Dear Electronic Arts (EA),
The current implimentation of the Battlefield 2 (BF2) ranking
feature is of great concern to those of us looking forward to
participating in the BF2 gaming community. It has been stated by
EA representatives that the BF2 ranking feature will point to a
global database which only official EA servers are able to contribute
data. If EA follows through with this implimentation it will have a
negative impact on the BF2 gaming community, the BF2 game server
hosting market, and very likely the overall success of BF2.
The game Battlefield 1942 (BF1942) has had relatively good long term success
(i.e. residual sales) and BF1942 gamers have enjoyed a free market for BF1942
game server hosting. We submit to you that the success of BF1942 was in no
small part fostered by a free market for game server hosting. There
are many choices and options available to gamers who want to rent or put up
their own BF1942 game server. This free market exists because anyone
can host a BF1942 game server with full functionality. However, the current
implimentation of BF2 does not offer full functionality for game servers
unless they are being hosted by EA. A free market for BF2 game server hosting
will not exist if EA does not offer full functionality to non-official
BF2 game servers.
Exclusive features only for official EA game servers will mean fewer choices
and options available to those wanting to run BF2 gamer servers. Those who want
to run a BF2 game server will be forced to choose between renting an official EA
hosted server which has full functionality or running a non-official game server
without full functionality. Since BF2 game servers with full functionality will
draw more players then those without full functionality it will be much
easier to build up a player community around fully functional game servers.
For this reason many gamers who do not wish to be forced into renting official
BF2 game servers will choose not to run any BF2 game server. This will
mean fewer high quality and well admined BF2 game servers available
for the BF2 gaming community to play on. This will degrade the BF2 gaming
community as a whole because it is these micro communities growing up around
well admined game servers that help to sustain the entire community.
It has been stated by an EA spokesperson that the reason behind excluding
non-official EA game servers from full use of the ranking feature is security
concerns. We submit that this security concern can be easily remedied by allowing
non-official BF2 game servers to create and point to a local ranking database.
The game server admin would then have the option to point to this local database
or the default global database. This would allow full functionality for ALL game
servers and establish a free market for BF2 game server hosting. This free market
will encourage rather then discourage gamers to run BF2 game servers. Without a
free market established for BF2 game server hosting, it is very possible that we
will not invest our time and money in order to participate in the BF2 gaming community.
Forcing us to make this tough decision is not necessary! Please release a fully
functional game server that has the ability to point to a local ranking database.