It’s not news that Battlefield 5 won’t be launching with it’s new Battle Royale mode, known as “Firestorm,” intact. What is a story is that it won’t be arriving until Spring of next year, and still does not have a set release date. In a recent update, EA laid out their plans for the launch, and support, of Battlefield 5.
EA is doubling down on the idea of Battlefield 5 as a “live service.” From the outside looking in, this mostly strikes me as the Triple-A spin on Early Access. The promise is that the game will eventually have all the modes and content that we are promised, but it will take a while. In the meantime, what we do get will be so amazing and awesome that it will keep us thoroughly entertained until then. Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge. I guess Mass Effect fans can be glad that Andromeda wasn’t sold that way.
Okay, so I am finding it hard to hide my fatigue over the idea of “games as a service,” but that is just because I liked “games as a product” just fine. I could understand a smaller studio needing to Early Access a game, due to simple logistics. I cannot quite wrap my head around Triple-A development needing to do the same. At the end of the day, I am sure Battlefield 5 will fall perfectly into line with recent games in the series, and the people who like that kind of thing will love it. Firestorm can, in a way, be seen as a whole new extra mode, and something that the series has lived just fine without until this point.
It could also be seen as a smart idea, allowing them to drop Firestorm into its own window and get some of the big Battle Royale streamers on board for a few weeks when it launches. As I said, there is a lot of upsides for this move from a business perspective, and it should allow them to get a more polished product out there whenever the mode does finally land. We will simply have to wait and see.