I think we can all agree that DICE has had a pretty good run with Battlefield 3's DLC packs - they're among the most content-heavy (albeit pricey) multiplayer add-ons Xbox Live has to offer. The forthcoming End Game, for instance, introduces four new maps, a couple of modes, new vehicles (including m0t0rbik3s) and a new Dropship feature for Conquest.
According to producer Craig Mcleod, all this derives from the recognition that players want new "experiences" from DLC, rather than just bitty content updates.
"I do feel that the DLC packs we release have expanded hugely," he said, when I asked for his thoughts about how the sector had changed since Battlefield 3's release. "I look back to Bad Company 2, and we released a number of map packs, and then right at the end of the Bad Company cycle we released Vietnam. This was a much bigger pack incorporating new weapons and environments - we actually built a whole new front-end right into it.
"And we found people really enjoyed this. As much as people enjoyed having new maps to play on, they really enjoyed having a new experience. So the ability to not only deliver new maps but new vehicles, weapons and completely new features. To reference End Game, we have the vehicle air drop - this is a fantastic feature that we haven't had before, that we've brought into the gameplay. It's a way of not only catering to our fans but also trying out new things from future development."
Mcleod feels competitors like Call of Duty and Halo are following in DICE's footsteps here. "I think we're driving the industry in this respect," he said. "When I look at things like Battlelog, and when I look at the whole experience that we deliver in a DLC - people didn't do this before, they literally did map packs, and now we can see some of our competitors introducing not just new maps but also new weapons, and new features on the side. And I feel we're forcing the industry to step up and follow the example that we're setting."
Agree or disagree? The latest Battlefield 3 add-on is out on Xbox 360 on 12th March, and will cost 1200 MP. Here are some End Game tips from DICE to help you dominate the new maps.