DICE Reverses Position, Won’t Allow Color Changing
You’ll recall a few weeks ago that DICE inexplicably threatened to ban a rather excellent mod for Battlefield 3 that allows players to replace the washed out color scheme with more accurate, real world colors. Their reasoning made no sense; their official policy is to ban mods that would create imbalance in multiplayer, but since all the color tweaking mod did was make it clearer to see things, it doesn’t actually create a competitive advantage. DICE seemed to realize this, because just last week, DICE’s Mikael Kalms announced that they were going to release a patch that would allow people to tweak the colors via dev commands. “We believe that turning [standard colors] off gives no major competitive advantage/disadvantage,” DICE’s Mikael Kalms said.
Unfortunately, this decision seems to have been extraordinarily controversial behind the scenes, because faster than you can say ‘horrible blue color scheme’, DICE has completely reversed that decision. A clearly chastened Kalms has now posted a follow up to his earlier, quite reasonable announcement, and it’s, frankly, kind of nonsensical.
“After discussing this further with my colleagues,” he says, “we have decided to not implement this feature. This is the studio’s take on this matter, and I support this decision:”
As a studio, it is extremely important for us at DICE to have a unique identity in our games, not only from a gameplay perspective, but visually as well. While we appreciate that some players might want a slightly different look to the game, we are proud of the visual identity of Battlefield 3 and do not wish to change it.
He then added “I apologize for getting anybody’s hopes up, and if you have any further questions on this subject, I will refer back to the above statement.”
Translation: Company bigwigs shut this the hell down.
Which is in keeping with parent company Electronic Arts’ outright hostility to modding. Yes, I realize there hasn’t been any expressed hostility, but let’s be honest: In 2011, they claimed that the Frostbite engine was just too complex for modders to grasp, thus they wouldn’t be providing modding tools. A year later, the tune had changed to something a little more honest: they’re afraid of ‘all the things that can come‘ from modding. Which I can’t help but think means ‘people will continue to play the game after we’ve stopped providing official support’.
I don’t mean to pile on, but this is just weak.