Battlefield 1 Revolution is available now and perhaps it’s too soon?

Is it too soon for a complete revolution?

Battlefield 1 Revolution
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As contentious as it might be, there are a number of big titles still using the “Season Pass” format. Destiny 2Call of Duty: WWII and Battlefield 1 all sport the ‘additional cost to get more content’ style of post-launch selling. Although the developers often launch a hefty amount of digital content after release (except Destiny, but that’s a rant for another time), gamers are often despondent about forking out an additional $50/£40 for content (rightly or wrongly).

Battlefield 1 Revolution

There is a larger debate here with regards to the face of the DLC market in gaming. Not to mention the inherent discussions around ‘capitalism’ and ‘supply and demand’. Recently, titles are adopting a post-launch model where extra maps and modes are made available for free; revenue is often generated via micro-transactions or “shortcuts” in these instances. Though there is debate that this waters down the content we get. If being paid to develop more content, would the content be more substantial than one map periodically? It certainly stands to reason that this might be the case. Would Titanfall 2 have more additional maps if it had a season pass? Or because it was sent out to die between Battlefield 1 and Infinite Warfare would it have not sold; creating the disparity between season pass holders and non-season pass holders?

More often than not we see examples where you might be better waiting a while after the game launches for the inevitable “GOTY Edition”; the game which includes all the DLC and the base game for the cost of the base game on its own a year ago. In that spirit, EA have announced that Battlefield 1: Revolution is now available to purchase. The game has both the game and the premium pass included, granting access to all four expansion packs (one available now, three to come).

I have seen some debate on this online today about how we should just accept this “as business” but this seems like weird timing to me. In my experience, we would normally see this type of release when all of the game’s expansion packs have released, giving people who paid the extra money to get access to the content time to enjoy it for the premium they paid. Fallout 4‘s Game of the Year (GOTY) edition is due next month, nearly two years after its original release. As its stands the only expansion to release so far for Battlefield 1 is the “They Shall Not Pass” DLC with “In the Name of the Tsar” releasing in September.

If you have bought the premium pass for Battlefield 1 at this stage with only one expansion pass since the games release in October 2016 you might be a little perturbed. If all the packs were available now then that’d be different, but at this point I would argue that people have paid for something which has yet to be made available, whilst others get the exact same product for a lot less going forward. Of course, if you haven’t had the pleasure of Battlefield 1 yet, this is an obvious get if you aren’t a member of EA Access.

There is surely a strategical decision behind this. It is often the case that people who own the DLC and those who don’t are unable to matchmake online. This can reduce player numbers, making it harder for people to play particular maps or modes, if exclusive to DLC. This is why games like Gears 4 and Rainbow Six: Siege give away their maps for free.

Driving numbers up for the premium pass is surely a good thing, even if the methods are questionable. A good move was also making Battlefield 1 available on EA Access. Players can trade their physical copy in, maybe for the premium pass? I do hope that the premium pass is discounted or given away to EA Access members; it has been done with previous Battlefield titles. I haven’t been able to get around to buying the pass, £40 is a lot of dosh.

Battlefield 1 Revolution

Maybe, there is an accelerated timescale with another Battlefield title releasing in 2018, but either way Battlefield 1: Revolution is now available to buy for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Battlefield 1: Revolution includes:
  • Battlefield 1 Base Game
  • Premium Pass
  • They Shall Not Pass Expansion (available now)
  • In the Name of the Tsar Expansion (coming in September 2017)
  • Turning Tides Expansion (date to be confirmed)
  • Apocalypse Expansion (date to be confirmed)
  • Two-week early access to any unreleased expansion
  • 14 Battlefield 1 Superior Battlepacks
  • 14 unique dog tags
  • Priority position in server queues
  • Battlefield 1 Heroes of the Great War Bundle

Don’t get me wrong, Battlefield 1 is a fantastic shooter and one of my favorites from last year; it’s just that the timing of this feels off. Let us know what you think in the comments below or over on our Twitter page.

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  • DarthDiggler

    @Adam Stewart

    Kudos for writing about this subject in a manner that isn’t just whining about corporate greed. That being said I have to take you to task on a few items especially one of the later ones.

    As contentious as it might be, there are a number of big titles still using the Season Pass” format. Destiny 2, Call of Duty: WWII and Battlefield 1 all sport the ‘additional cost to get more content’ style of post-launch selling. Although the developers often launch a hefty amount of digital content after release (except Destiny, but that’s a rant for another time), gamers are often despondent about forking out an additional $50/£40 for content (rightly or wrongly).

    Contentious according to WHOM? Rightly or wrongly according to WHOM? You? Reddit?

    Has anyone in this industry (media or otherwise) done any studies about the feelings gamers have toward Season Passes? Has anyone compared that consumer data to the sales trends of Season Passes?

    Using terms like contentious and ‘rightly or wrongly’ kind of showcases some bias on your part. You are making the reader aware you are not a fan of this process or at the very least you are taking sides with those who do not like this business model.

    Talk is cheap. Gamers can say one thing and do another. I think there are many people who complain about Season Passes who still buy them These days games are most using a SAAS (Software As A Service) model. Especially any game that has an online element, due to the fact that publishers have to demonstrate viability for online features. You simply can’t offer an online service without a revenue stream attached to that service. Simply offering an online game for $60 with no means of revenue generation from that service is not something that will impress stock holders.

    There is a larger debate here with regards to the face of the DLC market in gaming. Not to mention the inherent discussions around ‘capitalism’ and ‘supply and demand’. Recently, titles are adopting a post-launch model where extra maps and modes are made available for free; revenue is often generated via micro-transactions or “shortcuts” in these instances. Though there is debate that this waters down the content we get. If being paid to develop more content, would the content be more substantial than one map periodically? It certainly stands to reason that this might be the case. Would Titanfall 2 have more additional maps if it had a season pass? Or because it was sent out to die between Battlefield 1 and Infinite Warfare would it have not sold; creating the disparity between season pass holders and non-season pass holders?

    If it was not for capitalism we would not have video games at least not in the form we have come to know them. Case in point: while America, Europe, Japan and other free Asian countries were enjoying a “golden age” of video games the USSR had Tetris. Sure they had other games, but Tetris was one of the only titles to break through the Iron Curtain.

    Free market enterprise created the economic opportunity for developers and publishers to generate content. Capitalism provided the west and other free countries with the disposable income required to drive capital into the gaming industry that allowed the market to grow.

    I think it is great that we have entities that are competing in this marketplace and that competition will spur innovations not only in technology but business models too. If we add layers of regulations to this industry it will only serve to slow that innovation down.

    Titanfall 2 released in a very busy season and being the newcomer it hasn’t exactly proven itself in the marketplace. I played the beta, was pretty excited for it and than I played the BF1 beta and TF2 just kind of went off my radar. I picked TF2 up when it went on sale and it is a quality shooter and the maps are well done especially for their size (I prefer the big maps BF games offer). I don’t think Titanfall 2’s sales are an omen about the microtransactions vs season pass business models. Using 1 game as an example of failure isn’t valid. The developer definitely has their work cut out for them for Titanfall 3. I think they may need to release that game in a different window than all the other shooters. Save some great content for the time the other big shooters are coming out in order to maintain their audience. Also let’s not forget that BF1 offers some microtransactions (loot boxes, short-cuts) as well as the season pass.

    Titanfall 2 — 2.65 million units
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86a24ae4383e18b478dbff2f6cd4a618ab5bc781e17f7fb60928e20894e14312.png

    More often than not we see examples where you might be better waiting a while after the game launches for the inevitable “GOTY Edition”; the game which includes all the DLC and the base game for the cost of the base game on its own a year ago. In that spirit, EA have announced that Battlefield 1: Revolution is now available to purchase. The game has both the game and the premium pass included, granting access to all four expansion packs (one available now, three to come).

    With any multiplayer game if you are not apart of the day 1 crowd you are going to be behind the curve. So while you can wait to get the “Premium Ediiton” of any Battlfield game unless you are willing to pay for the short-cuts you will be behind the curve. Granted shooters generally do not have a long grind to open up many of the guns and class abilities, and matchmaking should help to insure you are not a sheep tossed in with the wolves.

    I have seen some debate on this online today about how we should just accept this “as business” but this seems like weird timing to me. In my experience, we would normally see this type of release when all of the game’s expansion packs have released, giving people who paid the extra money to get access to the content time to enjoy it for the premium they paid. Fallout 4‘s Game of the Year (GOTY) edition is due next month, nearly two years after its original release. As its stands the only expansion to release so far for Battlefield 1 is the “They Shall Not Pass” DLC with “In the Name of the Tsar” releasing in September.

    Battlefield used to be an annual game like COD, but now EA is going to tick – tock Battlefield with Battlefront so they appear to be positioning the season pass to be a longer term service. We are getting DLC #2 in September which means DLC #3 may not even make the 2017 year. I would imagine they will want to space the BF1 DLC as to not step on the Battlefront 2 DLC.

    If you have bought the premium pass for Battlefield 1 at this stage with only one expansion pass since the games release in October 2016 you might be a little perturbed. If all the packs were available now then that’d be different, but at this point I would argue that people have paid for something which has yet to be made available, whilst others get the exact same product for a lot less going forward. Of course, if you haven’t had the pleasure of Battlefield 1 yet, this is an obvious get if you aren’t a member of EA Access.

    It doesn’t bother me it really shouldn’t bother ANY avid Battlefield gamer. Its not like I didn’t get something for the $110 I invested. I have played Battlefield 1 for well over 150 hours. So if I were to calculate the cost of my investment over time, it comes out to be a very cheap form of entertainment.

    $110.00 / 150 hours = $0.73 per hour

    Now compare 73 cents per hour to movies. Compare 73 cents per hour to the old arcades which you paid 25 cents for 3 lives.

    How can anyone argue that video games are expensive when if you do a valid comparison with any other form of entertainment or hobby the costs are SO much higher when put in the proper context?

    There is surely a strategical decision behind this. It is often the case that people who own the DLC and those who don’t are unable to matchmake online. This can reduce player numbers, making it harder for people to play particular maps or modes, if exclusive to DLC. This is why games like Gears 4 and Rainbow Six: Siege give away their maps for free.

    Gears 4 and Rainbow 6 Siege both fall short of Battlefield sales numbers.

    Gears of War 4 — 3.03 million units
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d6d80d8d4113b3f5934756808abebd4f63d5c7f638e64a154a2da8a369dfe9bc.png

    Rainbow 6 Siege — 4.69 million units
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e1bffc22b6d7c04cc248568f75bedf12babee451dc282b038097be55773e0795.png

    One of the main reasons why this BF1 Revolution may be available now is because EA knows they are pretty close to Battlefield market saturation.

    BF1 — 12.59 million units
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3284241f8f6bbb113f6d631c7db53e2ace1a6611e072f21b0f88a7474b6ecaf4.png

    BF4 — 14.10 million units
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13fab1ca0abbc389af028fde4fe7d75c61c6c5857cac206eec71b8766f9dc777.png

    The current BF1 SKUs have pretty much been sold to everyone who would buy it. So they need to offer a new package to pick up new customers or bring back customers who may have sold the game.

    One of the issues with the “free maps” model of business is they do not have the ability to release a “Premium Edition”. So they no longer have that card to play.

    Driving numbers up for the premium pass is surely a good thing, even if the methods are questionable. A good move was also making Battlefield 1 available on EA Access. Players can trade their physical copy in, maybe for the premium pass? I do hope that the premium pass is discounted or given away to EA Access members; it has been done with previous Battlefield titles.

    What methods are questionable? Is EA doing something illegal? Is it doing something under the table? The answers are No and No. They are doing NOTHING questionable. Adding value to a product is not questionable. It doesn’t take away from what others bought before the introduction of this new SKU.

    These kind of statements could potentially discredit you as an objective writer.

    EA making this game more available (EA Access, BF1 Revolution) only reinforces what I am saying about them hitting their near saturation point for this title.

    I haven’t been able to get around to buying the pass, £40 is a lot of dosh.

    Is it? If you don’t have £40 I can understand you can’t afford the pass. If you do have the £40 don’t you think you could muster at least 20 hours of time out of the content? Is £2 per hour considered expensive entertainment in your region?

    The price tag alone is not indicative of the value a product brings to an audience. If that was the case Apple and Samsung would not have a marketplace for their premium-priced phones.

    Maybe, there is an accelerated timescale with another Battlefield title releasing in 2018, but either way Battlefield 1: Revolution is now available to buy for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

    The accelerated Battlefield + Season Pass package is due to the game’s success and market saturation. Given we are a year away from another Battlefield and Battlefront 2 is being released in 3 months it makes sense that EA wants to buttress the Battlefield 1 audience the window to do so is closing.

    Don’t get me wrong, Battlefield 1 is a fantastic shooter and one of my favorites from last year; it’s just that the timing of this feels off.

    If you love Battlefield 1 go ahead and get yourself the map pack. Do the math and see how much Battlefield 1 has cost you over time. I bet that number comes to cents per hour. If that isn’t a good value to you I am not sure how else to explain value to you. Sure that pass will cost you £40 but if you put 160 hours into that content that doesn’t equate to “a lot of dosh” per hour.

    I challenge you to find entertainment or hobby that is cheaper (per hour) than video games.

    • Adam Daniel Lambert

      I think a simple “i don’t agree with this” might have been more apt. He never said it wasn’t value, merely that it is too soon and a giant middle finger to day 1 season pass buyers. Same applies to Destiny 1.

      • DarthDiggler

        @adamdaniellambert:disqus

        This is not the same Adam who wrote the article?

        I think a simple “i don’t agree with this” might have been more apt.

        The article was well written and thought out even though I didn’t agree with the one sided tone that was employed in a few passages, which I pointed out. Of course this is an op-ed but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t look to gather facts and evidence that supports their point of view. Which I did and was the reason why I was a tad long winded. These days people online are quick to mischaracterize others’ words so I wanted to make sure my explanation was thorough.

        He never said it wasn’t value, merely that it is too soon and a giant middle finger to day 1 season pass buyers. Same applies to Destiny 1.

        I am a day 1 season pass buyer and I am not mad about this, should I be? If so WHY? Did I not get what I paid for? Would I have been happier if I would have waited 9-10 months to play this game?

        I doubt if being a complete NOOB with BF1 multiplayer almost 10 months after the game releases is an optimal use of my time. I prefer to get in on Day 1 and I am willing to pay for that benefit. For those that do not wish to pay that price it is nice that they have the option to wait, but 9 months is a very long time in the gaming industry. EA releases Battlefront 2 November 17th so that is only 2.5 months before the Battlefront 2 audience starts to cannibalize the Battlefield 1 audience.

        The problem is I think the people that complain about this stuff are a small number but they are VERY loud about it. I think many who complain about it still buy season passes so they are just b!tching for the sake of b!tching, excuse my French. Talk is cheap.

        If you don’t want to pay the day 1 sticker price that is fine, but that doesn’t mean that others that are willing to are being ripped off when the game becomes dated and the publisher decides to make the pricing more competitive.

        This really isn’t THAT early. Battlefield 4 released October 29, 2013 and BF4 Premium Edition released October 21, 2014. I think it makes sense for them to move the time table up before other titles come out and pose more competition.