Battlefield 2042 – player numbers seem to be in freefall (pic: EA)
The most recent Battlefield has seen its concurrent player count on Steam go from bad to worse, as it falls below 1,000 for the first time.
There are flops and then there is whatever’s going on with Battlefield 2042, especially on Steam. At launch, the game was subject to poor sales and even worse feedback from players, who were upset about the bugs, the lack of content, and the seemingly slapdash way it had been put together.
Things only got worse from there, as major updates were continually delayed and rumours started to emerge that developer DICE has already started work on a new game.
At the beginning of the year the game was already being played less than Battlefield 5 and 1 and now its concurrent player count on Steam has fallen below 1,000, to the point where more people are playing the 11-year-old Portal 2 and the bizarre sounding PowerWash Simulator.
At time of writing the total number of concurrent players is 951. There are no figures for consoles but Battlefield is traditionally considered a PC game first and foremost, which makes things even worse.
Many of the games with similar numbers are obscure indie titles like Muck, Foxhole, and Beasts Of Bermuda, with the only recent big budget games doing similar numbers being Madden NFL 22 and fellow flop Ghostwire: Tokyo.
To add to the game’s misery, it’s also one of the worst reviewed titles on Steam, and with the updates all taking so long it’s not ever likely to do better.
You can see the numbers for yourself on the Steam Charts website but the data all suggests that the number of players is continuing to decrease.
What all this means for the franchise is unclear but the reports that work has begun on a new entry are perfectly believable.
The suggestion that the game might go free-to-play, in addition to or instead of the paid-for release, is harder to verify but something clearly needs to change if the franchise is to survive.
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