We haven’t seen hide nor hair of Battlefield 1 gameplay yet, but thanks to the power of end of year financials, we already have an inkling as to how its future content will be structured. As part of the Q&A section at the end of EA’s first 2016 conference call, one investor asked about future plans for additional content monetization - DLC, micro-transactions and the like - for the company. CEO Andrew Wilson responded by outlining their objectives.
Our Battlefield 1 release date, classes, setting, and DLC intel drop is just this way, soldier!
“As it relates to Battlefield 1 and extra monetization, let me take a step back,” Wilson began. “Any time we think about extra monetization it’s on two vectors. One, are we able to provide value to the gamer in terms of extending and enhancing their experience? Two, are we able to do that in a world where we give them choice?” Specifically, he said that EA “never want to be in a place where there is a belief we are providing a pay-to-win mechanic inside of one of our games.”
Wilson then went into specifics about their plans for Battlefield 1, relating it back to their successful “extra content line of business” over the past few years and how they plan to see more growth in that area.
“In Battlefield 1 you will see both macro-monetization opportunities from us, like maps and large scale content, as well as micro-monteization in smaller increments of gameplay.” The former is fairly standard, while the latter could refer to anything from Battlefield 4’s cosmetic-focused Battlepacks, to new guns and classes should they see fit.
“Then over time what you’ll see from us is elements of gameplay that allow gamers to engage and drive and extend and enhance their experience,” continued Wilson. “Much the way people do with FIFA Ultimate Team today. We feel very confident in our ability to deliver that in a way that is deemed valuable by our player and drives increased engagement over time.”
So, the question is could this be something to worry about? Battlefield 4’s Battlepacks barely fit the descriptor of microtransactions considering the price, and didn’t seem to ruin the game. Map packs continue to be a poor way to keep a community together but a great way to make money on annual releases, so don’t expect them to go away any time soon. Neither, however, are anything like FIFA Ultimate Team, which uses boosters to keep players engaged through an element of RNG and competitive one-vs-one. It might be Wilson was just using it as an example of one of their successful products - investor relations is rarely a matter of specifics, especially in games, and more to do with instilling confidence through comparisons - or EA could have a larger plan in the works.
Before all that though, we’ll see more of the game at E3 and Gamescom. The latter was specifically called out in the conference, as well as that a beta for Battlefield 1 would be on the way eventually, as part of their marketing plans. You can listen to the full archive of the conference call here, with the above quotes taken from about the 49 minute mark. Want more? Here’s everything we know about it so far, including the Battlefield 1 release date.