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Battlefield 2042 started life as a battle royale game, development took 18 months - report

Battlefield 2042 reportedly had a troubled past, and the final product did not spend as long in development as we were lead to believe.

Battlefield 2042 has been having a rough go of it. Between DICE's suspicious unwillingness to share enough gameplay ahead of launch, the game's delay, and its very short beta - it was clear this won't be a typical Battlefield.

But what's less clear is the hows and whys, which this new video from leaker Tom Henderson attempts to address. Henderson has an okay track record when it comes to DICE leaks, and he has laid out a rough timeline of the game's development based on what he's learned from his sources.

The 30-minute video, linked above, recounts how Battlefield 2042 development started, with EA reportedly asking DICE to "copy what's popular", which at that time was battle royale games. This is supposedly what lead to the creation of the Plus Menu, which was needed to allow players to switch weapon attachments on the fly based on what they find as ground loot.

This also what eventually got the developer to abandon the traditional class system in favour of Specialists early in 2020, which EA saw as another opportunity to monetise the game post-launch, based on the successful model of Warzone.

Some of those battle royale elements found themselves in Hazard Zone, Battlefield 2042's underdeveloped extraction royale mode. Between April and August 2020, development shifted to the current version of Battlefield 2042, bringing back some of the basic franchise elements while maintaining a vision of what the project started out as.

Between technical issues, long-standing problems with the Frostbite engine, and the game's own working-from-home challenges, it was clear Battlefield 2042 was in trouble. According to the video, DICE asked EA to assign other studios to help finish the game, around March this year.

Among the reveals made in the video is that EA's comment that development is "ahead of schedule" wasn't accurate. That statement was one of the many that cropped up in the wake of Battlefield 2042's launch as having been deceptive.

It's worth watching the full video, though it's best taking some of those claims with a grain of salt. If you missed it, here's our full review of Battlefield 2042.

About the Author

Sherif Saed avatar

Sherif Saed

Staff Writer

Whether it's news, reviews, or interviews - Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He plays shooters more than a sane person should, and occasionally has the skills to show for it.

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