EA is testing new battle pass system for Apex Legends, Battlefield, more

Battlefield Apex legends EA Battle PassElectronic Arts

Electronic Arts could be looking to overhaul the Battle Pass structure embedded throughout the gaming industry today, as a new patent has unveiled some innovative features that could be used for Apex Legends, Battlefield, and more.

If you’ve played any multiplayer title over the past few years, there’s a very good chance you’ve encountered a Battle Pass system. Having surged in popularity over the years, these in-game models allow players to unlock premium content over the course of a season.

From skins to weapons and everything in between, Battle Passes have been adopted by industry juggernauts like Fortnite, Call of Duty, and plenty more. Now, EA appears set to evolve the feature with intriguing new features revealed in a recent patent.

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Rather than keeping all players on the same path with a standardized Battle Pass, EA’s upcoming titles could allow for more freedom than ever before.

Fortnite Battle PassEpic Games
Battle Pass systems have been popularized in both Free To Play and full-priced multiplayer titles.

In a patent application filed earlier this month, EA revealed its plans for a new Battle Pass system, referred to as the ‘Seasonal Reward Distribution System’. This unique system aims to provide players with a “non-linear” progression path.

Instead of a typical 100-tier Battle Pass, this idea would allow players to “choose how to progress.” A unique “reward map” would offer various paths to unlockable items.

“The reward map provides a series of reward nodes connected by links, resulting in a plurality of pathways or tracks that a user can select during advancement within the video game.”

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Say, for example, you’d rather unlock a new weapon skin instead of a character skin. EAs new method of distribution would let you do just that, picking your own path through the reward structure. “The user can select individual reward nodes when the virtual character levels up,” the patent outlines.

Featured throughout the patent are mentions of multiple Battle Pass tiers as well. That’s nothing particularly new in and of itself. Most titles offer free and premium tracks, however, EA’s system outlines room for four different tiers. This could lead to entirely new in-game models where players have a greater degree of control.

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Perhaps the best example of what the new battle pass system looks like is a “gaming board”. Think Mario Party’s winding game arena, or a Clue-style map board.

Battlefield gamepalyElectronic Arts
With Battlefield 6 on the horizon, perhaps it might be the first EA title to adopt this new Battle Pass.

It’s obviously worth keeping in mind that not every patent eventuates into a fully realized feature. Further, this was only filed recently, on May 13, 2021, so it could be a while before the patent is approved.

The system would allow greater choice in how players move through a season and unlock new items, rather than being locked in a linear path.

One of our main criticisms of the Season 9 battle pass in Apex Legends was in fact the battle pass.

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