Battlefield V is getting a battle royale mode soon, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Called Firestorm, it will be played out on “the biggest Battlefield map ever” and will be available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on March 25.
What it won’t be, however, is free-to-play — not yet, at least.
John Stanley, a senior producer at Criterion Games — to whom EA DICE has outsourced the development of Firestorm — was asked about the prospects of the mode being free-to-play. According to VG 24/7, his response was, “Nothing to talk about at the moment, no.”
To be fair to Stanley, he’s probably been asked that a number of times and — judging by his overall response to the questioning — that part of his answer wasn’t the most refined, from a PR perspective. It’s probably about as close as he could come to hedging his bets against Firestorm being part of the paid package now and going F2P later.
One would think, however, that Stanley and his company would have little say in the matter. If EA and/or DICE want to make the mode free-to-play, Criterion won’t have a say in the matter. Stanley’s probably at least a part of those talks, seeing as how his team would have to program microtransactions and a potentially different reward structure into the mode, so he knows at least a little more about its plans than you or I and doesn’t want to come out as seeming too knowledgeable, one way or the other.
I’d rate the possibility of Firestorm going free-to-play as a “maybe-probably” kind of thing, given the less-than-firm denial. And I wouldn’t be surprised if EA is keeping a close eye on Activision with regards to the possibility of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode eventually going F2P on a permanent basis. If one happens, the other might follow shortly thereafter.