During the reveal event today, DICE confirmed that Battlefield 5 will have no premium pass. This means new maps will not divide the community. DICE, however, did not directly mention the word "microtransactions" either way.
Maps and modes will be free. DICE said this was a huge request from players and is something the team"really believes in." The game also features a heavy soldier, weapon, and vehicle customization. This seems like it's ripe for microtransactions but DICE still didn't give in.
DICE repeatedly said they just "want players to play the game" and "feel rewarded for what you do, whatever you play." When prompted by host Trevor Noah if players would be able to pay, DICE gave a prompt "no" and stated that players will "can't pay for an unfair gameplay advantage in Battlefield 5" and "have to play the game to earn new gear and skill is key."
If this truly means no microtransactions (which, again, they steered clear of actually saying) then this would be a break from what multiplayer games have done in recent years. Most games that have free maps or characters, like Titanfall 2 and Overwatch, offer players cosmetic paid DLC. This doesn't break game balance and gives everyone the free content. All of the new customization seems built for paid DLC but, unless DICE worded their statements carefully enough as if to not outright deny microtransactions, then it looks like you'll only be able to get gear by playing the game.
EDIT: As I had warned in the above paragraph, DICE worded their statements in a way where they didn't flat-out say you couldn't buy gear. An EA spokesperson told Polygon that you'll be able to buy cosmetics with real money or in-game currency. This in-game currency can be earned by playing. Original story continues below.
This is most likely a response to the ongoing turmoil surrounding Star Wars: Battlefront 2's prevalent microtransactions. Players were outraged at the game's oppressive loot boxes and pay-to-win strategies. Our review even heavily criticized the game for its loot boxes, saying it was "like one of those quarter machines at the supermarket."
After removing microtransactions, DICE eventually added them back in and attempted to fix the progression system back in March. But the damage had already been done. Battlefield 5's lack of a paid premium pass seems like an apology for that whole fiasco.