EA hasn’t exactly been forthcoming about the absolute state of Battlefield 2042. During a quarterly earnings call earlier this month, the company failed to provide any information regarding sales figures for the title, stating only that it “failed to meet expectations.” Sweeping the reality of the situation under the rug won’t work forever, and in an internal ‘Town Hall’ meeting call made yesterday, February 15, EA executives spent over 20 minutes discussing what went wrong with the launch of 2042. They also discussed the future of the title and the Battlefield franchise in general.
Leading the Battlefield 2042 discussion was Laura Miele, EA’s Chief Studios Officer, who began by highlighting the companies past successes. “It’s really important to acknowledge when we have misses. This is certainly the case with the Battlefield launch, which failed to meet the expectations of our players, and also clearly missed our own expectations,” Miele said.
Miele then outlined several key factors that EA higher-ups believe caused Battlefield 2042‘s extremely disappointing launch. The use of the Frostbite engine was a major issue–having built the game on this engine initially, over 18 months of development time was needed to update the tech to power 2042. “All new tech, it was basically a new engine. They went back. The Frostbite version they were on was so old they had to go back and update. So it was basically putting the game on a new engine,” Miele said.
A second large issue was the ongoing pandemic, causing members of staff to work from home. “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.”
After the Battlefield Beta last summer, players gave mountains of feedback on bugs and issues, revealing that 2042‘s bug count ratio got to “historic levels for a DICE game.” Following 2042‘s launch, DICE rolled out Day 0 and Day 1 patches, and Miele explained that “the game was stable and early critical reception was good.” According to EA, the biggest problem was the surprise release of Halo: Infinite multiplayer, which, when compared to 2042, was a much more polished game.
Although the emphasis was put on acknowledging player feedback, Tom Henderson notes that all issues players have with Battlefield 2042 were brought up during the Play Test and Beta. Over three months after launch, none of those issues have been fixed, pointing to more problems with the Frostbite engine.
Battlefield 2042 was released on November 19, 2021, on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. A recent Change.org petition demanding refunds for the game went viral and now sits at over 201,000 signatures.