While EA undoubtedly have their problems, they’ve gotten a lot better at supporting their big-name multiplayer games. It seemed safe to assume that when Battlefield 1‘s final DLC module – Apocalypse – was released, that the game would find itself put on a back-burner. Instead, Dice recently announced that a new playmode called Shock Operations was in development for the game, plus they’re making moves to open up more of the premium DLC maps to those with only the basic edition of the game.
Surprisingly, it sounds like Dice are cutting no corners with the addition of Shock Operations, headed to the game sometime this May. It’s a 40-player mode designed to be a faster, meaner, single-map version of the current multi-map Operations mode. One thing it’ll carry over from its long-haul cousin is introductory and ending cutscenes for each of the five maps supported.
Interestingly, all five of Shock Operations’ maps – Giant’s Shadow, Prise de Tahure, Lupkow Pass, Zeebrugge, and River Somme – are taken from the game’s DLC content, but will be available for all to play via the new mode, no expansions needed. Similarly, Rupture, a map from the French-themed They Shall Not Pass pack, has already made the transition from premium to standard format, with no restrictions on what modes it can be played in for free.
Following this current trajectory, and seeing what happened with Battlefield 4’s DLC not long ago, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if EA made all of Battlefield 1’s DLC free at some point not too long after the launch of the next game in the series. It’s good PR, it brings an existing community together, and it provides a very good advertisement for the series as a whole. Turns out that good business doesn’t always have to involve bleeding your fans’ wallets dry.
Sadly, it does look like the Shock Operations will be the last major feature coming for the game, unless Dice have one final surprise lined up. They do mention that content updates will continue until June, but that doesn’t exactly give them much time to hammer out new content before officially moving on to their next project. Still, it’s nice to see them going that extra mile, even after the DLC mines are all tapped out. Good on them.