27 thoughts on “Battlefield: Heroes”

  1. Unfortunately WordPress doesn’t have a setting for “Make this image the width of the column”. It’s either “Thumbnail” or “Full Size”. I guess I could figure out how to tweak it manually somehow…

  2. Yes, of course thats what the game will look like, and it will have no redeeming value, as its made by EA and not one guy in a garage, recreating the gameplay of NES side scrolling shooters with vector graphics.

    Of course, you are ignorant fool who said that Madden Football is not a video game

  3. It’s sad indeed. I hope they also release a version for which people can simply pay full price and get everything at once, minus the annoying ingame ads….

  4. Brokenbroll: Please don’t give anti-game people ammunition for saying things like, “Games are destroying peoples’ reading comprehension and making them less literate!”

    What I said in that MTV interview was:

    If you think a game is ‘Madden 2008,’ then hey, games probably aren’t art.

    This is a very different sentence from:

    If you think ‘Madden 2008’ is a game, then hey, games probably aren’t art.

    Which, uncoincidentally, I didn’t say in that interview.

    Thank you and good night.

  5. “If you think ‘Madden 2008’ is a game, then hey, games probably aren’t art.” – Jon Blow. You heard it here first, folks 😛

    Brokenbroll: Its appearance is blatantly in imitation of TF2, and while, sure, experimenting with in-game ads and micro-transactions makes good business sense, it reflects a cynical view of game development in general. We can’t write off the game as terrible just because of that, sure, but from the available evidence it seems fair to conclude that whatever boundaries it breaks, they won’t be in the quality of the game itself. You’re obviously trolling, but regardless, painting indie devs as a bunch of people who endlessly remake NES titles is pretty clearly disingenuous – just look at, uh, the game for which this is a blog. In short, if you weren’t aware already, you’ve made an ass of yourself.

  6. Wow …
    So now EA wants to kill the TF franchise …

    I think they realized how many people are quitting the Battlefield franchise
    to play TF2 and want people to play a free alternative of theirs, named under the Battlefield franchise, instead… so people will (unconciously) go back to the Battlefield franchise and buy the next game while completely forgetting about how awesome TF2 was.

    They really expect to pull people out of TF2 that way?

  7. Ugh. Tough topic.

    On the one hand, the artistic style of Battlefield: Heroes feels uncomfortably reminiscent of Team Fortress 2. On the other hand Team Fortress 2’s style is just as similar to the character designs of The Incredibles.

    Art aside, I’d say that this is an experiment that’s been toyed with before and is worth trying again. Advertising is permeative part of many societies and has been for quite some time. Pretending that we’re above it (as designers) is borderline delusional and frankly, I don’t see how advertising in a game could detract from designing meaningful/immersive/entertaining/fun games so long as the ads are relevant and appropriately displayed. The art of advertising has rules just as game design and development does. Only hacks slap logos haphazardly about as the image above shows.

    One final note: If TF2 had the Heavy brandishing a can of Campbell’s Chunky Soup in a quick add between levels I wouldn’t find the gameplay any less fun. Would you?

  8. To me personally, that seems like a ridiculous question. Of course I would have a lot less fun if TF2 had ads, in just the same way that I can’t stand using the Xbox 360 dashboard because of all the ads.

    Part of the joy of interacting with something nice (including gameplay) is feeling that this thing is really there to help you out, to give you things. But advertising is about taking things away from you, so as soon as advertising shows up, the overall flavor of the experience changes. Suddenly this thing you are using is parasitic. It feels icky.

  9. You find that to be a ridiculous question? Interesting.

    Look, I’ve seen films that have moved me–even changed my perception of things and yet I was subjected to advertising before the film. I’ve watched TV shows, listened to music, even read things and advertising was a part of that. I don’t love advertising but I have enjoyed good ones. The same goes for games.

    It should be pointed out that I was a graphic designer before getting into game development, which has a significant impact on my perceptions here. Despite that, I can respect your distaste for ads. Ads are like barnacles. You can spend all day trying to prevent them from attaching to your ship or you can focus on being a better Captain. It’s really your choice.

  10. Advertising before a film is bad, but the analogy here is, were you subjected to advertising during the film? Because that is what we are talking about… Even subtler advertising, like product placement, pulls me straight out of a movie and makes me pissed off that I paid for this. It makes it impossible to take the movie seriously.

    I don’t see the point in being a better Captain if my primary job is then to ferry barnaces to as many people as possible.

  11. I liked Blade Runner and there was a HUGE coke ad in it. I didn’t hate the film because of that. Still, as I’ve said earlier, I respect that this could upset you and ruin the experience. Which is why advertisers–good advertisers–work hard to create ads that are targeted properly, evoke an appropriate response and even be meaningful. For a person to suggest that all ads are bad because they’ve experienced bad ones is similar to saying all games are meaningless because most games they’ve played are meaningless. Perhaps that’s too over simplified but I think it reflects the vibe I’m getting from this discussion.

    But tell me, are you basically saying the following?: All ads are bad. Game design is art. Ads on art is bad.

    P.S. I appreciate your taking the time to discuss this with me.

  12. Ads are bad when they are inappropriate, when they destroy your immersion. Your example of Blade Runner is different in that it serves an artistic purpose, demonstrating the commercially dominated dystopia presented. It still has the ability to jar, but that’s offset by the way in which it draws a link with our world in a way that a fictional advertisement couldn’t. In a much more mundane fashion, advertising in racing games can be effective as part of the scenery in the form of billboards, serving to increase immersion – though even then, when the ads are of a kind out of place on a racing circuit they can break immersion.
    In many cases, particularly in highly stylised games such as TF2, advertisements are completely out of place – they fail to complement the world presented, and instead detract from it. Consider ads in Counter Strike Source – do English ads for Coke really fit in?
    And in being payed to advertise, the providers are beholden to the will of the advertisers, not to their own artistic intent.

  13. Paolo: As you are probably aware, games take a lot of effort to create. They are so big and complicated, that for anything that isn’t a tiny flash game, they will always fall short of the author’s vision — there’s only so much that it is humanly possible for the creators to do.

    Now imagine one of these games is being funded by ads inside the game. The author has worked very hard to create an immersive world filled with feelings / themes that he cares about. Now he has to integrate those ads into the world in such a way that they do not disrupt the experience he is creating. That is a **very hard** game design problem. It takes a lot of time and energy to do. And therefore, that is time and energy that is not being spent making the actual game better. It’s just being spent to make it not-worse due to the presence of ads. Since every game sucks up all of the author’s effort, then by definition, the game will be significantly worse in the end than if it had no ads.

    And this is for the case where the ads are pre-selected and baked into the game (as in the Blade Runner example). But that’s not the way advertising in games is going. Rather, it is using models like Massive’s architecture where ads are rotated into the game and are frequently changed after launch. This means the ads cannot be vetted properly and cannot be integrated into the game in a non-damaging way. They will by definition be disruptive.

  14. Jonathan – is Braid going to be required to put the Xbox Live Arcade splash screen advertisment at the start? I’ve noticed that’s on all recent XBLA releases.

  15. I am hoping not. So far it is listed as “recommended”.

    It’s totally stupid, because you don’t need to advertise Xbox Live Arcade to a player WHO WAS JUST IN XBOX LIVE ARCADE TO LAUNCH YOUR GAME. All it does is slow down launching and ruin the atmosphere of the game (and annoy the player).

  16. Some people can bear watching films on TV with ad breaks, some can not. Some can even bear breaks of half an hour of news thrown in the middle of it.

    Others buy it instead.

    I think films are a good example of how this could turn out.. Creating films, like games, is a big process and also hopefully a labour of love. I bet the creators don’t want people to watch the ads inbetween however, but that’s up to the viewer.

    I guess that is what publishers are starting to realize, many people don’t mind and that’s why they try this new route. It would imho be a better idea to release games such as BF:Heroes as a retail version as well for us purists. I can’t see why that won’t happen at some point. This is treated as an experiment by EA and for that reason an alternative option is unlikely.

    And I agree with Paolo, Valve stole more from Pixar than EA did from Valve. And Pixar stole from 60’s Disney who in turn I bet stole from someone else, or should I say ‘was inspired by’ (no sarcasm intended).

    As long as the ads are not totally in your face I think it’s ok. As a gamer I would prefer a pure version, and if I was a game creator I wouldn’t like it a bit.

  17. here is a game i made that contains advertising. it also contains art.

    http:// romzom.wetgenes.com

    the proceeds, such as they are from the advertising, are used to promote : the game. how evil am i. oh me, oh my. i should kill myself.

    maybe if you gave your art away for free, rather than charging for it, you might consider advertising in a different light.

    but no, real artists sell their art, don’t they?

  18. for christs sake! you guys are all whining about how its a total rip off from TF2! would you please stop thinking as a bunch of TF2 fanboys?? also, if you read some articles about it on various sites, you’lle see that TF2 was a encouragement, seeing it was a huuge succes, as they were not sure if Battlefield Heroes was gonna be a succes. also, the game is totally free. so a liiittllle bit of advertising and micromanagement cant hurt right? they need to make SOME money out of it or they’re going bankrupt!

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