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Battlefield 1 'Premium Trials' will offer time-limited access to expansion maps

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Back in March, EA announced a new Battlefield 1 feature called Premium Friends that enables everyone in a multiplayer group to play on expansion-exclusive maps as long as at least one person in the group actually owns them. The new Premium Trials feature comes at the problem from a different angle: It will give all players access to a limited selection of expansion maps, for a limited time, regardless of ownership status. 

The first Premium Trials event will take place later this month with the release of the new Prise de Tahure map, and will feature Prise de Tahure as well as four other maps from the BF1 expansion They Shall Not Pass. Another Trials event will take place ahead of Gamescom, which runs from August 22-26, and a third is set for September. For at least awhile, players will have the option of choosing between Friends or Trials, as EA also noted that "the current Premium Friends period is still active and will last until Gamescom." 

A rollout date for Prise de Tahure, a night map set in 1917 in the Champagne-Ardennes region, hasn't been announced, nor has the length of the individual Premium Trials periods: The fine print at the bottom of the announcement says only that it is a "limited time free trial," and that the "trial time is subject to change." EA also confirmed that the In the Name of the Tsar expansion remains on schedule for September, preceded by an "early taste" in August with the release of the Lupkow Pass map, while the more naval-oriented Turning Tides expansion is coming in December.   

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.