Unlike previous games in the series, Battlefield V won't feature any paid expansions (DLC) or a premium battle pass. DICE announced the big news during their official reveal stream on Wednesday to much enthusiasm. This is an effort to push the game's Tides of War, which is what Electronic Arts is calling the first-person shooter's ongoing live service, and to keep the community on the same journey.
Previous games in the Battlefield series have featured paid downloadable content that added in new weapons, maps, and various other content to the multiplayer. For example, 2016's Battlefield 1 had a premium pass that cost $49.99 on top of the initial game purchase. This practice - and EA selling "shortcuts" to unlock weapons and attachments - had been criticized in the past due to it its effect on gameplay design and on the maps front, splitting the active user base into two groups: those who own the DLC and those with only the base game. Electronic Arts had previously strayed away from paid DLC with Titanfall 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2 (among other titles), so this move isn't totally unprecedented for the publisher.
The erasure of season passes for content, battle passes, and traditional map packs are all but dead now in triple-A games. Ubisoft and Xbox already did away with these for their flagship games, and last week Activision and Treyarch announced that they won't have a season pass with DLC maps for the first time in that franchise, so it's no surprise that Battlefield V is following suit. Instead, monetization will likely come through cosmetic purchases since this is massive core element to BFV's progression system. Battlefield V players will be able to carry weapons, soldiers, and vehicles between the coop Combined Arms mode and competitive multiplayer and customize everything from helmets, face paint, shirts, and pants, to 5-7 pieces on their weapons, and even mesh layers, branches, and camo paints on their vehicles.
This major change means that everyone will have access to all of Battlefield V's content after they buy the game. No maps, modes, or expansion packs will be behind a pay wall. The promise of Tides of War is to interweave multiplayer with an overarching narrative, and to consistently add in new timed events and challenges that will keep players - all players - coming back to the game. According to the developers, this is something they've wanted for a long time, and the powers that be at EA and DICE are finally letting it happen. So, none of this...
While plenty of the in-game events will take some liberties with World War II, others will be historically accurate journeys. DICE said these will feature restricted rule sets and a guided narrative. They used the Battle of Narvik as an example, and explained that they can use these vents to tell players what happened at the beginning of the Second World War.
Despite the company having a rocky reputation amongst gamers (thanks to everything that went down with Star Wars: Battlefront II), this is an incredibly pro-consumer and smart long-term move by Electronic Arts.
Battlefield V releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 19. A play first trial will launch October 11, and the deluxe edition of the shooter will release three days early on October 16.