Update: After a little further digging – thanks @BenMorrow1 – it actually seems that Battlefield V will have paid cosmetics and something called “Airlifts” that sound an awful lot like loot boxes by another name.
Those buying the Deluxe Edition of the game will have a number of extras, one of which is Airlifts. The entry on the Microsoft Store reads as follows:
20 Weekly Items with Airlift: Battlefield V Deluxe Edition lets you receive vital supplies with 20 weekly Airlifts, each containing one customization item.
I don’t know about you, but that sure as hell sounds like loot boxes to me. While the Polygon article came with specific updates and clarifications from EA, and Kotaku also say an EA rep stated “I can confirm that there are no loot boxes.” Further, Polygon’s assertion around not having paid cosmetics has also been contradicted by Eurogamer’s interview with creative director Lars Gustavsson:
Lars: […] Everything impacting gameplay will be available for everyone. And then of course we have cosmetics and so on, and that can be unlocked but you’ll be able to purchase them as well.
EG: So microtransactions are based around cosmetics only?
Lars: Cosmetics is what we’re going to sell.
At this point, we reached out to EA ourselves and received the following prepared statement:
You won’t be able to pay for any performance advantage or power. What you can purchase are vanity items directly through grind and premium currency. Battlefield has always been about balanced, rock, paper, scissors gameplay, and we still are.
Honestly, at this point, I’m more annoyed at not being able to get a straight answer and I’m sure many of you will agree.
The original story follows:
EA have quite clearly learnt their lesson on loot boxes, and have confirmed in interviews following the Battlefield V reveal that there will not be a single box filled with randomised loot in sight in the game. It’s an issue that they conveniently skirted around during the game’s announcement, but when pressed on the matter by Polygon, a spokesperson confirmed they were not a factor.
This comes alongside an overhauled progression system in the game, with the fact that they’re splitting cosmetic items from your character progression in the My Company system. All gameplay altering items must be earnt through play, with cosmetic changes a separate unlock. However, while you might expect these cosmetics possible to be bought via microtransactions, EA state that this will not be the case either.
That leaves a big hanging question mark over how EA plan to make money off the game after launch, with the previous Premium Pass DLC model also being shown the door in favour of seasons of play through the Tides of War.
EA will naturally detail this in due course, but one option open to them would be similar to Fortnite’s Battle Pass, which gives you more daily and weekly challenges to chase after and adds more unlocks to earn through the course of the season.
Battlefield V will be releasing on 19th October with a gameplay reveal coming at EA Play on 9th June. You can read all about the changes to gameplay and content here.