EA Withdrawing Non-Rented Battlefield 3 Servers

Venturebeat is reporting that EA are gradually pulling pretty much every ‘official’ Battlefield 3 server, leaving only a few remaining amongst those that gamers have themselves ‘rented’ as a means of playing the game online.

Renting a server costs $30 a month, and once you have control over one you can set your own rules. Thankfully, most of them are still open for others to join freely, even if the rules (and hosts) might not always be to your taste.


“Initially there were plenty of official DICE and EA servers running concurrently with the new private servers,” says the article, “however, console players have noticed the official servers disappearing, to the point where DICE-managed servers are no longer visible.”

Users are understandably annoyed.

“I haven’t played in over two weeks because of it,” said one in a question and answer session on Reddit, “abusive admins and 2000% ticket servers are everywhere and I can’t seem to find a normal server with vanilla BF3.”

Conquest mode, the mode that set up Battlefield, appears to be almost completely absent on the few remaining official servers.

Something tells me the rental system really took off, starting making lots of money and then EA saw there was little reason to keep the free, public servers running.

But perhaps I’m just being a cynical old fogey.



  1. what the fuck seriously!?

  2. This is ridiculous. I do agree with the Reddit quote though, it is now extremely difficult to find any game with a sensible amount of tickets or variety. Come on EA please sort this out, otherwise I’m more than likely selling BF3.

  3. This is a stupid move!

    I hate joining servers that are run by douchy admins who kick you for ruining their streak or change you to lower team etc. I also don’t wanna play CQ on 4 hour server.
    If this is true, I will boycott EA games along with my current boycott of Activision.

  4. this is ridiculous. they said it was going to happen from day 1, and only now people care? and besides, on PC at least its a huge improvement since it allows servers to ban things such as m26 mass, AT on infantry, shotguns, bolt action snipers and I’ve never once been kicked.

    • I don’t think it’s ridiculous to be annoyed. I wasn’t aware that the service was going this way, and I have been checking sites like this every day for years. Also, I don’t think it’s fair that we pay for a PS3 “online pass” (which isn’t really an online pass) and then still have to pay for a server too. EA are setting a precedence here and maybe taking a step closer towards pay-to-play monthly subscription gaming. Not good in my opinion.

      • Yeah, i have to adamit that i too had no idea that the overall plan was to replace the servers with paid for ones – That’s not a practice i agree with. At all.

        Sure, add in the rentable servers so that those who wish to pay the money can play the game as they wish, that’s fine, but there should still be an option to play on the original servers with original rules.

        This is not what i signed up for.

      • Indeed, or even after a reasonable timescale for an AAA game like after the 1st year, but surely not this early.

      • from youles comments it seems you think everyone has to pay? its not like that, as long as its a public server (nearly all are) the anyone can join 24/7 for free regardless of whether there’s admin on. I’ve only played with custom servers on PC and the maturity of admin seems to be fairly high.

      • @david24
        The point is we’ve already paid for servers not to have any independent admin, abuse or not. And yes they said it would happen eventually but in 7 months? That’s a deplorable. Also, if it’s in the game, no one should be banned for using anything.

  5. Interestingly one of the dice dev team tweeted last night he got banned from a server for using the dart attachment lol.
    It’s no surprise about this really, 2 forums I regularly use have their own ps3 servers paid for by members & it works well generally, we leave them open for all too, acts like site promotion as the admins are fair in how it’s looked after.

  6. “Something tells me the rental system really took off, starting making lots of money and then EA saw there was little reason to keep the free, public servers running.”

    except they’re not really free are they?

    the whole online pass bullshit means the online mode is now effectively a paid for service.

    if all the servers are rented from players, they won’t need to charge for the online pass right?

    yeah, as if. o_O

    • Not entirely true. The online pass is free for all new copies of the game. You only have to pay for the pass if you buy the game pre-owned.

      • It’s not really free – it’s factored into the cost of the game.

      • but the fact remains they’ve put a price value on the multiplayer component.

        if that price isn’t for server upkeep, what is it for?

      • and that price has to be factored into the value of the game if you choose to sell or trade it

  7. That is disgusting! Especially that need an online pass!
    It beggars belief :(

  8. So what does my “online pass” actually cover then?
    What happens if all player rented servers are for private matches? An unlikely scenario sure, but it could happen.

    • That is exactly what I thought. I know it’s a long shot, but what if no-one ever rented a server? There would then be no servers to play at all, thus rendering the MP and an online pass useless.

  9. As Online passes are meant to cover server costs, that’s the line we have alwasy been given.. er.. hmmm.

  10. I had noticed it has become a lot harder to find a server that wasn’t ‘bobs sexeh server – No noobs aloud!’, but i had no idea that they were actively withdrawing the official servers! That would explain why i wasn’t able to find a single one a couple of weeks back then!

    I have been a supporter of BF3 from day one (since playing it at eurogamer actually), but i just can’t get bahind this. Sure, add in rentable servers for freedom of choice, but don’t remove things that should be in any multiplayer game on the PlayStation – Official servers that are free to play on.

    Bad move EA, bad move.

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