EA reportedly eyeing Battlefield 2042 free-to-play switch weeks after launch flop

Battlefield 2042 gameplayElectronic Arts

Just nine weeks since Battlefield 2042 released in full and Electronic Arts is now reportedly toying with the idea of dropping its premium price tag and shifting to a free-to-play model.

Saying Battlefield 2042 has had a rocky launch would be an understatement. Performance issues, critical errors, and a raft of gameplay changes have driven players away at alarming rates.

Not only have fans flocked back to previous Battlefield titles already, but even a low-budget indie clone has gained more popularity in recent weeks than EA’s premium release.

In light of 2042’s poor launch, EA is reportedly weighing its options for the future of the title. In fact, a free-to-play pivot could even be in the cards, according to industry insider Tom Henderson.

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player wingsuiting away from tornadoElectronic Arts
Battlefield 2042’s player count has only plummeted since launch.

“EA is reportedly very disappointed with how Battlefield 2042 has performance,” Henderson claimed. As a result, the publisher is now “looking at all the options” regarding the game’s future.

“This includes looking at free-to-play in some capacity.”

So while details are scarce, the latest Battlefield could be free to a certain extent in the near future.

Whether it’s a full switch to a free-to-play model, with all content included, or just a specific game mode sliced off without a paywall, remains to be seen.

2042’s PC player base alone has dropped drastically since launch. Despite peaking with over 100,000 players logged in simultaneously, the game now sits outside of Steam’s top 75 most-played titles over the past month on average. 

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This puts it behind the likes of Cyberpunk, Fallout 4, and even Cookie Clicker, based on data from steamcharts.com.

While these numbers don’t factor in other platforms or even Origin on PC, it nonetheless illustrates 2042’s sudden decline after launch.

A battlefield 2042 dogfightElectronic Arts
Battlefield Portal is one such component that could be made free to onboard new players.

A swap to a free structure could revive a portion of the player base and set the game on a healthier path. After all, 2042 is set to be supported for years to come with its seasonal model.

With regular updates still being rolled out and more frequent communication in 2022, we’re sure to hear further details in the coming weeks.

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