Battlefield 2042 could cause the entire series to go free-to-play

Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone
(Image credit: EA)

The disappointing performance of Battlefield 2042 could encourage EA to make the series free-to-play in the future.

In a recent tweet, known Battlefield leaker Tom Henderson said that the developer is reportedly "very disappointed with how Battlefield 2042 has performed". As a result, the company is said to be "looking at all the options" for the future of the series. According to Henderson, that includes "looking at Free to Play in some capacity".

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Fan reception of Battlefield 2042 has been very poor. On Steam, only 32% of reviews for the game are positive, with concerns being raised over performance, gunplay, and numerous bugs. Those numerous issues appear to have been reflected in player counts; server populations are another concern, and according to SteamCharts, more Battlefield fans are playing 2018's Battlefield 5 than the new release.

With that in mind, EA's apparent disappointment isn't particularly surprising, but the extent to which it'll be prepared to shake up its flagship shooter remains to be seen. Free-to-play would be a significant adjustment, but there are still a number of other options on the table, and whatever EA and DICE has planned, it's likely to be several years before we see the fruits of these discussions. Traditional Battlefield development cycles last around two or three years, and a significant change of formula could mean that we'll be waiting even longer for the series' next outing.

Battlefield isn't the only series that's potentially in line for a change - after its acquisition of Activision, Microsoft is reportedly considering abandoning Call of Duty's annual schedule.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.