EA’s Coupon Code Goof Up Results in Free Games Bonanza

Last night, Electronics Arts(EA) decided to be a little generous and offered few select people a coupon entitling them to $20 off, if they would complete a survey on Origin, EA’s digital distribution service. The coupon made it’s way across the Internet, went viral on Reddit and as a result, a lot of people were able to get the $20 off on few games which were retailing at $20, essentially giving them the game for free.

Origin Logo

Now the catch was that the coupon code was supposed to be one-time and applicable for one game — except EA forgot to put in the one-time check. Woops. Few enterprising souls discovered that they could use it multiple times. EA’s servers essentially didn’t bother to validate if the user had applied the code or not. Result: A lot of people got a lot of games for free. The list of games that could be purchased via the coupon code included

  • Battlefield 2 Complete Collection
  • Bulletstorm
  • Crysis and Crysis: Warhead
  • Dragon Age II
  • Dead Space 1 & 2
  • Mass Effect 1 & 2
  • Shank 1 & 2
  • The Saboteur

The exploit was patched nearly 18 hours after the coupon code was live, by means of making the coupon code as invalid. There were fears that people who made use of this exploit might face bans, but EA Community Manager rep confirmed that “they will honor all sales made with the coupon code.”

New Need For Speed Most Wanted Gets Demoed at E3 2012; Release Date Announced

Few days ago, I had written about a new Need For Speed: Most Wanted coming soon. At this year’s E3, EA gave a demo of Need For Speed: Most Wanted and showed us what can be expected from it.

Being developed by Criterion, the sequel to Most Wanted looks like a Burnout Game in Need For Speed clothing. Each race will have a start and finish line; how you reach the line is completely up to you. You can take the tarmac roads, go hunting for shortcuts or even go offroad. Autolog will be available as well and you and your Autolog friends should be able to jump into the race at any point of time. Need for Speed Most Wanted will be released on October 30th in North America and November 1st in Europe for all major consoles (PS3, Xbox 360), PC and portable and mobile devices.

Till then, there’s a short gameplay video of what you can expect

New Need For Speed: Most Wanted Is Coming Soon

Ask any gamer who likes Racing genre of games what their favorite game is and you’re bound to hear about Need For Speed: Most Wanted a lot of times. Need For Speed: Most Wanted was an absolute blast of a game, combining what most people crave – open world racing, car customization, street racing and cop chases.

IGN reports that a new New Need For Speed: Most Wanted is coming soon, and this was outed by TwitchTV’s E3 gaming schedule.  Whether the new Most Wanted will be a reboot of the series or a sequel remains to be seen; there’s no news on what the new game’s going to be like. Come E3 2012, however, this should be clear.

E3 2012 begins June 5th, 2012. And in case you don’t know what Most Wanted is all about, here’s Most Wanted’s trailer to bring you up to speed.

FIFA 12 PC Review

FIFA by EA Sports is one of the most played sports game in the world. Earlier, it faced heavy competition from PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) in terms of game play, but since FIFA 11 was released, it has improved in leaps and bound. FIFA 12 is the best from EA Sports so far. The brilliant individual player control and intelligent CPU game play along with numerous new features in various modes has made it the best football game in the market.

FIFA 12 Arena

FIFA 12 Arena

Let’s start with the game play; the player control has been massively improved. Unlike earlier versions of FIFA, FIFA 12 has slowed down the game speed which gives the gamer a fraction more time to swiftly control their player by just jogging or jogging while pressing the Pace control button, it also makes skill moves easier to perform during matches.

FIFA 12 Starting a match

FIFA 12 Side Selection

FIFA 12 Game

FIFA 12 On going Game Screen

You can make the game play more realistic by turning off numerous Auto assist options like pass power, and direction  from settings. Some players have specialties. For example Wayne Rooney has engine, distance shooter and clinical finisher specialties; this makes his distance shooting more effective in scoring goals and also has high scoring percentage inside the box. This brings the skills of individual players in the games closer to what they are in real life. If a player has a clear view of goal then he will score 8 out of 10 times.

FIFA 12 Rooney Scoring

FIFA 12 Rooney Scoring

FIFA 12 Real life impact

FIFA 12 Real Life Collision Impact

EA Sports has also introduced levels in FIFA 12 which helps to find suitable opponents  during online play and ranking yourself with your friends. Penalties have also changed in FIFA 12, which now has a meter. You have to shoot when the pointer is on the green patch. When shot at either end of the bar, the player usually slips, which is fun to watch. The intelligence of the CPU can be described by the fact that if a player like Peter Crouch is in the penalty box, the winger of his team will cross the ball immediately (note: Peter Crouch is 6 feet 7 inches tall), but if a shorter striker is present it will try to cut in with the ball. Midfielders like Fabregas are quick in picking out passes because of his high vision compared to Michael Carrick or Ji Sung Park.

FIFA 12 Real life movement

FIFA 12 Detailed Player Movement

FIFA 12 Scoring Goal

FIFA 12 Scoring by head

EA Sports also added a new style of defending called Tactical defending. Generally, people who have played an earlier version of FIFA used the sprint plus standing tackle button to win the ball. But the Tactical defending takes it to a new level and is extremely challenging for players. In Tactical defending, you have to control the direction and speed of the defender plus jockey and contain the opponent, then tackle only at the right time to win the ball, just as in real life. Tackle early, the player will go past you and tackle late, you will foul them. Tactical defending is very difficult to get used to, and frankly speaking, I couldn’t get used to it and switched back to old style of defending. However, many people will surely like this new style.

The most played mode in FIFA is the manager mode. I love this mode as it gives me a chance to do whatever I want to do with my team. In FIFA 12, the interface has been completely changed with most of the default screen occupied with News from around the football world. The news of your club and your players’ performance are highlighted here.

FIFA 12 Manager Mode Default Screen

FIFA 12 Manager Mode Default Screen

Rotating your squad is also a big challenge, as Form and Morale affect the attitude of the players. If you don’t play a certain player for a long time he’ll wish to leave the club. His form and morale will also dip as a consequence. Giving a chance to new players frequently will give their form and morale a boost, and you will be notified when that happens by a pop up message from that player after matches. The scouting network has changed a bit. Now you can simultaneously send three scouts to different locations. Sending and calling back a scout takes a few days, unlike earlier, where they could be called up immediately and sent to another location. As a manager, you can now get involved more deeply in the game because of the newly introduced option to comment on your team or opponent team before certain matches. You can use this opportunity to praise or motivate your team or any individual player which will increase the morale. At the same time, you can comment on the opponent team or players. Some people love to buy and sell players in manager mode, but the club budget can hinder the fun. In FIFA 12 you can choose your budget allocation between transfer budget and wage. You can decrease the wage bank to increase the transfer budget.

FIFA 12 Manager Mode Budget Allocation

FIFA 12 Manager Mode Budget Allocation

Apart from Manager Mode, one other mode which I like is Virtual Pro. You can create your own professional player and then complete the various accomplishments to increase his ratings. This is very addicting because of the fun of the accomplishment. The online playing option has been improved, and now you can play with players of your level, who will be automatically searched for. Various options, like online tournaments, increase the fun. But you need to have a fast and unlimited internet connection to play online. My 512kbps internet connection is slow to react to my controller action, hence it is difficult to play. An internet connection of 1Mbps should be good enough for a smooth experience. There is also a FIFA 12 Store where you can buy various additional features from EA, like Live Season, in which the player form in game is updated every week based on their real life performance. There are many other additional features which you can buy.

FIFA 12 post match

FIFA 12 Post Match

Overall the game is the best that EA Sports have produced so far. Excellent and intelligent game play makes it the best football game currently in the market. The real life impact of collision between players brings the experience closer to real life. If you are a football lover then don’t think even once before buying FIFA 12, and if you haven’t played football, FIFA 12 will surely bring your interest to the game. I rate FIFA 12 a solid 9 out of 10. You can’t afford to miss this one.

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Now Available On The Android Market

Electronic Arts, popularly known as E.A, is one of the biggest gaming publishers for all the  popular  gaming platforms including iOS, PS3, PC and Xbox. However, the company has not really been kind to the Android gamers and Android Market. The company only has a handful of games available on the Android Market, and none of them do justice to E.A’s name.

The company did release a few gaming titles including their popular Fifa series, but they  remain  limited to Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play. Today, E.A has finally released one of their popular racing titles – Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit – on the Android Market. The game was already available for Xperia Play owners, and now is available for all other Droid racers to enjoy on their phone as well. While the game might not be as graphically pleasing as its iOS counterpart, it still looks better than most other Android games out there.

Unlike Gameloft’s games, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit supports all the ‘latest’ Android phones with a 1GHz processor and a GPU.  The iOS version of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit has been available for nearly 6 months now. Hopefully, in the future E.A and other gaming publishers will simultaneously release games for both iOS and Android platforms.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is available for $4.99 on the Android Market. Here is the market link of the game.

Game4u to Hold Midnight Launch for Battlefield 3 in Mumbai, India

Update:Due to Battlefield 3 launch being delayed to October 28th, the midnight launch will happen at midnight on the 28th of October.

Battlefield 3, the latest game of Electronic Arts’  Battlefield  franchise is all set to launch in India on the 24th28th of October, 2011. In light of this, Game4u is set to hold a midnight launch in their retail store at Mega Mall, Oshiwara, Mumbai.

The launch is scheduled to happen on 24th October28th October early morning at 00:00 hours. The first customer to purchase Battlefield 3 will get a “First to Own” certificate from Game4u.

In addition to the certificate, the customer will also get a Razer Battlefield 3 Collector’s Edition Imperator mouse.

Razer BF3 Imperator Mouse

If you aren’t the lucky one to be the first in the line, then worry not! All customers who purchased Battlefield 3 during the midnight launch will enter a lucky draw with the following prizes up for grabs:

  • One Razer Battlefield 3 Edition Imperator mouse
  • Two Razer Battlefield 3 Edition Mouse pads
Battlefield  is the direct successor to the popular Battlefield 2, which was launched in 2005. Battlefield 3 features a single player, co-op and multi-player features with support for  up to  64 players on a single map on the PC version. Also included are vehicles and fighter jets.

So, if you’re an ardent Battlefield fan, head over to the Mega Mall and be part of the midnight launch! You just might end up winning some sweet goodies!

EA Buys PopCap to Fight Off Zynga

Today, Electronic Arts announced that it was acquiring PopCap Games for $750 million in cash and stock, plus up to $550 million in earnouts over the next couple years contingent on some revenue targets. Rumors of the acquisition started last month, after a report by Techcrunch.

PopCap was started eleven years ago, and is now of of the biggest creators of social games like Bejeweled, Plants vs Zombies, Baking Life and Zuma Blitz with nearly 17.5 million monthly active users.

EA Acquires PopCap Games

This isn’t EA’s first acquisition in the social gaming space. It acquired Playfish in 2009 for nearly $300 million and has subsequently been able to become one of the biggest names in social gaming with more than 30 million monthly active users.

With the PopCap acquisition, EA would become the number two social game company in terms of users, with over close to 50 million users, second only to Zynga, which has more than 275 million.

EA is still far behind Zynga, but with too much competition, acquisitions like these are the only way to grow fast in this exploding space of social gaming. Zynga is expected to raise close to $1 billion in the coming months, via the IPO route. Activision, EA’s closest competitor, may also be planning to snatch a few social gaming companies in the future.

Electronic Arts/BioWare Hacked, Customer Information Stolen

In a continuing pattern of attacks on high profile targets, Electronic Arts has suffered a breach of security. The attack, which occurred on June 14, effected the message board system for one of the companies older titles.

According to EA, the server hosting the message board for Neverwinter Nights, a 10-year old game by BioWare, suffered a “highly sophisticates and unlawful” attack. In a post dates June 23, EA reports that, while no sensitive personal information like credit card or social security numbers were taken, a large amount of user’s personal data is at risk. This data included user names, encrypted passwords, e-mail addresses, mailing addresses, and phone numbers.

BioWare Ea Hack Homepage

While the full extent of the hack is unknown, EA is assuring its users that they have re-secured the server and are working hard to inform anyone they believe to be affected by the attack. The company wrote in its forum post that it is e-mailing “all potentially affected users.”

If you are an active user of the Neverwinter Nights forum and do not receive an email from EA, then you may be one of the lucky ones who were unaffected. That doesn’t mean you can relax, however. It is important to remember that security measures are important.

With the recent surge in attacks on popular websites, we should all remember to practice good security practices. That includs being wary of who we give sensitive information to, as well as changing our passwords frequently.

As of this writing, no group has stepped up to claim responsibility for the hack. EA is continuing to investigate in hopes of discovering the full extent as well as the identity of the individual or group responsible.

Preorder Battlefield 3 and Get Expansion Pack Free

Well it’s about time if you ask me. Electronic Arts’ successor to the 2005 hit Battlefield 2 has just posted the the preorder incentives. Preordering Battlefield 3 gets you the first digital expansion pack Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand absolutely free! The expansion features a lot of the old, beloved, maps from Battlefield 2:-


Pre-order Battlefield 3 to receive the digital expansion pack Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand at no extra charge! This themed multiplayer expansion pack includes four legendary maps from Battlefield 2 boldly re-imagined with Frostbiteâ„¢ 2 physics, destruction and visuals. Completing the package are classic Battlefield 2 weapons and vehicles, unique rewards, new achievements/trophies, and more.

The Frostbite 2 is the new game engine that is powering Battlefield 3. The visuals introduced by the Frostbite 2 engine along with the physics (as detailed above) give quite the realistic feel of a battle being fought around you. I can only imagine how this game would be if I were to play it on one of those high-end rigs:-

Battlefield 3 introduces Frostbite 2, the incredible technology that takes animation, destruction, lighting, scale and audio to new heights.   Built upon this powerful game engine, Battlefield 3 immerses players physically and emotionally to the world around them like never before.

To find out more about Battlefield 3 and its immersive engine, do check out the EA UK site.

Medal of Honor Developer Working on Sequel

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING…is how the most recent Medal of Honor blog post starts. At that point of time I was wondering about a great many things. I was wondering if there would be a cow level in a Medal of Honor expansion, whether we would get to implement nether portals in the game (and get transported to a Minecraft world) or, very typically, whether pigs have wings.


But, oh no, I was never wondering whether Medal of Honor will have a sequel. I swear!

Nevertheless, yes, it seems that Danger Close is closing in on the sequel for Medal of Honor. The reboot of the original war shooter (before most of the original developers quit and became Infinity Ward, developer of the hugely popular Call of Duty series) in a modern garb saw much takers. 5 million takers, to be exact:-

Just recently, EA announced that the reboot of Medal of Honor was a big success with over 5 million copies sold. We wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for supporting us, our new studio and our storied franchise. We would especially like to thank all of the long time Medal of Honor fans out there who have stuck with us over the years.

Since our launch last October, we’ve studied, listened and absorbed much of your feedback and are very excited to be marching forward on the next title.

The last line rings out a bell for all Medal of Honor lovers. The next titlehere is the sequel, and EA is so happy with the sales figures that they are actually commissioning it. Considering that EA’s other shooter Battlefield 3 has also been seen in the developer forest, grazing and getting developed it will be fun to see exactly what the direction of Medal of Honor 2 will be.