Battlefield 2042‘s release last year was a big disappointment, both for players, and for executives at Electronic Arts. The publisher previously indicated that it was unhappy with the game’s performance, but in a company town hall meeting call on February 15th, EA chief studios officer Laura Miele shared the company’s internal reasoning for Battlefield 2042‘s failures. According to a post by Tom Henderson on Xfire, Miele listed several contributing factors, including struggles with the game’s Frostbite engine, the early launch of Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer, and problems presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” said Miele.
The pandemic has had a profound impact on all aspects of the video game industry, from arcade closures, to the semiconductor shortage that has led to fewer PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles on the market. During the pandemic, many teams switched to remote work, which caused a lot of problems for developers; EA is not the only company that has attributed issues with development to the pandemic.
In November, Xbox surprised fans by releasing Halo Infinite‘s free-to-play multiplayer ahead of the game’s full release. Miele claimed that internal testing of Battlefield 2042 was positive despite its flaws, but the game’s bugs became more noticeable when compared to Halo Infinite‘s level of polish. Miele and EA seem to believe that the comparisons hurt Battlefield 2042‘s chances. Henderson seemed to scoff at that suggestion, but the glut of first-person shooters released in the fall of 2021 probably did contribute somewhat to the game’s struggles to meet sales expectations.
In his post, Henderson points out that EA and DICE should have known about many of the game’s bugs and issues prior to launch, as he and others were pointing out warning signs that the game was in trouble. Hopefully, EA and DICE will be able to fix the game’s problems, and turn things around for Battlefield 2042!
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