Fans of the Battlefield franchise are eagerly anticipating the upcoming reveal of the next entry in the series, with recent reports suggesting that the next Battlefield will be set during World War II and will be called Battlefield V. But one of the big questions on everyone’s mind is how developer DICE and publisher EA will handle the next Battlefield’s microtransactions following Star Wars Battlefront II‘s infamous “pay-to-win” loot box-related controversy.
According to Kotaku, which spoke to sources close to the game, reports that the next Battlefield would follow in Battlefield 1‘s footsteps by including cosmetic-only loot boxes are “accurate, if a bit premature.”
This is in response to a report from USgamer, which stated that not only will loot boxes contain cosmetic items only but that there will be “[w]ay more customization options for your soldiers than [in] previous games.”
However, according to one of Kotaku’s sources, USgamer’s report is “making a conclusion about something that is still inconclusive.” In other words, Battlefield 2018’s microtransactions have changed before, and they could change again before the game launches in October.
Microtransactions have never really been an issue for the Battlefield series until now. That’s because DICE and EA have historically covered their continued development costs for each Battlefield game by charging for expansion packs, known as Premium Pass in the most recent titles. But with Battlefront II, EA and DICE tried to move away from the Premium Pass model, which many players say splits the player-base between the haves and the have-nots, resulting in less populated servers. Instead, they tried to offer players enough of an incentive to pay for loot boxes by including elements that some claimed created a “pay-to-win” situation in a game that already cost $60. We know how that turned out.
EA CFO Blake Jorgensen has previously stated that the Battlefront II pay-to-win controversy was a “learning experience” for both the publisher and the developer. That either means that Battlefield 2018’s loot boxes will only contain cosmetic items, or it means that EA and DICE will just get better at putting a positive spin on pay-to-win microtransactions. Or it was just Jorgensen’s way of trying to calm down investors.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind paying for another Battlefield Premium Pass considering the massive amounts of content that they traditionally offer, even if DICE did screw over early adopters with Battlefield 1. However, if EA and DICE do want to move away from Premium Pass and focus on microtransactions, I personally believe that adding more cosmetic personality to the player characters is the right way to do it.