Battlefield: Bad Company 2 DLC Due Alongside Modern Warfare 2's as DICE Throws Gauntlet

With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward promising to cure the shooter's "mapathy" with some downloadable content on March 30, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 developer EA DICE has thrown down the gauntlet.

The same day, March 30, will see DICE release its second "VIP Map Pack" for Bad Company 2, it revealed in a blog post titled "how to avoid 'mapathy' without paying."

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Available as a free unlock to those that bought the game new, VIP Map Pack 2 will enable players to play Arica Harbor in Conquest Mode and Laguna Presa in Rush Mode. And unlike Modern Warfare 2's downloadable content, which is hitting Xbox 360 before PC and PlayStation 3, Bad Company 2's will hit all three platforms on the same day.

"We're dedicated to taking care of this product for a long time - helping you avoid "mapathy" without getting nickel-and-dimed," said DICE, explaining:

[New content] also plays a vital part in making sure you, the players get proper value for the money you've invested in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. This is why these map packs are available at no extra cost, contradicting the industry standard and what our direct competitors are doing. Of course, it also helps avoid segmenting the community, making sure everyone can play together having the same maps available. There will be future paid downloadable content as well but these packs will focus on expanding other parts of the game experience rather than the selection of maps available for the basic game modes

Of course, that "free" part only applies to those with a new copy of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. As part of EA's fight against piracy and second-hand sales, new copies of the console editions come with a one-time use code to redeem the "VIP Membership" that delivers free content--second-hand players need to pay for VIP treatment, even though the maps are already on the game disc and simply unlocked by the download.