Battlefield 2042 has more players now on Steam than it did when it first released almost two years ago, a major about-face for a game heavily criticized at launch as being buggy and unfinished.
According to Steam Charts, on October 15, Battlefield 2042 broke its concurrent player record on Steam with over 101,000 players, just surpassing the 100,590 player-peak of the game’s launch. Then, on October 16, it did it again, breaking 103,000 concurrent players. For context, in September, Battlefield 2042’s peak player on Steam count reached a high of 11,843 players.
Why the massive jump in player numbers? Battlefield 2042 was free to download and play both on PC and consoles over the weekend and is currently heavily discounted as well. On Steam, the game can currently be bought for under $10, while on consoles it can be picked up for $21. Battlefield 2042 is additionally playable via EA Play and Game Pass Ultimate, with the game’s arrival last year on Game Pass in particular being a “huge moment” for the developers, as the team knew it would bring in a large influx of new players. Battlefield 2042’s player numbers on consoles and on PC outside of Steam aren’t currently known.
Battlefield 2042’s new Steam peak player count isn’t just thanks to the free weekend. The game also saw the release of its Season 6 update on October 10, which added a new map, multiple new weapons and gadgets, and made improvements to aim-assist and vehicle handling.
It’s just the latest in a long string of updates that have looked to improve just about everything related to the latest entry in DICE’s storied shooter franchise. Battlefield 2042’s maps were heavily criticized at launch, but slowly have each been reworked in the two years after their original release. Weapons and aiming have been completely rebalanced, and the game even has a class system now, a classic staple of the franchise that wasn’t originally a part of Battlefield 2042 in lieu of the game’s Specialist characters.
EA and DICE are currently working on the next iteration Battlefield, which EA CEO Andrew Wilson has said will be a “reimagination” of the franchise. In fact, there are multiple new Battlefield games in the works. Halo veteran Marcus Lehto’s new studio is working on a single-player campaign-focused Battlefield title, while studios like DICE and Ripple Effect (with help from Criterion) are working on multiplayer-focused Battlefield experiences. A planned mobile Battlefield game was abruptly canceled earlier this year.
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