It took three years for EA and DICE to push out Battlefield 2042 following 2018's Battlefield V. Unfortunately, it appears that the extended development time might not have been worth it. After making so much ado about Battlefield 2042, the game's reputation has suffered tremendously over the last few months. It's reportedly gotten to a point that EA is thinking about making Battlefield 2042 free-to-play.
Battlefield and Call of Duty used to be at the top of the shooter genre. Now, these two are playing catch-up to the likes of Apex Legends and Fortnite, among others. To make matters worse, Halo Infinite has emerged as 343 Industries' best outing yet. To make matters worse still, compared to Call of Duty and Halo, Battlefield 2042 is the only one that doesn't have a free-to-play alternative.
Perhaps it is because of this reason that EA and DICE are reportedly considering turning Battlefield 2042 into a free-to-play live-service title.
Technically, EA has always supported Battlefield games like a live-service title. The only difference is that new installments often meant that end of support for the previous Battlefield game. This meant that EA would only support a Battlefield game for a year or two before moving on to the next one. However, with Battlefield 2042, EA and DICE might be making a massive change.
According to Tom Henderson, EA is "very disappointed with how Battlefield 2042 has performed." Because of this, EA is reportedly "looking at all the options", including "Free to Play in some capacity."
EA is reportedly very disappointed with how Battlefield 2042 has performed and is "looking at all the options" when it comes to the title, this is including looking at Free to Play in some capacity.
I'll have more on this tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/WWuDpstyqS
— Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) January 20, 2022
Battlefield 2042 was a broken mess before it was even out on the market. At the moment, Battlefield 2042 holds a "Mostly Negative" rating on Steam from 90,000+ reviews. The consensus reflects this as well, with players complaining about poor performance, bugs, and issues, as well as lackluster gunplay. Things have gotten so bad that more players are logging onto 2018's Battlefield V than Battlefield 2042, which is not something that you want to hear about a game that you worked on for years.
Having said that, Battlefield is EA's flagship shooter - the publisher just isn't going to give it up and go free-to-play for no reason. But, if the current slide in player count keeps up, EA and DICE might not have any choice. Otherwise, it risks losing any credibility that the franchise might have.
In other news, EA's subsidiary, Respawn Entertainment, is reportedly working on a new single-player shooter IP. Meanwhile, there are talks of Criterion preparing to launch a new Need for Speed game later this year.