EA Games is taking the failure of Battlefield 2042 very seriously. The company hosted a Town Hall meeting call with a number of staff and admitted the game’s trainwreck launch, buggy development and lack of direction in the game. According to Tom Henderson, EA spent at least 20 minutes chatting about the game’s rocky launch.
EA opened by stating how important it is for the company to understand when they miss the mark and in the case of Battlefield 2042, the game missed its own expectations.
They went on to explain a number of factors that led to the game’s failed launch. It started out by using an old version of the Frostbite Engine which then had to be ported over to the new version of the engine. This alone took 18 months of development time. The upgrade in the engine then caused a number of bugs. In addition, the engine, even though it was upgraded, needed some serious work to optimise the game.
EA Games also says the work from home situation brought on by the COVID pandemic caused some major delays across the board too.
“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 2042 Beta took place last year, EA says they did receive some substantial negative feedback in relation to bugs and lack of polish. However, they also received a lot of positive feedback from players. So much so that the company believed their development was looking strong and “Battlefield is back”.
Sadly after the beta and close to post-launch, it was revealed that Battlefield 2042 featured bugs and issues on “historic levels for a DICE game”. DICE believed the game would still get around the high 70s and low 80s with those issues. DICE also issues multiple patches during the launch of the game to drop this bug count down.
DICE believed the bugs were stable and the early critical reception of the game was good. During the meeting, EA Games then blamed Halo: Infinite for contributing to some of Battlefield 2042’s failures. They claim that the release of Halo: Infinite, which is also struggling to keep its active player count, was more polished than Battlefield 2042 and didn’t contain as many bugs. They believe players opted to download Halo instead of Battlefield due to this.
With all this being said, EA Games has acknowledged that the company has had bug issues with DICE games at launch. However, the bug count for Battlefield 2042 is looking a lot higher than any other game released in the past. The company is determined to make it right with gamers. They have yet to announce plans for the rumoured free-to-play model so we will have to see what they have planned.