Look at the top selling video games for the last decade and Battlefield appears frequently. The franchise has been running for decades, with the first entry appearing in 2002. Since then success after success has made it amongst the most popular franchises in the world. Publisher EA has raked in billions in the process, so much so that other gaming and tech development companies look on in envy.
But as profitable as Battlefield has been, the trend of virtually every entry being a smash hit is now officially over. Battlefield 2042 is a certified disaster. Releasing on the 12th November 2021, the game did not just fail to deliver in terms of sales, but has been a failure in virtually every regard. From broken gameplay to fans being enraged by design choices, to player numbers hitting rock bottom, where did it all go so wrong?
How Bad Is It Really?
Although Battlefield 2042 certainly didn’t live up to expectations, the fan base is also known to be finicky when it comes to receiving new games. So is the failure really that bad, or is it just a matter of things getting blown out of proportion?
The short answer is that the game really is a complete flop. Or to put it another way; this is not a case of a molehill being made into mountain. On release the game barely functioned at all, plagued with game breaking bugs, poor performance, unimpressive features, and extremely substandard content. The player base has shrunk to such an extent that it is now almost impossible to get into a match. Many regular players have simply abandoned Battlefield altogether and adopted more reliable entertainment, like online roulette.
EA has also recently been making moves to distance itself from the product, removing it from promotional material. This, more than anything, should be an indication of how bad the failure really is.
Not Entirely Unexpected
Some have expressed surprise that the franchise ended up so badly, but the fact of the matter is that product quality has been heading downhill for some time. The last major success occurred as long ago as 2016, Battlefield 1, and things have been shaky ever since. Battlefield 5, releasing in 2018, was less than well received, being criticised for poor map design, a historically inaccurate art style, and lack of interesting new content. So that the next entry has done even worse shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
But the real question is; where will EA go from here? A series that has produced nothing but success for 2 decades has suddenly gone up in flames, meaning that the company must certainly be concerned about its future. Right? Not at all.
Those that are familiar with the mega-corporation know that this failure probably isn’t especially concerning. At least not as far as generating income is concerned. The corporation’s revenue is largely derived from the EA Sports division, with every entry raking in a fortune from loot box mechanics. The only thing suffering is the reputation of a company that was already not particularly glowing.