Following on from their financial results earlier this month, EA held a company-wide meeting call with a focus on their executives’ perceived failure of Battlefield 2042. While several reasons for the game’s failure were mentioned, some of which were already known, one of the more surprising outtakes was the game’s popularity dropping due to the surprise release of the Halo: Infinite multiplayer.
Why did Battlefield 2042 fail?
DICE has always had issues with bugs in their games at launch. EA admitted as much during the call that was reported by XFire. Despite Battlefield 2042’s bug count ratio getting to “historic levels for a DICE game” and mock reviews providing scores of the “high 70s to low 80s”, EA thought the problem was manageable. While patches did reduce the bug count, it became obvious the situation wasn’t great when Halo: Infinite multiplayer was released. Halo was a very polished title. Battlefield 2042 was not. At this point, EA realised players no longer tolerated a buggy mess in their live service games and that the game needed to improve for the future.
Another reason was the use of the Frostbite engine. The engine has been powering games since 2008. While it has been updated over the following 13 years, it needed a significant update to be able to power Battlefield 2042. This update took the team 18 months and the process became “basically putting the game on a new engine” according to EA’s Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele.
One of the reasons we’ve heard before for the game’s lack of success was the work from home environment enforced upon many due to the Covid pandemic. Miele said:
Add up all of this new innovation, all of this ambition for the new project, and then you add a global pandemic halfway into the project, where the game teams had to work from home, we ended up with more new variables in development than we have ever experienced before.
EA has promised that they won’t ignore this feedback for future releases. As for Battlefield 2042, DICE will continue fixing bugs and adding new features as time goes on. Player testing will be extended and the development process will be streamlined. Only time will tell if DICE can turn things around.
In other news, a lawyer believes Horizon: Forbidden West’s pricing could be grounds for a class action lawsuit due to the difference in price between PS5 and PS4. Elsewhere, the Planet of the Discounts PlayStation Store sale on PS5 and PS4 is offering discounts of up to 70%.