Dice Threatens To Ban Users of BF3 Color Tweak Mod
Electronic Arts really seems bent on making themselves look like the biggest a-holes in the gaming industry. Crazy talk, you say? Consider this then: A group of intrepid modders released a color-tweaking mod for Battlefield 3 earlier this week. The mod allows players to do something about the game’s blue-infused color grading to achieve more natural colors. You can see a sample image gallery here for a look at what it does.
Mods like this are a godsend for people, like me for instance, who have eye problems that can interfere with the ability to process certain color schemes. I’m not colorblind, FYI, but I have serious astigmatism; certain color schemes tend to look blurry to me despite my excellent prescription, and to avoid the problem I always make things as bright and as sharply colored as I can. (In addition to my personal PC settings, natch.) Obviously, for gamers with color blindness this kind of option would be doubly useful, and as they don’t actually give you an advantage beyond ‘not being disadvantaged,’ it would seem a fairly cut and dry example of fair use and fair game modding. Unfortunately, Dice (read: Dice corporate parent EA) isn’t having it, at least, not if comments by Gameplay Designer Gustav Halling are indicative of company policy.
When asked about the mod on Twitter, Halling said “[It's] too colorful. Also, I wouldn’t use those hacks if you don’t want a permanent ban on your account. FYI warning.” That tweet has been mysteriously deleted, but a followup tweet hasn’t; Halling clarifies that “I remember some CS “tweaks” that made the soldiers purple. I didn’t approve of it on my servers at least ”. This might indicate he was just kind of talking as an independent actor. Still, a few Redditers are reporting they’ve already been banned for using the mod, which would indicate Halling isn’t the only Dice staffer who feels this way.
If people are being banned for it, it sounds to me more like official company policy to tamp down on gamers having any freedom to do anything other than that expressly authorized by EA; they are, after all, not a friend to modders and the traditional PC gamer. Yes, it’s possible this mod constitutes cheating, and should evidence this is so be made clear, I’ll support the banning. Though, come on guys, try giving players the option, at least, to see the game as clearly as they can. Obviously I’m skeptical, so use this mod at your own risk.
Here’s a look at the mod:
I’ll say it: The mod fixes one of BF3′s biggest problems. But what say you, Game Fronters? Sound off in comments.
UPDATE: We shouldn’t forget that this is yet another rebuttal of Dice’s hilarious 2011 assertion that the Frostbite engine is just too complicated for the soft brains of modders. (H/T Commenter Axetwin). But who knows, maybe they’re planning to release Xbox modding tools after all.