Battlefield 2042 needs to tear up Season 2 plans after failed update

Battlefield 2042 Season One’s update breathes some life into the dying game, but a bare-bones update six months after its initial release does not deserve a round of applause. 

It pains me to write about the current state of Battlefield. I remember renting Battlefield: Bad Company from a Blockbuster in middle school and falling in love with the game’s wacky sandbox universe. At its peak, Battlefield possessed a magical balance of comical, over-the-top moments mixed with a gritty, war-like experience. 

After sinking my teeth into each proceeding title following Bad Company, at some point, the once-illustrious game series lost its identity. I no longer experience those “only in Battlefield” moments that used to make the series feel special. 

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For the first time ever, Battlefield’s future is in jeopardy – and everything traces back to Battlefield V and its introduction of the “live service” system. 

Dice/EA
Battlefield V War in the Pacific launched in October 2019.

“Tides of War” live service failure

In an effort to not split the player base by making players pay for DLC content, DICE opted to implement a live service system in Battlefield V titled “Tides of War.” For the first time in the franchise’s history, every player could download new content for free spread out over “six chapters.”

On paper, a live service system seemed like a great way to unify the player base, but in reality, it enabled developers to drip-feed players minimal content stretched out over a long period of time.

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Battlefield V launched in November 2018 with eight maps. A ninth map was added in December as part of the Chapter One update, but a 10th map didn’t arrive until May 21, 2019.

For comparison, Battlefield 1 launched on October 21, 2016, with 10 initial maps. Battlefield 1 had a paid DLC system, and in March, 2017 ,the first expansion pack added six maps – bringing its total to 16 maps within five months.

Battlefield V didn’t reach 16 maps until October 31, 2019, which was 11 months after the game’s initial release.

Battlefield 2042 repeats the same mistakes

Battlefield 2042’s announcement reignited the flame for Battlefield veterans, as for the first time in eight years the franchise was returning to its roots and going back to being a modern shooter.

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This time around, DICE nailed the reveal trailer and there was a real feeling of excitement heading into a new era for Battlefield on the next-gen consoles.

With excitement reaching boisterous height, the hype train came to a screeching halt when Battlefield 2042 was delayed from October 22, 2021 to November 19, 2021. The delay time frame was eerily similar to Battlefield V, and doubt began to creep into the back of Battlefield fans’ minds.

 

The writing was on the wall for another potential flop, and all of our worst nightmares came true as Battlefield 2042 was released in an extremely unfinished and unpolished state.

Battlefield 2042’s lead developer left after a “blatantly unfinished” launch, players demanded refunds, and the sales did not “meet expectations” or even come close, as game-breaking flaws and disappointing content ruined what could have been a crucial turning point for the franchise.

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Even after a terrible launch, EA doubled down on a “bold live-service vision.” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in February, “We’re committed to turning Battlefield around and are committed to building a long-term live service.”

Battlefield 2042 Zero Hour is more like “zero content”

Eight months after launch, EA finally added the Season 1 update that was initially supposed to be released in early 2022.

The game added a Battle Pass for the first time in its history that offers 100 tiers of both free and premium rewards. The update also adds one new map, one new operator, two new weapons, one new gadget, and two new vehicles.

Battlefield 2042 launched with eight All Out Warfare maps and six Portal maps. One new map means 15 total base-game maps in seven months. The map count is much better than Battlefield V, but only 22 2042 base guns compared to the 55 Battlefield 1 weapons seven months in is inexcusable.

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Longtime Battlefield veteran and content creator Westie harshly criticized DICE and the Season One Update during his June 8 YouTube video. 

You could hear the agony in the YouTuber’s voice as he pleaded for more content, saying: “Content is king for video games. It’s the one way to keep players engaged and unfortunately 2042, already severely light on content at its launch, isn’t going to be getting much more in its first major update.”

In his concluding statement, Westie said that “Battlefield 2042 Season One Zero Hour is almost zero content.”

Adding insult to injury, Battfield’s 2042 Season One Update fell flat on its face, and server issues plagued players for a majority of the release day.

Westie and other Battlefield content creators can no longer put on a fake smile and create content for a fundamentally broken video game. Battlefield fans deserve better than this, and it is inexcusable for the developers to stand behind a live series model that does more harm than good.

Battlefield 2042 and Battlefield V falling far below expectations prove that the live series model is not fit for this purpose and it may end up contributing to the downfall of a former industry-leading franchise. If there are plans for a Season 2, go back to the drawing board and scrap them now – for the good of the game.