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Battlefield 2042’s Troubled Development and Identity Crisis

This is a behind-the-scenes insight into Battlefield 2042’s troubled development and identity crises.

It’s been several days since the Battlefield 2042 Beta ended, giving many players their first-ever experience in the near-future conflict.

Fans received the Beta with mixed opinions, with many concerned as to why the Beta felt so incomplete.  Not only did bugs, glitches, and performance issues plague the game, but it didn’t feel like Battlefield title.

Features that gave Battlefield its renowned character were cut, with the game feeling more like a game that copied trends, instead of creating them.

Our first major red flag for the Battlefield 2042 Beta came just a day prior to the start date. EA reported that the Beta of the game was several months old.

EA’s forum post stated, “Our Open Beta was branched from our Full Release client a few months ago, and polished and improved to provide a great snapshot of the full experience”. Shortly after, DICE solidified this, saying that they had fixed most of the Beta’s bugs for launch.

Not only did we get a conflicting “polished and improved” statement from EA. But after, we got the perfect justification story for the bugs, glitches, and performance issues before the Beta even going live.

Read More: Battlefield 2042 Easy Anti-Cheat is Good, But There are Flaws

Battlefield 2042 Irish
EA DICE

Battlefield 2042 Secrets

Over the last few months, I have been in contact with an associate at DICE, who wishes to remain anonymous. This associate is one of several people who has been feeding me information that I’ve regularly released.

The information has included key Battlefield 2042 details which I’ve publicly been sharing since May. However, I have also been regularly kept in the loop on how Battlefield 2042 development is going.

On September 17th, I reported some of this information, stating that the game has been in trouble for months

After EA claimed that the build was “months old”, I publicly tried to defend the statement on my Twitter. I calculated that developers had roughly 110 days of development time to fix issues if their statements were true.

However, the Key Timeline of Battlefield 2042 Development Issues shows that the problems with the game date far more back than the Beta.

Battlefield 2042 Beta Build – Older Than We Thought?

However, shortly after my mathematic wizardry, my DICE associate claimed that the beta build wasn’t actually months old at all. The source stated that the Beta build is from early-mid September, but couldn’t give an accurate date.

A second source would later back up this information, who had revealed the Battlefield 2042 delay plans and new Beta release dates to me in mid-September. 

There’s no doubt that the Battlefield 2042 Beta build wasn’t a representation of the final product. But why did DICE even release it in that state?

In fact, even in the Battlefield 2042 Open Beta trailer, we can see the more up-to-date version of the game. The added obstructions in the middle of the rocket pad are a clear indicator.

Battlefield 2042 Beta
EA DICE

What’s interesting about the Battlefield 2042 Beta though, is that its delay had no impact on what was played on October 6. After delving into the Beta’s build settings, we can see that the build is actually from September 20th, 2021, just one day prior to when the Beta was originally meant to go live. 

Disclaimer – Image not taken from the property of Electronic Arts Inc. Image created from publicly available information.

This does not mean the build itself is from this exact date. Still, it tells us that there were zero changes to the build despite the delay.

This seemingly matches up with what I’ve heard for months, that DICE is having major stability issues with builds of the game.

It’s one of the major reasons that up until the Beta, DICE has been quiet on releasing new footage of the game. Not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t. 

This was one of the major reasons why EA didn’t show off Battlefield 2042 gameplay at Gamescom.

Also Read: Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Likely to be Revealed at the End of October

Alleged Development Problems at DICE

According to both of the sources mentioned, many of the game’s problems have stemmed from management, with some management figures coming from 2017’s Battlefront II.

Management is allegedly not committed enough to the project, with creative being simply told to do X, Y, and Z. One of these management figures was simply described as a “yes man”, and apparently things have “been s*&t since”.

Problems brought up to management also fall on deaf ears throughout the development process. Ultimately creating issues that DICE could have solved earlier in the development process.

As for the lack of creativity, management loved some of Modern Warfare 2019’s aspects that much, that the studio was supposedly encouraged to create something similar.

Modern Warfare operators
Activision

Unfortunately, it’s unclear what exactly this means, but one of the features was the Modern Warfare operators. A feature that’s unfortunately ripped away Battlefield’s classic class system.

With supply drops being a thing of the past for most games, publishers need new ways to incentivize purchases. One way of which is the Battle Pass and Specialist system, which has become the norm in recent years.

It’s still unclear what other design choices came from Call of Duty. But a ton of Call of Duty creators (that have never uploaded a Battlefield title before) was invited to the closed Beta capture event. A clear sign that management knows what role Call of Duty played in Battlefield 2042’s development. Unfortunately, this choice left hardcore Battlefield creators waiting in the wings of the capture event.

MORE Battlefield
Final 5 Battlefield 2042 Specialists Revealed - Gadgets, Abilities & More

One of the biggest concerns to stem from the Battlefield 2042 Beta though, is that some hard-working DICE developers are concerned for their jobs. By all accounts that I know of, rumblings in the studio have started, with some developers already speaking out to close friends at other studios.

So far, no indication from management on layoffs has been discussed. But despite this, the events that happened after the Battlefield V reveal still looms over the studio like a dark cloud.

Read More: Battlefield 2042 Early Gameplay Opinions – The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Battlefield 2042
EA DICE

Beta Troubles – What Does the Future of Battlefield 2042 Hold?

Signs of a troubled development these past several months have been obvious. And, unfortunately, the Battlefield 2042 Beta is unmistakable evidence.

Even if the Beta is months old, the reality is that the Beta is the product of over two and a half years of development.

Not only that, but various other studios have come on board to help out.

Fans understand that DICE developed the game during a global pandemic. But we need to remember that it was EA that told investors that in February 2021, that the game was “way ahead of schedule”. 

A lot can happen in seven months, sure, but claiming the game is ahead of schedule when the majority of the world is in lockdown, to then have constant pushbacks when the pandemic is seemingly easing is a cause of concern. Development should be getting easier in the new norm, not harder.

DICE and EA not only have any identity crises with Battlefield, but they have one with themselves.

We should be drooling over the November 19th release date after playing the Beta, but it feels more people canceled their pre-order instead of buying it

Battlefield 2042 is fun, exciting, and has amazing potential. But I can’t help but fear it’s a rocky road ahead for Battlefield, but I sure hope I’m wrong.

UPDATE:

Since this report, several developers from DICE have reached out privately to explain the Battelfield Beta build.

As reported in the original report “This does not mean the build itself is from this exact date.” – This statement is true. According to two developers, the beta branched off from the full game in the second half of August, with both August 19th and August 24th dates provided.

In a direct quote, one developer said “After a branch, it doesn’t matter what the build timestamp is.” Continued by “All that matters is what was or wasn’t in the code and data at the time and date of the branch.”

So, it would seem that the Beta build was around seven weeks old (from the August 19th date). In addition to these current DICE developer comments, a former DICE developer also added to the discussion, by adding that the Beta Build time is irrelevant is this report. 

Everyone involved in this update either refused or ignored my request to comment further on other aspects of this report.

Battlefield 2042
EA

In other news, here is a list of every weapon coming to Battlefield 2042 that we know of. What’s more, popular dataminer Temporyal has also revealed the upcoming Battlefield 2042 Season 1 map, ‘Ridge’.

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Final 5 Battlefield 2042 Specialists Revealed - Gadgets, Abilities & More
Share your thoughts, or ask a question:
Comments 30

Comments

DrZ

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

Doesn't take a genius to realize that a 10 year old project built today will have today's date/time as the build time. It's no indication of how old the code is. This guy lacks common sense or is acting dumb on purpose.

David Canales

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v_YozYt8l-g

Rich

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Been playing since BF2... it has been a progressive nerfing ever since.

I had hoped they would open the maps back up. Enemy uncaps being out of bounds are why AA trolls can hide in the base. Aircraft along with all vehicles and assets need to spawn on the ground, not in mid air. Protecting your base and available assets where huge and pivotal in BF2. Commander is in game and able to be killed.

Instead they are going the other direction. More locked down. Nvm the confusing UI colors and terrible "specialist" system....

They just need to make BF2 again....

Bertie

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

You don't need the DICE devs to know that the date of the build does not matter. That is simply how it is. If i did a project two days ago and compiled it for shipping today it is still a product of two days ago.

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

so another game plagued by shit management. yay

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