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Battlefield 2042’s first season delayed to summer, DICE tells players

Studio says it needs to ‘focus on improving the Battlefield 2042 experience’

A battle with multiple helicopters flying over a container yard in Singapore, from Battlefield 2042. Image: DICE/Electronic Arts
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Battlefield 2042’s first multiplayer season won’t launch until this summer, EA DICE said on Tuesday, while the studio works “on multiple fronts to address feedback and implement extensive fixes to the game.”

“This decision gives us the time to focus on improving the Battlefield 2042 experience while finalizing the development of our seasonal content, to ensure that it all reaches our standard for quality,” the studio said in a note to players.

Battlefield 2042, which is a multiplayer-only game for the first time in franchise history, launched on Nov. 19 with promises for four seasons offering Battle Passes of tiered unlocks, which would include four new playable characters and new maps. EA DICE, however, didn’t include or confirm any time frame for when the first season would start.

A month after launch, a data miner pulled references to a new map, possibly season 1’s, and a March 2022 release date. Meanwhile, EA DICE was at work over the holidays delivering two big title updates to address problems and missing features that bottomed out Battlefield 2042’s critical reception to all-time lows.

Tuesday’s note reminded players that Battlefield 2042 would get its first real scoreboard with the next title update, coming sometime this month. The note also mentioned that VOIP communication would arrive soon, although it didn’t specify when.

Battlefield 2042 was formally announced during EA Play 2021, although earlier in the year, Electronic Arts announced that Criterion had put its next Need for Speed game on hold in order to support EA DICE on what would become Battlefield 2042.

EA’s chief studios officer, Laura Miele, said at the time that “we have a great game and some incredible potential with this game,” that EA wanted to realize by bringing Criterion back to work on a shooter (the studio developed the Firestorm battle royale mode for 2018’s Battlefield 5). But Miele also acknowledged that pandemic work-from-home conditions had slowed development and left DICE “fatigued a bit.”

Battlefield 2042 was originally due to launch in October but was delayed a month to mid-November, putting it up against tentpole shooters Call of Duty: Vanguard and Halo Infinite. The first seasons for the free-to-play multiplayer of Halo Infinite and Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific began with their main games’ launch dates.

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