clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Battlefield 2042 is coming to Game Pass Ultimate as classes return

DICE touts season 3 as the perfect time to get involved in the struggling shooter

Four masked soldiers carrying weapons storm an area of bright red shipping containers, with an armored buggy in the background Image: DICE/Electronic Arts
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

Beleaguered shooter Battlefield 2042 will be added to the EA Play and Game Pass Ultimate subscription services when its season 3 begins in a “few weeks.” Developer EA DICE made the announcement in a blog post detailing the changes in the coming season.

Battlefield 2042 will arrive on the subscription platforms just over a year after its November 2021 launch — a normal interval for a major Electronic Arts release. But the publisher will be hoping a curious new audience on Game Pass will give the struggling game a boost. Battlefield 2042 launched with performance issues and absent content, and failed to click with players to such an extent that EA’s chief executive Andrew Wilson told investors in May that DICE would be rethinking Battlefield “from the ground up” in future.

If nothing else, an influx of new players will be welcome. On Steam, 2042’s player numbers have slumped so far that, after a recent sale, 2016’s Battlefield 1 had 10 times as many players as the most recent Battlefield release.

Nevertheless, DICE is committing to supporting 2042 in the medium-to-long term. The developer mentioned that it has started pre-production on “all new content that will come after Season 4, next year.” Perhaps a longer commitment to 2042 will buy the developer time to complete that rethink of the series, under the watchful eye of Respawn head (and Call of Duty alumnus) Vince Zampella, who has been tasked by Wilson with overseeing Battlefield.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done in the last 12 months,” the studio said. Crucially, season 3 will bring the heralded revamp to the game’s Specialists that assigns them all traditional Battlefield classes, with clearly defined roles. On top of that, there’ll be a new Specialist, some map updates, and the addition of fan-favorite weapons including Bad Company 2’s XM8.

Seems like the advent of Season 3 and its addition to Game Pass Ultimate will present as good a time as any to give Battlefield 2042 a first — or second — chance.