Over The Plop: Battlefield 1 DLC Season Pass Detailed

Battlefield 1 [official site] is launching an open beta test next week but nah, you don’t want to hear about that. The full game’s out in two months but nope, you don’t want to know more about that either. I know you. The question on your lips is: “Can I buy DLC?”

Electronic Arts today announced the Battlefield 1 Premium Pass, saying that “for only $50” – only $50 extra! only! the cheek! – players can get four expansions, including new maps, new weapons, new vehicles, and French and Russian armies. You can even pre-order the DLC to go with your pre-ordered game.

Here’s what will, over time, come with the £39.99/$49.99 Premium Pass:

· 4 upcoming digital expansion packs, including:
o Two-week early access to each expansion pack
o Play as new armies including France in Battlefield 1 They Shall Not Pass, and the Russian Empire in an upcoming expansion pack
o 16 new multiplayer maps
o New Operations and game modes for more ways to play
o New Elite classes
o 20 new weapons
o New vehicles
· 14 Battlefield 1 Battlepacks containing stand-out weapon skins, delivered monthly from November 2016
· 14 unique dog tags distributed over the course of the Battlefield 1 Premium Pass period

They Shall Not Pass will be the first expansion out, due in March 2017.

I realise I’m a creaking relic but I am still confused by publishers proudly announcing “Check out this load of cool stuff! It definitely WON’T be in the game! But you can get it eventually if you pay us 80% of the game’s price again.” Presumably enough folks do go for this for publishers to keep doing it, even if crones like me do find it a bit repulsive.

EA are announcing that they intend to keep multiplayer fresh for ages to sustain players and I can see why that may be comforting and pleasant for some people who intend to play a lot. But spending £40 on add-ons for a £50 game when it’ll likely receive a brand new £50 sequel shortly after the final pack comes out, nah, it’s not for me.

Not to mention that French and Russian armies were important enough to WW1 that charging for them is p. dang weird.

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61 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Aitrus says:

    It’s an epidemic!

  2. Czrly says:

    Keep multiplayer fresh? It sounds more like EA are announcing that they intend to massacre the multiplayer at birth by fragmenting the player-base four times over.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      This. I bought Premium for BF4, but the low populations on non-vanilla maps meant I almost never played them. So I’ll just save my money this time.

      Pity they didn’t go the R6-siege route and give the maps for free to everyone, but sell other crap to extort their customers.

    • Chairman_Meow says:

      Yeah, they kill the multiplayer after the first expansion. I, for one, will not be extorted into paying 180% of the price of a normal game to keep playing. With Steam and such the price of games has gone down, I can’t stomach paying twice for the same game at full price.
      Anyone remember when you bought a game and got all of it?

  3. JackAubrey says:

    I’ve been following RPS for a couple of years now, never made an account. But after reading this, I’ve registered to just comment at how disgusting this is. Honestly such a disgusting display of greed, unfathomable greed.

  4. aircool says:

    So it’s official. Games have had a 100% price increase.

  5. zind says:

    EA + “Premium” means this is another one that I’ll probably be waiting on until I can get the whole package for around $20 or less. I’ll go as high as $60 if and only if a community I’m part of stands up servers for it.

    I guess maybe I’m part of the problem, since I own the “premium” package for the last 3 Battlefields? Spent most on BF4 by far, picked it up at $35.

  6. Stevie_D says:

    I think you lot are being incredibly harsh and rude.
    Don’t you know that to a corporate executive, 50 dollars can fall out of a hole in your pocket without you even caring? 50 dollars is nothing.
    He didn’t get where he did by not working hard. He did his demographical research, he knows that most of you are kids taking the cash from your parents credit cards. 50 dollars is nothing!
    He’s done his online research, and read webpages like link to wisebread.com
    ..and knows that you would rather have “buy DLC for a game that already cost you $60” at the top of that list.

    He is entirely justified in saying it’s “Only” 50 dollars.
    50 dollars is NOTHING! Nothing i tell you!

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Everything depends on how you perceive it. Gaming company CEO’s like to talk about the value you get and they probably think that all of this extra content equates to 50 dollars in value. Enough customers obviously think so too, otherwise it would not be feasible to make it cost that much.

      • Chairman_Meow says:

        Unfortunately that means that the value of the game is exactly that. What the market will bear and all…

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          Well, that’s capitalism. The market decides how much something is worth and too bad if an individual disagrees with the market.

  7. CidL says:

    Honestly, I think it’s fair enough. If we’re willing to tolerate $50 as the average price for a new AAA game, a load of extra content for it for the same price seems fair enough to me. I feel I got good value out of the season pass thing for Battlefield 4, given the number of hours I played it. And each time a new DLC was released it drew me back into the game after some weeks out.

    Of course, you could argue $50 is too much for a top-line title, but that’s another issue.

  8. Gnoupi says:

    And of course: link to gamerant.com

    “Never say never”

  9. Hellraiserzlo says:

    Remember when games used to get expansion packs? same thing just that they weren’t dick waving it before release…I am sure the base vanilla game is going to have enough content per buck but they will obviously have to add stuff to keep people playing and they will need to cover those production costs.

    • Czrly says:

      20 new weapons? How many does the base-game have because 20 sounds like a lot. How many were cut from the base-game for the “season pass”?

      • Hellraiserzlo says:

        Have you ever developed a game?
        They came up with lots of weapon ideas at the start, then they decided on what they can deliver on the deadline and is essential for the experience.
        DLC and expansions are probably mostly stuff that didn’t make it into the initial release, it’s not like they make the content and then release it after half a year just to cash grab on you.

        • Thurgret says:

          The Battlefield series has the questionable practice of having DLC that is almost an essential purchase for any player hoping to participate in multiplayer.

          That being said, it gets dirt cheap after a year or two, or even ends up in Origin Access – BF4 did, and I tried it, and it’s rubbish.

        • Premium User Badge

          kfix says:

          That may be true in some cases, but this mob is telling you what’s in the DLC before they even release the game! Which means you are wrong, so very wrong…

  10. Synesthesia says:

    I can’t believe people keep forking out money for this bullshit.

  11. TeaEarlGreyHot says:

    Hard pill to swallow

  12. Maxheadroom says:

    “Presumably enough folks do go for this for publishers to keep doing it, even if I crones like me do find it a bit repulsive.”

    Baffles me too, although I think the manufactured ‘rivalry’ between CoD and Battlefield will be responsible for shifting a few of those season passes here. A pint says some kiddie somewhere (probably on N4G) has already posted that very worn out ‘Shut up and take my money’ meme in response to this.

    I miss proper ‘expansion packs’, that came in boxes, with manuals

    *kids today. ‘get off my lawn’ etc*.

  13. Freud says:

    Perhaps if it came with complementary Vaseline it would be a more attractive offer.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Syt says:

    Being somewhat familiar with WW1, I find it both sad and hilarious that two of the main parties to the war, Russia and (even worse) France, are not part of the package from the get go.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      People keep paying up front for this crap, and “Games” like Battlefront with all the content in the DLC will keep happening.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Sorry, not sure why this ended up as a reply. It wasn’t meant as
        one.

        OT, I Like how ‘Murica is in the base game (when joining the war at the end) but Russia and France are DLC. Can’t wait for the New battlefront game, where Luke is in the game, but Han is DLC.

  15. bertoxxulous says:

    Wow, good job on segregating the community before the game has even been released :/

    • bertoxxulous says:

      It’s worth pointing out that I’ve bought all Battlefield (sans Hardline) releases since 1942, but I quit all of them shortly after the first DLC, where applicable, was released.

      Guess I’m the sucker, after all.

    • TormDK says:

      The Season pass / Premium SKU makes EA over a hundred million dollars per game.

      This should tell you two things;

      1; The mass market (aka, not yourself) has no problem with this, and is happy that they are garanteed a certain lifecycle on the game.

      2; Because of #1 – It can come as NO SURPRISE that it will continue. The biggest surprise here, is that the Ultimate edition was not announced initially.

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        While your initial conclusion from 1 doesn’t seem unwarranted, your further reasoning is too specific to be assumed without evidence. One alternative explanation, for example: Much of EA’s market has poor financial management skills and EA is simply leveraging them to sell things that savvier consumers would never buy, even dragging some of those savvier consumers into the deal via the bandwagon approach.

  16. alexgem says:

    Here’s another one who despite being an avid RPS reader since I discovered the site last year had never made a comment, but I feel the urge to join the disdain.
    This is shameful (a DLC costing 50 bucks?? A WW1 game without France ??) but the only tool we have is boycotting these practices, more and more people should not cave in and buy at day 1 regardless of price and “tricks” like these, that would be the only language that the big publishers would understand…

    • Emeraude says:

      The thing is that “voting with your wallet” is an asymmetrical process. Doesn’t matter how many people boycott something as long as enough people buy it to make it worthwhile.

    • KwisatzHaderach says:

      The only problem is, if a AAA game sells badly, publishers always find the wrong reasons why it sold badly. See Titanfall. The issue was not dlc, not Map packs or trying to force people into Attrition mode matches. Or no server browser… No, it was the gameplay! Too fast, too dynamic… The one thing they got right has to step down in the successor… Sigh!

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        It’s a lose-lose situation, because the-powers-that-be can’t just seem to accept that they did a mistake. Instead they blame the customers, saying that they *apparently* aren’t interested in this kind of game anymore.

        Whenever a company makes drastic changes to a franchise, like turning it into an MMO or other genre, it feels like we’ll never get back to the good old days. If the MMO succeeds, we’re stuck with it and will never see another game in that franchise. If it fails, they won’t want to develop another game in that series, because it might fail as well.

  17. GoJays2025 says:

    I don’t see how this is worse than expansion packs years ago. Remember Battlefield 1942? It came with two expansions:

    The Road to Rome ($20 on release) added 6 maps, 3 weapons, and 7 vehicles.

    Secret Weapons of WWII ($30 on release) added 8 maps, 17 vehicles, and 7 weapons.

    So… that’s $50 (2003 dollars) for 14 maps, 24 vehicles, and 10 weapons. The expansions were well-received and nobody bitched. Sure, they didn’t tout these expansions even before the game’s release, but it’s logical to think that they already had ideas of what to include in those expansions as they were working on the main game, since they appeared not too long after the main game.

    I think the mistake with announcing this stuff before the release of the main game is that people are going to think content must have been stripped from the original game (which could indeed be the case, I’m not going to dismiss that), or see that the main game as ‘incomplete’ somehow.

    I personally don’t see the announced DLCs to be something worth getting angry over, but I do think that the decision to market them by going into so much detail before the game’s release to be a poor one.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      To put my devils advocate hat on I do think its largely a matter of perspective. ‘Expansion packs’ of yore would be developed towards the end of the life cycle of a game to breath new life into it, usually with a fresh take on it.

      Chaos Strikes Back for example (the expansion pack for Dungeon Master), came out 2 years after the base game.

      Nowadays the impression is very much one that the base game is developed as normal, then carved up like a cake into ‘Base game’ and ‘DLC’ with some of the A-list content (in this case France I guess) purposely put into the DLC slice to make it more appealing but lessening the base game

      So the issue is down to the perception of when the DLC is developed I guess?

  18. Gwyddelig says:

    Bit of a tricky one, this. I’ve had Premium since it’s been a thing and have played every BF game since BF2. So I reckon it’s fair to say that I’ve swallowed The Kool Aid by the barrelful. That being said, I shopped around on each occasion and got the games and the Premium pass for less than the Origin storefront. I’ve sunk hundreds of hours into those game (I play with a regular group and it’s great). On a €/Hour basis, it’s some of the best value I’ve gotten from any game(s).

    That being said, the business model is not great really is it? There was real hope in the community that Premium would not include maps (with the associated community fragmentation) this time out but that’s been dashed now; which is quite disappointing. Honestly, it’s not at all unlikely that the best value to be had with BF games is to get it in one of the deep discounts (and EA/DICE *do* discount heavily later in the cycle) when the game is somewhat mature.

    This is before we get to the frankly insulting exclusion of France/Russia. There is no good excuse for this at all. What was even worse, IIRC, DICE trotted out one of the office Frenchmen to sell this pup to his compatriots; “Yeah, France was *so* important to WWI that we’re going to make you pay more to play them…”

  19. jon_hill987 says:

    It could at least buy you dinner first!

  20. aepervius says:

    Well for me it is a pass. WW1 without France ? That’s a tall tale. Why not make a BF WW2 game without American, Japanese and german while you are at it.

    • Arithon says:

      You could easily have a WW2 game without USA and Japan. Just set it in the first three years of the war.
      Also, BF1 must be set in 1917-1918 in order to include the USA, since they were not involved from 1914-Q2 1917 (missed the first three years of that one too).
      Revisionist history or “alternate reality” we must assume.

  21. JonClaw says:

    EA padding its cash flow again. I remember when you had to wait to pay for an expansion pack…

    That said, upfront open hand asking for $110 to “get it all” is what can make people run to gray market sites.

    If the game is any good, I’ll wait for a deep discount. Otherwise, I can’t say I won’t have a smile on my face if this game flops like Hardline.

  22. Herr_C says:

    Yeah… I forgot about this. Did not play BF in years now. Was actually considering buying this one. But I forgot about this…

  23. Banyan says:

    It’s worth pointing out that, for that segment of gamers who get the annually rebranded CoD or BF, this is the only game they’ll buy all year. As unfathomable as it may be to those of us with unplayed Steam backlogs that you could drown in, the publisher knows that this is THE game purchase for some folks, and prices accordingly.

  24. Stone_Crow says:

    When I come to power anyone who buys into this will lose the right to vote or have children. It’s for the good of the species people!

  25. chrisol says:

    They’ve got it all wrong… it should start with Russians in the game, and after 3 years release a patch that removes the Russians and a DLC that allows you to pay to have the Americans join you

  26. xyzzy frobozz says:

    So I take it that RPS will now be giving Supporter content for free, given how much it hates DLC?

    (Jokes).

  27. xyzzy frobozz says:

    Well I’m one of the people who actually buys all of this stuff, but I do it because, for me at least, it’s reasonable value.

    I have over 700 games in my Steam collection, but BF is the game I play most. Not actually because it’s a really outstanding game, but it’s the only game in which I’m a member of a clan, so there is a social element that goes with the game. It’s one of about 5-10 games that I always come back to, and of those it would have the most hours played.

    But yeah, I generally hate this practice of withholding content to release it as paid expansion. Although I do support Paradox’s DLCs, I honestly feel like they expand a game, as opposed to stripping it back to sell to you later.

    But that could wee be a simple case of cognitive dissonance.

  28. cairbre says:

    Premium queues are my favourite

  29. zsd says:

    I’m not really up on shooter culture, but doesn’t selling multiplayer maps as paid DLC guarantee that they will be unplayable ghost towns?

    • TormDK says:

      No, not really – it depends on the server admins and the community that visits that server.

      Clans/Admins that spend time building a community, will have their servers well visited, regardless of DLC status.

  30. Jabberslops says:

    TL,DR
    I’m not getting BF1 because BF4 is worse than BF3. BC2>BF3

    I told myself after the shitstorm of BF3 was released that I would never buy another Battlefield game unless it was Bad Company 3 because I actually enjoyed BC2 very much. I put around 250Hours into BF3 because I was finding some fun in there after patches, but then BF4 was released and the server population dropped to the point you could only find a few servers with people playing what you wanted to play. I just decided to stop playing Battlefield completely.

    I bought BF4+ Premium for $20 during a sale and still regret it; not for the price but the complete garbage the game turned out to be compared to BF3 I wasted 40-50 hours on BF4 before deciding I didn’t need the constant frustration. There were so many laggy servers and people(200+ping), hit-reg issues far worse than BF3 ever had, the seemingly laser accurate guns and spawn points being far more camper friendly to enemies. I got the sense that the designers of the maps wanted to make them as trollolololo as possible. There was also a constant rotation of night maps that didn’t help either. Nearly everyone was using IR scopes; The only way I could compete was to play in windowed mode and turn the brightness and gamma up until I could get my own IR scopes on the gun I happen to be using because I had nothing else unlocked yet.

    The ridiculous amount of unlocks BF4 has was part of the reason I stopped playing it after slogging through the other shit I mention. I don’t see myself buying another Battlefield game unless Bad Company 3 is released and has mostly the same game-play as BC2.

    • TormDK says:

      So you made some poor server choices, and now blame the game for those choices?

      Ok – makes sense! (I suppose).

      I hope they make the “Classic” Preset the default in Battlefield One – it was what was missing in BF4 from the start. (200+ in ping? lol, play on servers with an active kicker instead)

  31. Askis says:

    EA have done the Premium bollocks for a while now…
    BF3, BF4, Hardline, Battlefront, it’s no real surprise they’d slap BF1 with it too.
    The surprise is that there’s apparently still enough people willing to pay for it.

    • TormDK says:

      Why is that a surprise? You act as if 110$ is alot of money to plop down for a game every two or so years? (BF4 was released end of March 2014, and BF1 isn’t out yet)

      I’ve played BF4 more than 400 hours on public servers, and likely the same amount of time on a private tournament server with a special ruleset, I’ve gotten my moneys worth.

      I have the same time spent on Civ 5 – and guess what, that also cost about 110$ in the game’s total lifetime with DLC included. (I don’t wait for AAA games to go on sales)

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