So yesterday, the official Battlefield 3 site announced the existence of the pre-order exclusive "Physical Warfare Pack," a pack that would provide exclusive access to (among other things) the Type 88 light machine gun—the same gun that was so badass in last year's Battlefield: Bad Company 2 that some claimed it overpowered. Making such a great gun available only by purchase? An interesting move, especially if by "interesting" you mean "the exact kind of thing that puts people's panties in a thorny bunch and prompts them to go screaming around the Internet like a meth-addled banshee." Because that's exactly what happened, with Reddit exploding last night to the tune of many thousands of angry comments and calls to boycott EA. We reached out to EA ourselves, only to be told "as soon as we have something we'll let you know."
And now EA has responded, with a FAQ on the Battlefield blog. And here's what they said:
Q: Is the Physical Warfare Pack available in all regions, or just in the UK?
A: It will be available worldwide at select retailers. It was first announced in the UK. Exact details for other countries and retailers will be announced at a later date.
Q: Will Physical Warfare Pack imbalance the game?
A: The three exclusive items in the Physical Warfare Pack were specifically chosen not to be overpowered or imbalance or break the game in any way.
Q: Why do I want the Physical Warfare Pack?
A: Owning these items will give you a more varied arsenal, but it will not give you a significant advantage on the battlefield.
Q: Is the Back to Karkand expansion pack exclusive to pre-orders?
A: No. You can also buy it separately if you do not pre-order Battlefield 3. Back to Karkand will be available the exact same date after the launch of Battlefield 3 no matter if you pre-ordered or buy it separately.
Q: When will the Back to Karkand expansion pack be released?
A: We have not yet announced the Back to Karkand expansion pack release date.
Q: How much does the Back to Karkand Expansion pack cost?
A: We have not yet announced a price. However, it will be included in the Limited Edition at no extra charge.
Q: Do I have to choose between Back to Karkand and the Physical Warfare Pack as my pre-order bonus?
A: No. There is no way you can pre-order Battlefield 3: Limited Edition and not end up with the Back to Karkand expansion pack at no extra charge. On top of this, select retailers all over the world will carry the Physical Warfare Pack. Exact details for other countries and retailers will be announced at a later date.
Q: Why do you offer pre-order bonus items?
A: Because we believe in rewarding our core fanbase with special offers -- such as giving them the Back to Karkand expansion pack at no extra charge.
So there you go—straight from the horse's mouth. What's the verdict? Do you believe the horse or are you still tight about about the pre-orderification of video games?