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Free Battlefield 1942

The Battlefield Blog announces DICE is handing out free copies of Battlefield 1942 on Origin as part of their celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Battlefield series of military first-person shooters (thanks Charles). This is accompanied by an electronic art booklet for this Electronic Arts game, saying this "contains a number of concepts showing visual and gameplay targets that the DICE team had more than ten years ago when they set out to create the game of their dreams," though they also warn the 1920x1080 presentation weighs in at over 150 MB. There is an accompanying FAQ confirming this is a free release of the original game, that it does not include either of its expansions, that players of the free version cannot play in the same games as owners of the original on-disc version (though owners of the disc version can obviously get the free version), and that they are running public servers in addition to anyone's ability to run a dedicated server. Here's word:

We are very happy and proud to be able to give you Battlefield 1942, the game that started it all. Now available for free* on Origin as a digital download for the first time, everyone will be able to download and play this original PC game that helped define DICE and the multiplayer shooter genre.

Karl Magnus Troedsson, Vice President and General Manager of DICE, has a message to all of our fans:

“Since the beginning, the reception to the Battlefield series has been incredible thanks to our amazing fans. Every day, we strive to provide our community with great games and new ways to play as evident with Battlefield 3 Premium. We wanted to thank our fans who have supported us throughout the years with a chance to go back and play the game that started it all.”

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29. Re: Free Battlefield 1942 Nov 5, 2012, 21:50 Orogogus
Prez wrote on Nov 5, 2012, 20:40:
BF1942 had me hooked for months despite my lifelong aversion to multiplayer games; it was that good. Eventually though it got tiring have a 10 to 1 death:kill ratio.

As far as requiring Origin, however, no thanks. I don't buy into the whole conspiracy theorist silliness about it being malware or spyware (like Verno said, it functions similarly to Steam in that regard) or that it being from despicable EA makes it automatically bad per se. You really don't need to fabricate stuff to make Origin appear bad though; by simple factual comparison to Steam it sucks so bad that EA ought to be discounting games that require it by 50% just for users having to put up with it. It is awful in every sense of the word - every bit as bad as the horrid Games For Windows Live abomination to me, though not in exactly the same ways.

I'm not opposed to a viable competitor to Steam (choice is always good) but Origin isn't even in the same league as Steam. Even if it was, I'm a one-stop-shopping, all-my-eggs-in-one-basket kind of guy, so I'd be sticking with Steam regardless. EA is probably losing considerable money by not releasing all of their titles on Steam.

According to the PA forums Origin/EA's one strong point over Steam/Valve is customer service. If you have a problem EA's customer support gets you into live chat, and they often give you a free game for your trouble. Valve on the other hand is evidently staffed by automatons, accessible only by email, who take days to answer with canned responses that don't solve the problem.

One person bought Sid Meier's Railroads! and put it in his gift inventory, after which the game was cut from Steam; his gift was yanked and won't be coming back. People whose accounts were locked for any reason have basically no recourse.

Everything else about Origin is equal or worse, though. But as one person noted, when everyone gets to do what they want, apparently no one opts for customer service.
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