It’s now been exactly one year since Battlefield V was revealed to the world. It was a fateful date for the franchise, kickstarting a turbulent few months of bizarre controversies that clouded any genuine issues. A faction of the net ended up so distracted by a few cosmetic elements that talk of the actual game fell by the wayside.
Fast forward one year and Battlefield V is now seven months old. It featured arguably the strongest core in a Battlefield title since Battlefield 3, but all those predictions that the lack of a Premium Pass would lead to a lack of post-launch content certainly bore fruit. At the time of writing, BFV has received just a single Conquest map since launch. The community has long been riled. Not even the biggest pessimist thought we’d get one new map in the last 198 days.
Instead, we’ve been given the divisive Firestorm battle royale mode, as well as weekly updates with a handful of new weapons and cycling game modes to try and keep things fresh. There’s no arguing that Battlefield V is lighter on content than practically every Battlefield before it though, and the lack of a Premium Pass is probably a strong reason for this.
The flipside is, well, map packs suck. They splinter the community into the haves and the have nots. DLC server playlists run the risk of becoming dead within weeks. Free maps post-launch, funded by cosmetics, is the accepted middle ground that keeps the player base healthy and active. It’s a template that works, as Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege can attest. The one proviso of this system is that said new content does come. In the case of Battlefield V it simply hasn’t, for now at least.
It’s all meant that Battlefield 5 has taken a bit of a battering. This could all change soon enough if DICE suddenly announces a torrent of maps and new factions coming our way, but it looks like a shrinking possibility when it’s taken almost 200 days to give us just 1. Which is a shame because, despite all of that, Battlefield V is a very competent shooter and the strongest base for the franchise in many a year. Changes to the class systems, squad revives, lower TTD, and fortifications are all for the better when compared to Battlefield 1. The less said about Battlefield 4, the better. I went back and played it for a few hours this weekend just gone to refresh myself. It’s an absolute mess of poor enemy visuals, overly chaotic map design, overkill on AA weaponry, and spawns thats are all over the place. In that sense, the Battlefield franchise is getting back on track, albeit thrown a curveball thanks to the dreadful Battlefield V post-launch support.
Crucially though, Battlefield V clearly hasn’t sold that well. EA has admitted this outing has been a disappointment. So where next for one of the most beloved multiplayer shooter franchises of all time?
Well, there are two obviously viable routes forward - Battlefield 6 and Battlefield Bad Company 3. However you want to shake it, modern warfare seems all but guaranteed. I’d prefer just about anything historical, to be honest, but the thirst for another modern Battlefield is certainly real. Bad Company was a turning point for the series, particularly when it began to attain widespread appeal on consoles. Going with Bad Company 3 would essentially wash away the taint that currently affects the core franchise and could well get the fans back on board.
Whatever DICE does with the Battlefield franchise next though, it is absolutely crucial that it launches with plenty of content and game modes. It’s also going to be preferable that all post-launch gameplay content is free, and that DICE is actually allowed the time and money to create a bucketload of additional content. While we’re at - sack off the single-player campaign too. Battlefield never used to have a campaign and it’s certainly never had a great campaign. Drive those resources into more multiplayer content rather than single-player.
And one final point - I think it’s about time EA and DICE abandoned the two-year development cycle for Battlefield. It’s clearly not enough and it desperately shows. There needs to a minimum of three years between each Battlefield game. This means more content at launch for each game, and also a longer lifespan.
So enough of my waffling because I could go on about this franchise. What we want to know is what are your thoughts for the future of the Battlefield franchise? Which game should DICE develop next, and how should they do it differently?