6 years after its release, Battlefield 1 has re-entered the Steam top 10 best-sellers chart and is boasting huge concurrent player numbers.
As spotted by Emopulse, the shooter, which was first released in October 2016, has seen a massive jump in popularity, seeing its largest concurrent player count ever. It’s worth noting that the game was added to Steam in 2020.
The player count, which reached 49,732 over the past 24 hours, is around 44,000 more players than Battlefield 2042 registered in the same period.
There are likely a few reasons for this. Firstly, Battlefield 1 is currently heavily discounted, costing $4.79 / £4.19. However, even prior to Battlefield 1’s resurgence, Battlefield 2042 was only managing between 8 to 15 thousand concurrent players on Steam in recent months, according to SteamDB.
Battlefield V, the predecessor to Battlefield 2042, is also seeing more players than Battlefield 2042, despite the fact that’s not on sale. Battlefield V has seen a peak of 15,454 players compared to 2042’s 5,379.
Another reason is the general poor reception for Battlefield 2042 from the Battlefield community. Since launch, the game has received criticism from players for a lack of compelling maps, a redesign of the classic Battlefield class system, and a lack of consistent substantial updates.
“We launched with strong stability, however as more players experienced the full game it became clear that there were unanticipated performance issues that we would need to address,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a conference call last year, addressing the issues.
Wilson continued: “Some of the design choices we made with the game also did not resonate with everyone in our community. We are fully committed to realizing the full potential of this game and fully committed to our Battlefield fans.”
EA’s Vince Zampella also offered his thoughts on the poor critical and commercial reaction. “I think they just strayed a little too far from what Battlefield is,” he said. “They tried to do a couple of things that were maybe ambitious: grow the player count etc. I don’t think they spent enough time iterating on what makes that fun.”
In December, EA announced its intention to create a “connected Battlefield universe” alongside widespread changes to the franchise’s development structure.
As part of these plans, DICE’s former general manager Oscar Gabrielson left EA altogether, while Zampella took on a new role as the overseer of the franchise.
“It’s a whole new structure,” Zampella told Barrons. “We’re putting multiple studios together. We’re bringing the best talent together and giving them the time to do something amazing.”