Battlefield 2042 only had 15 months of development, explains a lot

Battlefield insider Tom Henderson gives us a look at the Battlefield 2042 development, which is a mess -- just 15 months to make.

3 minutes & 30 seconds read time

Battlefield 2042 has been YET ANOTHER clusterfu*k for EA, with major reshuffles internally post-launch now that Battlefield 2042 is in the wild. But fresh info from Battlefield insider Tom Henderson gives us a better look at the development of the game, and what a mess it has been.

The game only had 15 months of development time, with full production of Battlefield 2042 beginning in August 2020 -- after being delayed a couple of times, and then released in November 2021. EA DICE knew that they were in trouble just 6 months in at around early March 2021, with Frostbite engine problems making headaches for EA.

We saw the flow-on effects from this just days ago, with Respawn Entertainment boss (and ex-Infinity Ward boss) Vince Zampella taking over the Battlefield franchise. EA DICE has also turfed Battlefield executive producer Aleksander Grondal, who spent 14 years working at DICE producing Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, and acted as the executive producer on Battlefield 2042.

In his video, Henderson details that 19 senior DICE developers had left the company before Battlefield 2042 development (in August 2020) began. Henderson notes that the developers left for a single reason: creative freedom.

Developers "time and time again" would pitch "incredible ideas that were ahead of its time, but with EA wanting to compete against the competition -- instead of getting ahead of it -- many senior developers simply had enough and wanted their own creative freedom".

Battlefield 2042 only had 15 months of development, explains a lot 04

EA had their sights set on the next big thing in the gaming world at the time... battle royale. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone. But at the same time Battlefield V and its battle royale mode "Firestorm" was in development in a collaboration between DICE and Criterion Games.

Poor sales of Battlefield V indicated that Firestorm wasn't going to have the effect that EA wanted for its post-launch sales, while in the middle of this EA acquired Respawn Entertainment and surprise dropped out of nowhere Apex Legends. Apex Legends became EA's money-making darling, an innovative battle royale shooter that is still hella-popular today.

EA was expected to use a $60 price on Apex Legends, but the decision was overturned by developers at Respawn that if EA charged for Apex Legends, it wouldn't be anywhere near as successful. In an interview, Respawn explained when asked that EA is making Respawn put loot boxes into the game and "forcing you to be trend chasers".

Respawn replied: "The response is play the game, check it out, and form your own opinion. But also, we decided to make this game. Not to be throwing EA under the bus, but this wasn't the game they were expecting. I had to go to executives, show it to them, and explain it and.. not convince but more, 'Hey, trust us! This is the thing you want out of us".

"As a corporation, they can only quantify based on past data and they've never done anything like this before. There's a giant rainbow question mark over revenue projections for this game. They're like, 'We don't know! We can't predict'. This is a game where we had to say, 'This is what we want to do. Help us get there".

The comments finish with something it seems no matter the size of balls at EA DICE, they wouldn't listen... Respawn added: "They had no hand in development or anything about this game" and (now my emphasis) is how EA should've handled Battlefield 2042, FFS.

Sigh, makes me so sad to see the Battlefield franchise like this... after pumping hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours into the games. I played the f**k out of Battlefield 1942 and its demo of Wake Island, and man Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and its Vietnam expansion were just off-the-chain.

Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 were fantastic, especially BF4 once it was fully patched up (and played on the PC). But now... meh, Call of Duty: Warzone (well now, Warzone Pacific) has my full attention. With Vince Zampella at the helm I have more faith, but I do not respect a single thing corporations like EA do.

They've screwed over some of the very best talent in the gaming industry, for what?


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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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