As Battlefield V pushes forward to its October release, additional details have emerged about its planned currency and unlock systems. With loot boxes being de rigueur in marketing AAA games, EA DICE is drawing a line in the sand, stating that no loot box economies will infiltrate its militaristic WW2 shooter, relegating premium currency exclusively to cosmetic player add-ons.
DICE’s new game, while containing a highly anticipated single-player campaign, will doubtlessly live and die post-launch by the strength of its multiplayer. Luckily, the brand has typically shined in that regard, with expansive 64-player objective-based maps and a proven attention to this component of the modern FPS, most recently recognized in the best-selling Battlefield 1. Many gamers will definitely be looking forward to going online as soon as possible after launch day.
A majority of multiplayer shooters these days do indeed focus on loot boxes to stimulate post-purchase consumer engagement. Full-price boxed games like Destiny 2 and even Valve’s genre-defining class-based shooter Team Fortress 2 have regularly tangled with locked boxes, loot boxes, and other randomized economies of microtranscation. Some of these purchasable rewards do indeed result in an effect on gameplay, with the latter offering options for weapons and skill-augmenting items in the earlier days of the trend.
According to DICE, as reported by Polygon, Battlefield V will eschew this model, motivating to something closer to Overwatch (without the loot boxes), with cosmetic unlocks the only ones available for real-money purchase. This essentially means no loot boxes, keys, or gambling mechanics. The cosmetic enhancements will be available to modify both online avatars - in Battlefield V, players will be able to design a “Company” with various characters - as well as vehicles like tanks and planes.
None of this means that mechanical upgrades are unavailable, however, and playing online will grant players cumulative opportunities to expand their arsenal and increase their competitive capabilities and choices. But, these developing upgrades will only be accessible by playing the game, not by opening a wallet.
In recent years, the perpetual hunt for “whales” by AAA companies and mobile phone games has compelled increased consumer attention to the developers who bow out of these trends outright. DICE’s decision to avoid anything approaching “pay to win” in this regard is worthy of praise; it communicates a philosophy that highlights player ability and skill, and a trust in the design of their game, which heads into “play first” access on October 11. Or, to put it in other words: Perhaps DICE has duly learned from their experience with Star Wars Battlefront 2.
Battlefield V releases on Windows, PS4, and XBOX One on October 16 for those who purchase the Deluxe Edition, with Standard Edition purchasers able to enter the game on October 19.