EA have bought the Swedish web-based game developer ESN, makers of Battlefield 3's Battlelog service. The purchase means the company will now "focus all of its energy on DICE, Battlelog and the Battlefield series". Good news for Battlelog, bad news for ESN's other clients.
"The ESN team is extremely happy to announce that we now are a part of the Electronic Arts family," wrote ESN on their blog. "During the past few years we have been working closely together with EA and DICE to build Battlelog for Battlefield 3. We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity and the team is looking forward to focus all of its energy on DICE, Battlelog and the Battlefield series."
TechCrunch speculate that this acquisition "could be a sign that EA could use the platforms to bring in more third-partly publishers under the EA umbrella" and that we may start seeing Battlelog-esque launchers in other EA products. This might not be so great for us gamers.
Battlelog isn't great. Instead of booting the game when you launch Battlefield, you open a web browser and select servers there, this then starts the game. Each time you change servers you have to exit the game and load up the browser, refresh, and reload the game. It's a faff. The advantage of Battlelog is you can talk to your friends, edit your equipment loadout, and queue for servers without actually being in the game; but you can chat with friends in Skype already and how often are you going to be wanting to do things like edit your loadout when you aren't in the game?