Electronic Arts reiterated this week that it will have a new Battlefield game out this holiday, and now the company is teasing when it will unveil the next entry in its military shooter franchise — which is likely Battlefield V. A mysterious (but official) EA website with the URL stub “neverbethesame” has come online that only says “May 23, 2018” and “#battlefield.” That date would make sense for EA and DICE to reveal Battlefield V to the world before the madness of the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in Los Angeles a few weeks later.
Fans were able to find this site through the Morse-code sounds of dripping water leaking out of a pipe in the Fort De Vaux map in Battlefield 1. That’s right … this info is coming from a literal in-game leak. DICE and EA are having some fun with this. The company is creating Easter-egg hunts that are keeping fans engaged, guessing, and excited for what comes next. This is enabling Battlefield communities to get worked up over the next game.
That’s important for EA because some of the details about the shooter are already public. I reported that the publisher will release Battlefield V later this year and that it will take place during World War II. So far, EA has not confirmed any of those details, but May 23 is only two weeks away. Even if many Battlefield fans know to expect something set during the events of early 1940s Europe, EA’s strategy of engaging its audience through Battlefield 1 is successfully build up hype for the announcement and the eventual autumn release.
EA and DICE’s marketing strategy for Battlefield V is embracing the expanding footprint of E3. The event doesn’t officially begin until June 12, but in many ways, it has already begun. Gamers are paying more attention than usual because they know announcements are coming, and EA can capitalize on that through something like an Easter-egg campaign and a late-May reveal.
Here’s Battlefield personality Westie demonstrating many of the steps players have to go through to unlock the door in Fort De Vaux. Like he explains in the video, solving these puzzles required the collective work of fans on the highly active Battlefield Easter egg Discord.
In addition to the pipes, this Easter-egg quest leads players into a prison cell. DICE technical designer Jan David Hassel posted that painting, which features a pale horse, to Twitter. He also included a link to the website.
“On May 23, Battlefield will never be the same,” reads Hassel’s post.
What does that means? Well, the mystery is part of the fun. We don’t know, and that’s exciting … ah, who am I kidding? It means that Battlefield will have a battle royale mode.