In a move surprising absolutely nobody, Battlefield officially announced its Battlefield 3: Premium service to compete with the surprising successful Call of Duty Elite service released with Modern Warfare 3 last year. Many of the features of the one-time $50 investment ape the functionality and options provided by Elite, including two-week early access to all 5 expansion packs, an exclusive knife, unique dog tags, assignments, and camos, as well as exclusive access to certain events and videos. Most controversially, however, are the inclusion of server queue priority and the stats reset ability, available only to Premium owners.
Those who purchase the Premium service will be granted top priority in server queues, and will be placed ahead of non-paying members. How exactly this will work is unclear, but needless to say, gamers are not all that fond of the idea. Considering that Battlefield 3 is a very popular game, and it’s likely that the Premium service will sell quite well, those who opt out might well find themselves waiting considerably longer than they are willing. The second, less controversial feature may be a bit innocuous in its maliciousness, but with such a feature available, it’s safe to assume that the worldwide leaderboards will no longer be valid unless DICE and EA implement a few limits to those who appear in the top slots.
The Battlefield 3: Premium service is slated for release on June 4th, and will likely be elaborated on at this year’s E3.