Live TODAY!”

In what I can only hope is a marketing SNAFU, DICE issues a Press Release on the same day touting the success of the Special Forces Expansion and discussing the future of Battlefield 2. That future includes releasing two “Booster Packs” for Battlefield 2 in 2006, for $9.99 each. So, if I am reading this correctly, XBox owners get new content and weapons for FREE, while us lowly PC players have to pay.

Merry Christmas!

The entire press release is included if you click on “read more”. Battlefield 2 Special Forces an online success
Digital Illusions CE AB (publ) 2005-12-22

Digital Illusions’ expansion pack Battlefield 2 Special Forces was launched in the end of November 2005. This was the first product Electronic Arts sold directly to consumers over the internet.

The test was so successful that the PC game – another expansion pack to Battlefield 2 – planned for launch during spring 2006 now will be changed to booster packs to be sold online.

Every tenth copy of the expansion pack Battlefield 2 Special Forces was over the Internet, and the rest of the copies were sold to retailers. When games are sold online directly to consumers Digital Illusions earns more money per product than if they are sold through retailers.

РWe see online sales as a very interesting channel in the future. Digital Illusions work together with EA to find the best solutions that favours both the consumers and retailers, said Patrick Șderlund, CEO of Digital Illusions.

The Battlefield 2 expansion pack planned to be launched during spring 2006 is now replaced by two booster packs. The change means slightly lower project revenues during the fourth quarter 2005 than during the third, due to a lower development budget. The anticipation though is that this will be compensated by higher royalty revenues during the first six month 2006.

The expansion packs in the Battlefield series have new maps, vehicles and weapons. Each Battlefield booster pack will have new but fewer maps, vehicles and weapons. Instead they are sold to a lower price: 9.99 USD. An expansion pack is usually sold at between 19.90 USD and 29.90 USD. Today at least two Battlefield 2 booster packs are planned for spring 2006.

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