Battlefield 2042 has had a shaky launch to say the least. The game was among the most hyped last year and people anticipated to return to the glory days of EA‘s titular shooter once it dropped. However, what they instead got to play was a bug-ridden excuse of a game, rushed out before it was ready. So, not too unexpected from EA. Unfortunately, over the months since the 2042’s release, it seems like EA and, consequently, DICE has left Battlefield to die a slow, painful death.
A ship half-sunk
Popular videogame personality, Jeff Grub, in his latest episode of “Grubbsnax” laid out all the juicy details pertaining to behind-the-curtains predicament at EA DICE. Jeff Grubb said that Battlefield 2042 currently has a very limited number of people working on it with all of the core crew gone. Most of the team has been moved on the next entry in the series, and only a handful of developers are left behind to look after 2042.
EA is prioritizing the next Battlefield game over servicing the one that’s already out. According to Grub, the company is trying to fulfil its promises of delivering post-launch content using as little resources as possible so it can focus on the next game. It looks like Battlefield 2042 tanked so hard that EA is actually contemplating even pushing out the DLCs it announced back then. Here’s what Grubb had to say about the game’s current team:
This game is basically down to a skeleton crew. It’s down to like the bare bones and those people are specifically just working on the promised additional seasons that the game needs to meet the requirements of the high-end version that it sold.
Jeff Grubb described the situation as “abandon ship time“. Battlefield 2042 is a sinking vessel and one that EA is trying to actively get off of as soon as possible. But it still has a couple of survivors on-board, the very few last players that still believe in the franchise, so leaving them to die is not an option. Therefore, there is a small team still at work trying to maintain course for the tragedy that is Battlefield 2042.
For those who’re unaware, EA has vowed to deliver four seasons of live-service content for Battlefield 2042 over the span of one year. This includes new specialists, new weapons and new maps which all require strenuous amounts of effort to produce. So, you can imagine how much pressure there would be on a small team to deliver all of this content with not only as less resources as possible, but also barely any time.
The skeleton crew is working to pump that stuff out the fastest and the cheapest it possibly can.[…]
They’re doing this to move everyone on to the new Battlefield as fast as possible. The real core crew of Battlefield developers are already working on that.
Season 1 of Battlefield 2042, titled “Zero Hour” is due for release on June 9 after it was delayed from its initial early 2022 release. The season will introduce Ewelina, a new specialist and a rocket launcher will serve as the new weapon. There’s also a new map called “Exposure” based around a mountainous region located adjacent to a Canadian research facility who’s been partially destroyed, in turn, exposing its insides. Oh, and, stealth helicopters are also an notable addition.
What this means going forward
EA and DICE have to follow this up with three more seasons all the way till at least June 2023. While there is limited team on that task, at least they don’t have to share manpower with Hazard Mode anymore as DICE has stopped working on creating new content for that game mode entirely, just six months after it released. All of this is being done to pivot focus, and resources, on the forthcoming Battlefield game.
Despite this shift in gears, Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA has stated that they’re committed to Battlefield 2042 for the “long-term” and even wishes to create a shared Battlefield universe that feels more intricately connected across multiple games. There are supposedly extensive changes being made to the internal development structure of the Battlefield franchise as we speak, too.
This is one of the great franchises of our industry, built by one of the great teams in the industry, and our expectations are it’s going to continue to grow and be a really important part of our portfolio for many, many years to come.
Recently, Vince Zampella, co-founder of Infinity Ward and Respawn Entertainment, was hired to lead the Battlefield franchise after DICE general manager Oscar Gabrielson left EA back in December, 2021. Not only that, but there’s also a new studio being headed by Marcus Lehto in Seattle whose sole purpose is to enrichen and add more nuance to the stories Battlefield is trying to tell.
With the way things are shaping out to be, this new Battlefield game has to be the Elden Ring of shooters for EA to justify pulling the cord on 2042 this prematurely. Now that almost all of the team and money is being directed towards development of this new entry, it stands to reason that even more and more players (or at least what’s left) will opt out of playing Battlefield 2042, a sight oh-so-common for EA and DICE at this point.