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EA lines up three Battlefield 3 expansions for 2012

Electronic Arts announced last night that it will launch three new expansions for Battlefield 3 as it tries to establish the game as a year-round service for die-hard fans.The first for this year will be Battlefield 3: Close Quarters, and EA demoed the game last night.

To compete against Activision’s Call of Duty Elite social network for hardcore fans of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, EA is lining up enough new online content to keep players busy throughout 2012. Such fierce competition has become a staple in the multibillion-dollar first-person shooter modern combat game market.

The next expansion to hit the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3 will debut in June, said Karl Magnus Troedsson, general manager of EA’s DICE studio in Sweden. The expansion will have maps, weapons, achievements, and vehicles. He spoke at a party at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Moreover, EA will also unleash a new service where players can rent a server on the consoles. That will allow them to host their own custom servers and set them up exactly how they want them to play, Troedsson said.

EA launched Battlefield 3 in October and sold more than 12 million units. That fell short of rival Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s sales numbers, but it was a record for EA. To keep gamers playing, EA is launching multiple expansions to give players a better multiplayer experience. In December, it launched the Back to Karkand expansion.

Close Quarters, the second expansion, will be all about infantry fighting.The maps will have more destructible environments, 10 more weapons, and it will focus on short-range combat.

A third expansion of the year will be Battlefield 3: Armor King, coming later in the year, emphasizing vehicle combat. It will have big open maps where you can drive vehicles such as tanks and jets. A third expansion, Battlefield 3: End Game, will come later in the year. That one is still secret in terms of its content.

Troedsson said that Battlefield is all about the big war, or the “hammer,” while Medal of Honor is about the personal experience of war, or the “scalpel.”


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