After the epic fallout surrounding Star Wars Battlefront 2, DICE has been forced to have a major think about how it handles monetisation in Battlefield V. They cannot risk another disaster this year, and the word from the Battlefield 5 reveal is that the criticism has been taken on board.
As a result, Battlefield V will follow in the footsteps of Star Wars Battlefront 2 and will not have the Premium Pass, with DICE going a step further and also totally ruling out loot boxes. This means that all additional maps, modes and core content released for Battlefield V after launch will be freely available to everyone. Players will not be segregated by the haves and the have-nots, allowing for a unified player base across all maps and modes.
The Battlefield series has long been one of the leading proponents of the season pass, becoming a key feature of the series ever since Battlefield 3. The extra $50 purchase typically granted to access to four or five new map packs, each usually containing four new maps. In the years since, games such as Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege have shown that free maps can be a successful business model, provided that the lost income is supplemented by cosmetic DLC.
Unlike Star Wars Battlefront 2 though, Battlefield V won’t have loot crates either. Battlefield 1 had a loot box variant called Battle Packs, but Battlefield V will have no randomised cosmetic or gameplay-affecting loot boxes. Instead, BFV has an extensive progression system and a constant array of live events, all of which can be engaged with to unlock new gear and cosmetic items for your Company of customised soldiers.
On the subject of microtransactions, EA has said it has nothing to share at the moment. We know that there will be randomised loot boxes, leaving just one probably alternative - players can buy player and weapon skins a la carte, following the Fortnite business model.
On the surface, this sounds exactly like what we wanted to hear, but it’s worth bearing in mind that Star Wars Battlefront 2’s approach also sounded great at the time. It does seem unlikely that EA or DICE would commit the same mistakes again though.
How are you feeling about the removal of the Premium Pass for Battlefield V? Good news, or does this just mean we expect less content post-launch? Let us know!