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EA walks a fine line between paid and free Battlefront DLC

EA DICE today laid out a plan for its post-release Star Wars Battlefront content that seems to strike a careful balance between paid and free DLC.

In a blog post attributed to senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, EA DICE today laid out a plan for its post-release Star Wars Battlefront content that seems to strike a careful balance between paid and free DLC.

Even if you aren't playing the game or don't care about the post-launch content, the way EA DICE plans to roll it out is intriguing in light of the game industry's love-hate relationship with DLC and the criticism Battlefront in particular sustained last November after some critics found it to be lacking in terms of maps, modes and core gameplay features.

The notion of selling "season passes" has proven particularly contentious in recent years, and EA seems to be reacting by front-loading its DLC schedule with a bunch of free stuff as it lays plans to roll out content to season passholders through 2017.

When Battlefront went on sale for $60 in November, those who bought it could also pay $50 for a Season Pass that included the promise of four expansion packs containing new maps, game modes and items.

Vague details about those packs are spelled out in EA DICE's blog today, after the studio makes a point of the fact that it will add free content to the game tomorrow and continue to do so through March, when the first paid expansion pack is expected to debut.

The free content seems roughly on par with what's being promised in the paid expansion packs, as well -- new maps and new game modes, alongside core game updates like balance tweaks and the addition of a private matchmaking system so players can play with their friends. While not clearly stated as such, these promised free updates appear to address some of the complaints levied against the game at launch.

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