Battlefield 2042 was made in just 18 months – used to be a battle royale

A trusted insider claims that plans for Battlefield 2042 were completely revamped just a year and a half ago, explaining its poor performance at launch.

Ever since it was first announced, EA and developer DICE have been insisting that Battlefield 2042 doesn’t have a battle royale mode but according to one reliable source that wasn’t always the case. In fact, apparently the game used to be focused entirely on battle royale.

Ordinarily you’d think Battlefield and battle royale would be the perfection combination, since Battlefield is already known for its large maps and 64-player battles. And yet not only did Battlefield 5 not launch with a battle royale mode but when it added it in later it was a complete flop.

Since EA now has the highly successful Apex Legends to go up against Fortnite, many assumed that had removed the urgency for Battlefield 2042 to have a battle royale mode, but apparently that’s not quite what happened.

Insider Tom Henderson has been on the money with just about everything so far concerning Battlefield 2042, having leaked out most of the early details of the game, so there’s little reason to doubt that his new YouTube video about the making of the game isn’t also accurate.

In it, he claims that EA bluntly told DICE to ‘copy what’s popular’ when designing Battlefield 2042, which was naturally interpreted as meaning more battle royale.

It’s not clear exactly what went wrong with this plan, although Henderson mentions problems with the Frostbite engine and the problems of working from home. The upshot was that around April 2020 the battle royale plans were abandoned and the design was switched to what you see in the final game today.

That means that Battlefield 2042 as it exists now only had around 18 months of development, which is extraordinarily short for a AAA game and explains not just the bugs but the suspicious lack of information until only a few months ago and the oddly short beta.

That doesn’t mean that everything prior to last April was abandoned though, and Henderson claims that removing the traditional class system in favour of specialists was originally only added when the game was meant to be a battle royale, as was the instant weapon modding (which were originally tied to collecting loot).

The new Hazard Zone extraction mode is also supposedly a remnant of the older design, in terms of multiple teams competing on a large open world map.

Whether all of these details are accurate or not will probably never be known, but seeing how the game has turned out, and EA’s actions prior to release, it all seems very believable.

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