BF3 companion app comes to iPhone, but will skip Android?

Okay, I know that many of you folks could give less than over 9000 shits about anything that Electronic Arts is doing in the gaming industry that isn’t ruining Mass Effect 3’s ending, and that’s fine. This blog probably isn’t for you in the first place.

EA’s subsidiary responsible for Battlefield 3, Digital Illusions CE (also known as DICE), released its long-awaited mobile app for its Battlelog pseudo-social network it deployed with the launch of the game. DICE’s Global Community Manager for BF3, Daniel Matros, announced the release on his popular Twitter feed. 1

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this whatsoever. I, as an iPhone 4S user, have already downloaded the app and it’s all great fun being able to show folks that I am not among the elite in the BF3 community by my sub-1.00 kill/death ratio and the fact that my top three weapons include the SKS, not to mention that I haven’t hit Colonel level 50 yet, let alone any level of Colonel.

As a Twitter user, there’s nothing wrong with announcing something before your PR department releases something boring and simple. That and you get to inject a bit of personality into it, whereas if a PR drone were to write up the release, it would almost completely lack any manner of emotion or excitement.

However, in response to users asking him about an Android version (which surely has to be coming at some point), zh1nt0 had the following to fire back with: 2

@mund0x Android.. It´s like asking if future BF games will be released on Betamax

I’m not quite sure that was the most professional sort of reply from a Global Community Manager.

Now, I don’t think he’s going to be losing his job over something like this. I mean, everyone has a right to their opinions, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be getting a talking to from the community at large after comparing Android to Betamax. There are Apple fanboys, and then there are those that take things a bit too far.

And to be quite honest, the Battlelog application doesn’t seem to have the design thought put into it compared to the Halo Waypoint companion that Bungie and Microsoft developed for the iPhone. For the short time that I spent playing the Halo prequel title online, I felt like the mobile experience the app provided actually enhanced the system as a whole.

To DICE’s credit, the Battlelog system would be great if it weren’t so tightly integrated into the game thanks to the capabilities and EA’s desire to show off Origin. But then again, Battlelog is no replacement for the server browser being built into the game itself.

Working on a few different posts all at once.

So, I might have made the most noobish mistake when it comes to time spent on writing for ESFI/this blog: spending my time on too many ideas at once. I figured that each idea might still take a little time to develop and properly work into a coherent though, so I figured I’d at least write a little status update on what I’m thinking about or working on every so often.

DotA2, DotA-clones, MMORPGs and esports. Granted most folks are latching on to the new term ‘multiplayer online battle arena’ instead of calling them what they are, I wonder what the influence is of a game like League of Legends growing by leaps and bounds over something like World of Warcrafts’ recently marked decline of subscribers. DotA and like titles seem to be the perfect match amongst micro-intensive players looking to focus solely on a uniform goal instead of an ever-changing meta game, while World of Warcraft and MMORPGs have an ever-changing meta game based more along having new content that players crave and (quite frankly) pay for. I’m no expert about MMORPGs, so I’m polling some big community contributors to help me find a solid base of knowledge about the whole genre and its relation to the esports movement.

It’s esports. Not eSports. There’s an ongoing gag in the ESFI chatroom and amongst certain individuals on Twitter where when they refer to esports in another written manner, I would troll them with a simple message correcting them. I think that dropping the capital letter is a pretty important step to take, but it’ll probably take the whole community to get there. When I saw someone use the word with the capital S used, I wondered if it was a brand like Major League Gaming—which it isn’t. Maybe I’m a little slow when it comes to finding distinctions like this, but I think the community should begin a public discussion about this.

iPad/PC deliberation. I’ve been thinking about it lately, and I have to say, I’m really close to springing for an iPad sometime soon, but I always back down from picking one up because of the fact that… well, I already have an iPhone. I dunno if I could justify adding an iPad to my inventory when I have access to a pretty speedy MacBook Pro as well as my personal MacBook. I want to start looking at getting a PC for home so I can do things like play the last three years’ games the way they were meant to be played or perhaps stream something that doesnt suck over Justin.TV.

Let’s briefly consider the outlook of FPS.

Quake 3 is 12 years old. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault is 9 years old. Counter-Strike 1.6 is 8 years old. Counter-Strike: Source is 7 years old. Battlefield 2 and Call of Duty 2 are 6 years old. Team Fortress 2 is five years old.

The foundation of esports owes a great deal of its existence to those seven games that I just listed. For quite a few of us, these were the first games that we got to play on our university Internet connections or maybe some of the games where we first started realizing that we could make friends over the Internet.

Today, they’re a reminder of a time when gaming seemed to be in its prime. With a certain fighting game franchise and a strategy game powerhouse excepted, the FPS genre was the meat and potatoes of Western esports. That’s not the case anymore.

DotA-clones and the sudden burst of popular technical fighting games just puts FPS on more of a back burner than ever. MLG Anaheim transpired this past weekend, but did you hear anything about the FPS games that were being played, there? Unless you actively follow those games, you didn’t. Halo: Reach has plenty of fans in the console world, as does Call of Duty: Black Ops, but they completely alienate the PC gamer by limiting its team pool. The only DotA-clones worth mentioning are now freemium and are actively developing advanced spectator modes that allow their games to be broadcasted live with relative ease to most casters. There are more fighting games than you can shake an arcade stick at with more looming not he horizon of this holiday season, it seems.

Is this the savior of FPS?

What do we have to look forward to in the FPS world? Battlefield 3 is probably the only FPS title that matters to a PC gamer that’s coming out anytime soon.

Outside the FPS genre: Diablo 3 is the next big Blizzard creation, but that won’t see the light of day until 2012. Valve’s upcoming DOTA2 is slated to be released before the end of the year, but it enters an over-saturated market as it is.

But the only FPS game I’m excited for is Battlefield 3.

Am I missing something, just incredibly slow (mentally) or are FPS games just on this slow decline?