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".
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/WWuDpstyqSJanuary 20, 2022
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.