DICE hosted its big Battlefield V reveal in London today and possibly the biggest announcement to come out of the event is the fact that the game will be doing away with the DLC season pass.
According to EA, this move comes as a direct response to feedback from the community, as well as the team at DICE itself. In the past, players would buy a Battlefield game and, in order to enjoy additional multiplayer maps and the like, fork over some additional cash for DLC every few months. Or, you could always buy a season pass, basically reserving that DLC bright and early.
According to today's big Battlefield V reveal, that whole process is being done away with. Instead, DICE has revealed what they're calling Tides of War, a system that will offer new maps, modes and additional content to all players, on all platforms, at the same time. Oh, and did we mention that this will be at no additional cost?
This method of distributing DLC isn't exactly new or revolutionary; it just isn't typically practiced with big, annualized shooters like Battlefield or Call of Duty. The most recent examples we can think of are games like Overwatch and the highly underappreciated Titanfall 2. Both of those games charge players for cosmetic items and the like, but all modes and maps are delivered to all players at no additional cost.
The reasoning for this is simple: It keeps the community together and helps build a stronger sense of loyalty to a game. Each DLC bundle that typically drops for a shooter fragments the community. When Map Pack 1 drops, for instance, you've now got two communities of players: Those who bought the DLC and those who did not. When Map Pack 2 drops, that fragmentation only gets worse. Suddenly you've got a bunch of different pools of players to account for and those who aren't able to fork over more cash for more DLC can become disenchanted with a game that boasts a bunch of maps and modes they are unable to take part in. Those types of players typically move on to the next game that grabs their attention rather than coming back to a game that continues to keep them hooked with additional content.
The cool thing about this model is that players will frequently buy cosmetic items and the like because, if they're getting all of those maps at no additional charge, many feel the desire to sort of "reimburse" the developer/publisher in another way. As for players who don't buy into those other avenues, they are likely the type who wouldn't have purchased the DLC in the first place. The bonus to something like Tides of War is that you're keeping both groups engaged now.
Long story short, we think this is a great move on the part of DICE and EA and we wouldn't be surprised if Battlefield V has an even stronger post-launch due to keeping the community united. Speaking of which, look for the game to launch on Oct. 19.