EA blame Battlefield 2042’s launch failures on Halo Infinite and the pandemic

Halo Infinite Technical Preview screenshot
Halo Infinite – why is Battlefield’s failure Halo’s fault? (pic: Microsoft)

The failure of Battlefield 2042 seems to be everyone’s fault except EA, according to a report detailing a recent ‘town hall’ meeting with staff.

Although early buzz was positive, Battlefield 2042 quickly became one of the biggest disappointments of 2022, with fans complaining of a litany of bugs and not enough content.

Naturally, that’s not something EA has been quick to admit in public but according to a report on Xfire, by Battlefield insider Tom Henderson, the company recently held a ‘town hall’ meeting with staff in which the failures of Battlefield 2042 were discussed for over 20 minutes.

EA sought to blame the problems on the difficulty of updating developer DICE’s Frostbite engine to modern standards, a process which took over 18 months of the development time, and the problems of working from home. Strangest of all, they said the game’s poor reception was partially due to the release of the largely bug-free Halo Infinite.

Of course, every video game company had to deal with the problems of the pandemic, and working from home, including the makers of Halo Infinite, so it’s not clear why EA felt they alone were unable to cope.

According to the report EA knew that Battlefield 2042 had ‘historic levels’ of bugs for a DICE game but were still convinced that it would review well at launch, stating that ‘early critical reception was good’.

The problem, from their perspective, was the launch of the multiplayer component of Halo Infinite, which was released several weeks before the main game and proved extremely popular.

Halo Infinite was largely bug free, in stark contrast to Battlefield 2042. Although no mention seems to have been made of the fact that Halo is an Xbox console exclusive, so PlayStation owners would’ve been entirely unaware of the comparisons.

Despite the dubious excuses, EA did summarise three main problems that led to Battlefield 2042’s failure: bugs and performance, game design and feature choices, and the game not aligning with player expectations.

‘Clearly, we didn’t go wide enough with different player segments and we certainly didn’t go deep enough with the game, so we did not bring players along with us, which is a big miss for the development cycle and process of this game’, EA Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele is reported to have said.

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As a result, EA will be restructuring all of Battlefield’s development teams, with Call Of Duty co-creator Vince Zampella having recently taken over stewardship of the franchise as a whole.

The problem at the moment though is that it’s three months since the game first launched and still little has changed, with frequently requested features such as scoreboards and VOIP, taking an unusually long time.

To what degree Battlefield 2042 can be salvaged remains to be seen but despite the excuses EA does at least seem to understand the depth of its failure, and the difficulties that will result in regaining the trust of fans.

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