A testament to hard work – Battlefield 2042 has a huge playerbase after a free weekend

October 18, 2023 by No Comments

After its unplayable launch in November 2021, DICE and EA kept their promise to support Battlefield 2042 throughout its lifecycle, and the effort seems to have paid off in spectacular fashion as the playerbase skyrocketed.

Following the free-to-play weekend on Steam that officially ended on October 16, Battlefield 2042 retained a huge amount of paying players. At the time of writing, at 2PM BST on Wednesday, the game had 91,000 concurrent players and was ranked 10th on Steam – ahead of games including Call of Duty.

The free weekend strategically coincided with Battlefield 2042 Season 6 ‘Dark Creations’, which rolled out new content, balance changes and bug fixes. While it’s difficult to gauge how much of an impact the season has had on player retention, it’s clear that the significant improvements made to the game since launch have worked.

Battlefield 2042 launched in dire straits, and its lack of financial success prompted massive changes at DICE and the entire Battlefield franchise. There is now a new leadership team in place with Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella taking over the Battlefield franchise.

Former Call of Duty boss Byron Beede has taken on the role of general manager of Battlefield, along with Rebecca Koutaz of Swedish studio Dice, with Christian Gross leading the studio at Ripple Effect. Halo veteran Markus Lehto also leads Ridgeline Games, a new studio building the future of Battlefield’s single-player campaign.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m skeptical of EA’s commitment to supporting Battlefield 2042 through its life cycle, but the numbers don’t lie and, in my opinion, some much-needed credit is warranted. I’m still going to consider Battlefield 2042 a monetary loss for EA, but the fact that the game was given the green light to back it gives me some confidence in the franchise moving forward with its new leadership team.

I always proceed cautiously with a Battlefield launch, and while Battlefield 2042’s launch was a shame, Battlefield 2042’s amazing turnaround has me curious about the future of the franchise.

So, well done, Battlefield team, and keep up the good work.

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