Star Wars Battlefront II's reveal on Saturday was momentous for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the shocking announcement that its intriguing storyline, following an Empire Special Forces commander directly after the explosion of the second Death Star, will be Canon in the Star Wars universe. But it was also momentous for the announcement that followed about Star Wars Battlefront II not having a season pass.
It was a cause for celebration, but the party ended shortly thereafter, with EA rushing to clarify its statements. EA reached out to the outlet who reported it, Mashable, to clarify that "We're not ready to confirm any live service plans just yet," but that "We've heard the feedback from our Battlefront community loud and clear." Adding at the end "We'll have more to share about our plans soon."
So will Battlefront II have a season pass? Likely no. Their original announcement said plainly "We don't have a season pass." So, it seems EA's rush to clarify had to be intended to manage expectations, as if to say "we won't have a season pass, but …" leaving that door open for other DLC or Microtransaction plans.
Many people have already expressed their concern as to what this rollback means, deriding EA all the while. The truth is, though, that if EA Battlefront II rolls out DLC or microtransaction plans that we don't like (perhaps they're overly prevalent, or predatory, or pay-to-win, for example) we have only ourselves to blame.
Why? Well EA tried that. EA looked stood tall, looked us dead in the eye and said "Titantall 2 will not have a season pass, will not have hidden costs, and all meaningful post-launch content will be free." And you know what our response was? "Eh, I'd rather buy Infinite Warfare."
Titanfall 2, as you are well aware, did not sell well. It saw ridiculous discounts less than a month after release, seemingly in attempt to break even, which I'm not even sure happened. And this was with an 89 on Metacritic and an 8.3 user score. In fact, it's the second-most well-received shooter of this generation, behind only Overwatch, which some would call a dubious order. So it's not as though it was a faulty product.
So the message we sent EA by letting Titanfall 2 flounder while Infinite Warfare became the best-selling game of 2016 was that its model of free DLC, no season pass, no meaningful microtransactions – that model doesn't work. We don't want it. We want pay-to-win, we want loot crates, we want pricey DLC that contains what should have been in the game from day one.
I'm not saying that this is what will happen with Battlefront II. I am not in the know, as far as the interworkings of EA's DLC plans. But we've certainly nudged them in that direction, and EA's clarification has made it very clear that they aren't ready to make the same commitment they made with Titanfall 2 in regards to post-launch content.
Still, though, we may be perfectly happy with Battlefront II's DLC model. It may be another positive step forward by EA. But if it isn't – if it's rife with predatory microtransactions and pitiful post-launch content that is marked up tenfold – it's our own fault.