The firestorm of negativity that surrounded the launch of Star Wars: Battlefront II is still fresh in Electronic Arts’ mind, and the publisher wants to avoid making the same mistake again with its upcoming Battlefield game, rumored to be titled Battlefield V. Though microtransactions will reportedly still be in the game, it doesn’t appear they will have any effect on gameplay.
According to Kotaku, Electronic Arts hasn’t yet nailed down the specifics on Battlefield V‘s microtransactions, but developer Dice is “hoping to stick to cosmetics.” This would fall in line with many other multiplayer shooters’ microtransaction strategies, including 2016’s Battlefield 1.
Though the game did feature microtransactions and the dreaded “loot boxes,” it managed to avoid significant controversy due to their non-intrusive implementation. By October of last year, more than 19 million people had played the game, and a steady stream of expansions has kept players engaged for well over a year.
It will be interesting to see how Electronic Arts moves forward with its other rumored multiplayer shooter, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 3. The previous game did feature microtransactions in order to buy in-game currency, which could be spent on new pieces. The system still required players to level up individual characters and though there were randomized items in loot-box-like packs, the stats they gave players were different rather than better.
Given the previous games’ relatively young player-base and the ESRB’s new labels for games with microtransactions, Electronic Arts will have to think twice before including them at all. Hawaii’s state legislature even introduced a pair of bills that would ban games with loot boxes to anyone under 21.
Battlefield V is apparently going back to World War II this year, following Battlefield 1‘s World War I setting in 2016. It follows the lead of Call of Duty: WWII, the last game in the series to take place during the conflict since Black Ops partially did so in 2010. In recent years, shooters have been moving away from the futuristic settings made popular last generation in favor of historical or pseudo-historical settings — 2017 also saw the release of Sniper Elite 4 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which both featured brutal Nazi-killing action and creative level design.