“How can you disappoint your community like that?”

The military shooter Battlefield 2042 was highly anticipated in November 2021. He should stand up to the dominant “Call of Duty” and bring EA back to the front. But the shooter fell through with critics and fans and is considered a catastrophic flop. The new boss of DICE, Rebecka Coutaz, now comments on the disappointing release and the plans to straighten the shooter again.

This was the situation before the release:

  • Battlefield 1 was a hit for DICE in 2016, the shooter set in World War I. On Metacritc, the title received an outstanding 88% (PC).
  • Battlefield V was released in 2018 and its main goal was to give players more character customization options. Although the shooter received a respectable 81% from testers, controversy caused regular players to react negatively, saying Battlefield V’s portrayal of female combatants was unrealistic. EA reacted aggressively to this. It said, “live with it or don’t play it.”
  • After Battlefield V, the series took a hiatus to regroup. Meanwhile, eternal competitor Call of Duty became the dominant military shooter with Warzone. It increased by 300-1000% from 2019 to 2020, right during the Battlefield break.

In 2 minutes we explain the most important thing about Battlefield 2042:

Everything you need to know about the new Battlefield 2042 – in 2 minutes

Battlefield 2042 flops – disappointment turns to malice

Here’s how Battlefield 2042 arrived: In November 2021, Battlefield 2042 was released: That took place in the near future and wanted to revitalize the Battlefield series with some radical innovations and regain lost trust. In many ways, EA apparently also wanted to catch up with Call of Duty: Warzone:

The criticism of Battlefield 2042 turned into bitter malice and mockery – especially when a developer complained about the disappointed fans and their supposedly too high expectations.

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In a MeinMMO podcast, we dealt in detail with the difficult situation of Battlefield:

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Who is the new boss? In December 2021, EA announced it was deploying a new leadership team to get Battlefield back on track. For example, Vince Zampella was installed as a boss: He earned his spurs in Call of Duty and is considered responsible for the surprisingly great success of Apex Legends, which has now replaced Battlefield as the leading shooter at EA.

In Stockholm, the Swede Rebecka Coutaz was appointed General Manager at EA DICE. She previously ran a Ubisoft studio in Annecy: there, in France, games like The Division and Rider’s Republic were being worked on.

Players scoff at Battlefield 2042’s Specialists – who’s friend or foe?

The team put years of their lives into Battlefield 2042

This is what the new studio boss says now: In an interview with Eurogamer, Coutaz says about the launch:

Everyone was disappointed – our community, our players, and also our team: it’s the team that put years of their lives into the game. And the fact that this game didn’t meet the expectations of the players and the team was tough. We’re moving forward now and have done a lot of things since then.

What did Coutaz do in her first few months? The first thing you did was take a step back and look at what works and what doesn’t. What did you have? What could you build on?

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The team needed about 2 months for this analysis. Since then, development structures, tools and processes have changed to get ready to make Battlefield 2042 a great game after all.

Working from home, for example, has been identified as a problem: it is simply different and it took time to adjust to it. In addition, they lost 4 important key developers in senior positions and had to fill these gaps:

First I put together an executive team that will run the studio with me and after that I would say I transitioned Battlefield 2042 to live because we were set up to get a game ready for launch. This is just the beginning of the journey.

Boss is convinced: “The quality is there”

Overall, the new boss believes that the process of making Battlefield 2042 a better game is only just beginning, but sees herself and her team on the right track:

We’ve released a number of patches. Every patch was a win for us. And of course Season One is also a win for us. The quality is there. And now let’s move forward until we’re fully immersed in Battlefield 2042.

How can you disappoint your 20th anniversary community like that?

Coutaz states that EA, the leadership team and herself are all behind the games series. This is a very rewarding job and a lot of fun too. Her experience at Ubisoft working with multiple studios on one title will help her make Battlefield a better game now.

We do everything we can and I can tell you: It gives me goosebumps. The heart of the team is there. We were so disappointed. And we were so disappointed that our players were disappointed. You know, that was our 20th anniversary. How can you disappoint your community so much on the 20th anniversary? We’re here and we want to make it a great gaming experience.

The transition from the launch to the live phase is a crucial test for many studios

This is behind it: What is exciting is Coutaz’s statement that one of the first measures she wants to take is to convert Battlefield from a “game that has been prepared for launch” to a game that is “developed in live operation”.

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This is the step that MMO studios have to take once they’ve released a game: that’s when they go from the “launch” phase to the “live” phase. Suddenly you have players complaining about bugs, wanting balance changes, or wanting more mechanics in the endgame. It’s a completely different development if you’re working behind closed doors or working live on a game that’s already being played by thousands of people at the moment.

We know from the past that it has taken some studios like Bungie years to take this step and build a “live team”.

However, some teams, such as Carbine (“WildStar”), never managed to take this step.

We’ll see how that develops at DICE.

The MeinMMO expert for Battlefield, Marko Jevtic, watched Season 1 before it was released:

Battlefield 2042: I pre-played the new Season 1 – you can expect it soon