World War Too: Battlefield V to Ditch Season Pass

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Xbox One with 16 Comments

Following on the heels of Call of Duty: WWII, the next entry in the Battlefield series will also be set in World War II. But the similarities end there.

“We’ve created several incarnations of Battlefield titles in different eras, each with a different focus,” EA’s Lars Gustavsson writes. “But we’ve always yearned to return to WW2.”

Helping matters, COD returned to World War II last year with the critically-acclaimed Call of Duty: WWII. But then, Battlefield has been playing second-fiddle to COD for 15 years.

Yes, some will argue that the Battlefield series actually predates Call of Duty: After all, Battlefield 1942, which was set in World War II, debuted in 1999, four years ahead of the original COD. But the fact remains that COD has dominated the first-person shooter market—and, pretty much all of video gaming—since its release. And it has handily outsold Battlefield at every turn.

That lopsidedness has caused Battlefield‘s makers to get experimental over the years. And while I’ve never quite appreciated their work fully—Battlefield games always seem “off” to me, compared to COD—many obviously do. And EA’s 2016 release, Battlefield I, which was set in World War I, was a huge success, both critically and commercially.

And with COD at least temporarily abandoning World War II again—Black Ops 4 is set in the near future—it’s interesting that EA is stepping in to fill the gap with Battlefield V. (Why it’s not called Battlefield II is a mystery, as that name is perfect. Yes, I know about Battlefield 2.) And they’re doing so in that same quirky, experimental style that the series is famous for.

Black Ops 4, famously, is ditching the single-player campaign. But Battlefield V is not, and it looks like EA is using the same, well-received mini-vignettes featuring multiple characters that it used in Battlefield I. That’s smart, and it will be a nice bonus for those gamers who aren’t sure about the Black Ops 4 strategy.

The most impressive thing that EA is doing this time around, however, is abandoning the Season Pass, which generally doubles the price of a game for those who wish to get a year of new multiplayer maps and other DLC (downloadable content). Instead, all DLC will be free for owners of the game. That, folks, is amazing, even if it does speak to the hole the series finds itself in against COD. You can’t argue with free.

Also, Battlefield V will not ship with a “battle royale” multiplayer game mode that emulates the gameplay style in PUBG and Fornite, as Black Ops 4 will. I suspect this is because the multiplayer game mechanics in the Battlefield series are so different, and favor slow boil tension on big maps over the twitchy action common in COD. This basically means that the positioning of this game will be consistent with previous BF titles.

There are some goofy, but inclusive, elements to this game too, like the women characters—one of whom appears to have a robotic prosthetic arm—battling their way through the European Theater in the reveal trailer. This may anger purists, but it should delight all normal people. Inclusion is always the right move, and personalization is important to many gamers.

This game looks great, though we’re only seeing the single-player bits for now. But I’m surprised to note that I’m looking forward to another visceral romp through WWII.


Tagged with , ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (16)

16 responses to “World War Too: Battlefield V to Ditch Season Pass”

  1. Stooks

    "Battlefield has been playing second-fiddle to COD for 15 years."

    In terms of sales only, end of story. COD was a good twitch MP game up to COD 4 Modern Warfare. After that it just got stupid and stupid for so many reasons.

    COD still uses a highly modified id Tech 3 game engine. That is the Quake III Arena game engine. It is the reason whey you don't get destruction or real vehicle play like you do with Battlefield games. It is the reason why the maps are tiny in comparison. It is the reason why the graphics have seemed to be maxed out in terms of detail and quality, animations of characters, explosions etc all look weak in comparison to the Battlefield engine.

    Because of the sad engine used in COD you get some really stupid game play, bunny hopping and sliding on the ground. The sniper class in COD is a complete joke. The maps are way to small to effectively use that class (take out a opponent at long range) and so we end up with this childish quick-scoping BS that the game maker refuses to get rid of.

    BF games in terms of realism, gameplay and overall value are 100x better. Big maps, with better detail, better explosions, better animations, vehicles that you can actually drive, with multiple vehicle types, no stupid GOLD guns or unrealistic perks, strategies that can be used with each map because they are bigger. Also a much more mature crowd when it comes to MP.

    COD and Atari have been riding the games early popularity since COD 4. It is a cash cow. Basically a new skin/mod to the same old weak game engine, churned out each year. It attracts the younger ADD crowd that need quick, easy gaming. I bought the last COD and I had not bought one since MW2, which I quit shortly after the SP game was over because of the childish MP gaming....knife throwing across a map...or wait double knife throwing. Anyhow I hoped that last COD had improved. Nope, nada, I was wrong. The SP was a good enough on the rails game...if you got it on a deep sale. Nothing like a Wolfenstein SP game which are just great SP games. The MP had not changed at all. It was my last COD, unless they radically upgrade/change the game and have a demo that I can test it on. By dumping the SP game they will lose even more sales.

    I predict that this new BF will out sell COD this year.

  2. KingNerdTheThird

    When you mentioned the robotic arm I thought maybe this would be an alternative history of sorts but it does look like the arm is a dummy prosthetic. That's a little disappointing, I would love am alternate history game.

  3. Mestiphal

    They have also given away free every single DLC for Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to Mestiphal:

      Interesting. They didn't do this for BF1 then.

      • Stooks

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        They have done it with BF1 but long after you could purchase it. Yesterday at the end of the announcement they released a DLC for BF1 for free. It is old now.

        They know that the DLC servers get way less play and its not good for those of use that pay for it and I bet fewer and fewer people buy the DLC for that reason. Today if you want a full game on BF1 it will be a original game map 80% of the time.

  4. Andi

    There is a mistake in the article. Bf1942 is a 2002 title.

    Also COD is a Counter Strike type of game. A simple run and gun that everyone can get into, that is why it has been so popular. BF is a sandbox game that adds vehicles in the mix and requires some relative skill. It focuses on ample maps and large numbers of players. That's why it was always less popular but at the same time always the better game.

      • Andi

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Excuse me Paul but my memory does not deceive me and wikipedia confirms my date. Perhaps you meant Medal of Honor. The first Medal of Honor game was released in 1999. Battlefield 1942 was released September 2002 for WIndows and June 2004 for OSX. Please correct your article.

        Edit: I was a Bf1942 fanatic back in the day.

  5. Travis

    I must be in the minority. I love the BF games and don’t care for COD at all. I really don’t like the COD controls as they don’t feel right to me. I also like being able to drive vehicles, the larger maps and the ability for me to get my bearings a bit before I go looking for a firefight.

  6. Waethorn

    That is NOT a robotic prosthetic arm. It's a standard pronged hook-type prosthetic that has seen common use in that past few decades that opens and closes based on muscle contractions higher in the arm. Now, whether it was available in the WWII-era (I don't know), that can just be a historical inaccuracy. These games are pretty inaccurate as it is. You wouldn't have machines moving with as much action as they show in this murder/death-porn in the opening cut-scene - certainly not airplanes flying 3 feet from the ground. They over-adrenalize the action scenes here.

  7. spacein_vader

    "But the fact remains that COD has dominated the first-person shooter market—and, pretty much all of video gaming—since its release"

    World of Warcraft, the FIFA series and particularly Grand Theft Auto would like a word.

    GTA V recently became the single highest grossing entertainment product of all time. No single movie, album, video game, TV show or book has brought in more cash. Ever.

    • Stooks

      In reply to spacein_vader:

      Paul is a super duper die hard COD fan. The facts are kind of blurry for him when it comes to gaming.

      • irfaanwahid

        In reply to Stooks:

        I lost interest in COD games some years back. Not sure if it's just me but I felt every new COD game was similar to the previous release.

        Now when it comes FPS or war games, my first preference is always Battlefield, and B1 was such an amazing and fresh game.

        I look forward to BFV.

  8. Bart

    Could be me, but I find this trailer horrible. I understand the "chaos" that ensued in WWII, but this is just too much. That said, boots on the ground, back in the trenches? Sign me up!

  9. Patrick3D

    Battlefield 1942 was released in 2002 (not 1999), I know this because I was a tester on it at EA.