EA and Dice have recently revealed their latest tentpole shooter in Battlefield 2042. The bombastic trailer provided a decent glimpse, albeit a fully CGI one, into the various locales we can expect as well as a look into weapons. It also tossed in a few memorable “battlefield moments.” That term began as a marketing term of sorts, but there are certainly moments of emergent gameplay that are unique to Battlefield.
After the trailer, we received more of the nitty gritty details such as price and the lack of campaign. The game will be $69.99 for Next-gen consoles and $59.99 for previous gen and PC. We knew that the price hike was coming , but it’s more impactful here when you raise the price and provide “less.” It is curious as to how the PC version is standing pat, yet the next-gen consoles are increasing. Price notwithstanding, I could see the lack of a campaign being a sticking point. But, should the removal of a campaign be a bad thing?
I’ve played every Dice Battlefield game since 1942 going all the way back to its release in 2002. Of the 11 Battlefield games released, I can tell you the story points from the campaign for exactly two: Bad Company 1 and 2. It’s anecdotal, but I have to imagine with the rise of half-decent internet in most homes, the scales began to tip into more and more time spent in multiplayer.
There will be people upset, but I can’t recall the last time where someone raved about the campaign of a Battlefield game. That and, if any company is adept at pulling money from its consumers via loot boxes (or abattle pass), it’s EA. Multiplayer only is a perfect way to accomplish that. But, do I think the sole reason they cut the campaign from 2042 was to generate even more revenue? I honestly do not.
If you take a look at the top revenue generating games, the most popular games, highest concurrent users, etc. there is one commonality: Multiplayer. You’ll see the usual suspects in Warzone, Apex Legends, Counter-Strike and Fortnite. None of those games have a dedicated single player campaign. You can argue Fortnite’s Save the World is one, but that has been pushed way into left field once Epic fully realized the monetization possible for Fortnite.
The shift to a solely multiplayer title could benefit the series here and moving forward. No matter how lackluster, or at best unmemorable the campaigns have been, they still took up development time. It’s the idea of harnessing all your talent and becoming a master at the multiplayer side instead of shoe-horning in a campaign to complement it. I feel like the need to check that off on the back of the box was more important in the PS3/360 era than it has been as of recent. Where we would have certainly been weary then, outside of those on PC, that sticking point just doesn’t really exist for most consumers.
EA and Dice are taking a risk for certain with Battlefield 2042. They are asking more from consumers, while ostensibly giving “less.” The make or break point for me will be implementation of their battle passes, and just how impactful the boost to 64 vs 64 really is.
If this Battlefield doesn’t exceed that of previous titles, I think we all have to question whether losing an additional mode and paying more money was worth it.
Battlefield 2042 will release on PS4, Xbox One and PC for $59.99 and PS5 and Xbox Series X/S for $69.99 on October 22.