Sandwiched between the year’s two biggest games, Battlefield V‘s preorder sales are looking weak compared to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2. But that’s okay, because publisher EA has a backup plan in case the game’s sales suck at launch. Well, sort of.
According to Venture Beat (via VG 24/7), Battlefield V‘s preorder numbers are even lagging behind EA’s own internal predictions, which has led the publisher to figure out ways to incentivize players to jump in post-launch. The report states that “EA is working on a big surprise for long-time Battlefield fans” if sales suck following its initial release.
What this “big surprise” will be is anyone’s guess. The report theorizes that it’s going to come in the form of free DLC, which doesn’t make too much sense considering Battlefield V‘s Tides of War post-launch content schedule promises that all DLC will be free, no matter how many Battlefield games you’ve played.
EA is also reportedly banking on the game’s battle royale mode to inject more life into the title post-launch. The mode isn’t scheduled to launch with the game, so maybe EA is hoping that it will bring players to the title after the apocalyptic rush of new releases fizzles out after the holiday season. Whether this counts as a “contingency plan,” considering the mode’s already been announced, is debatable, but it will most likely bring new and returning players to the game when it launches, whenever that will be.
Battlefield V‘s initial announcement event was disappointing to some fans, and it seems like pushing the game into the public eye has been an uphill battle for developer DICE and EA ever since. The recent exit of EA chief design director Patrick Söderlund, who was closely tied to the Battlefield series and played an integral role in developing the Frostbite engine, caused rumors to flair up that his departure had to do with Battlefield V‘s lagging preorders, though Venture Beat reports that this wasn’t the case.
In my mind, it’s a little too early to call Battlefield V dead on arrival. The open beta is launching on September 6th and will give most players their first taste of the next Battlefield. If interest in the game is still low after that, then it might be time for EA to start worrying. But until actual players can try the game for themselves and judge it on its actual merits and not the ravings of Battlefield’s most vocal (and reactionary) online community members, we should probably still give the game a chance.
Battlefield V launches on October 19th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.