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The Almighty Buck

EA Flip-Flops On Battlefield: Heroes Pricing, Fans Angry 221

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 492

Secondly, you underestimate the power of local support. I'm definitely not waving the Geek Squad flag here, but with some purchases it's better to go with a local vendor for faster support.

A good friend of mine works for a local independent high-end A/V shop(maybe 15 employees total, including installers), and he runs in to this on a daily basis. Their main consumer base is composed of people who want to buy quality equipment from a sales staff that actually knows their shit, and go to a place where "customer service" doesn't mean beating somebody over the head with extended warranties. And from personal experience it seems most of these customers have at one point been burned or fucked-over by the Best Buys and the Circuit Cities of the world and just want to talk to an informed employee in a low pressure environment.

There is no rebuttal that will appease a customer that walks in the door with a printout from a fly-by-night online retailer or eBay seller quoting a receiver at 1/2 price off of a unit that normally retails for $2000. There is absolutely no way to compete with that from a pure price standpoint. What those people fail to recognize is that if something goes wrong...if the unit ships damaged...or if you need help in designing or setting up your system...THAT is where the local stores have a distinct advantage.

Personally, when it comes to buying things that I am 100% confident in my ability to fix or setup myself (computers, car parts, etc.), then it's time to fire up Firefox and break out the credit card. But if I am going to make a big purchase and I am still unsure about the advantages and disadvantages to certain products, or if I just want to see it in person and play with it, then it is pretty hard to beat a reputable (key word) B&M store.

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