Battlefield 2042's Free-to-Play Plans [Updated]

Battlefield 2042 is rumoured to be going free-to-play, but is there any validity to this theory?

Battlefield 2042 free to play
Wait, why would Battlefield 2042 go free-to-play? | © Electronic Arts

Battlefield 2042 is not a free-to-play game currently, despite the absolutely insane state that the game released in. No, they dared actually charge for this rubbish. It's so a messed up that Electronic Arts have been under constant fire since the game dropped. It is buggy, lacks content, is broken, and just simply doesn't feel like a Battlefield game. There's no wonder that people are angry, and wondering whether Battlefield 2042 will take the leak to a free-to-play model.

What was unbelievably surprising about Battlefield 2042 was the fact that it didn't come out with a Warzone-style free-to-play mode. After all, it had both Portal Mode and Hazard Zone, both of which could have been worked into a standard-issue long-form free-to-play title. We would have preferred they made this out of Portal, as Hazard Zone sucks, and the standard Battlefield experience was never going to be made free-to-play.

Now that the game is out, though, everyone knows how much of a turd it is. Does this mean that Electronic Arts might bite the bullet and make that much-expected free-to-play shift? Or is the game too far gone for that now, or would it perhaps be unfair to fans who actually bought the game? Well, look, the only reasonable thing to do for those fans is offer them a full refund. As for the topic at hand, though, we've got a few opinions on this...

Free-to-Play Update (21/01/2022)

Tom Henderson, a known Battlefield insider, has now confirmed that EA are very disappointed with BF2042 and are considering making the game free-to-play:

We can expect more on this in the coming days, and we'll update this article as soon as we hear more.

Will Battlefield 2042 Become a Free-to-Play Game?

Electronic Arts have neither confirmed a free-to-play Battlefield 2042 mode, nor an overall shift to the highly popular business model. It is the obvious move for the game to take, however, considering the ongoing controversies surrounding the game's state, its development, and how it will be updated and expanded into the future. In 2021, it makes no sense to charge such a large quantity of money for a multiplayer game of this type. Especially one that sells cosmetics items for real money anyway.

It's honestly a huge surprise that Hazard Zone or Portal didn't come out as a separate free-to-play game, like Infinity Ward did with Modern Warfare (2019) and Warzone did just a few years ago. It's also astounding that the game launched in such a mess, without a doubt becoming this year's Cyberpunk 2077. The problem is that we don't think that even a free-to-play shift could save Battlefield 2042…

You see, Battlefield 2042 dropped to so much condemnation that it is hard to find a positive statement you could make about the game. Even the graphics, which you would have expected a lot from, are below average, and certainly worse than what we would have expected from a Battlefield game. It's hard to imagine players returning to the base game here, seeing as Electronic Arts ruined the immense good-will it had with fans by releasing the game completely broken, at a full retail price, full of cosmetic microtransactions.

A few weeks before the game launched, I wrote that Battlefield 2042 was a make-or-break for Electronic Arts, DICE, and the Battlefield franchise. They needed to make this a slam-dunk and yet somehow the game failed to even live up to the insanely low-level of quality established by Call of Duty: Vanguard a mere week before Battlefield 2042 released to pre-ordering fools.

It's not really that much of a surprise that it released the way that it did. After all, the Beta was a complete, disastrous map that didn't even include a mini-map. Seriously, what was up with that? The fact that Call of Duty: Vanguard, a game with zero ambitions and more-or-less rubbish implementation, is better than Battlefield 2042, though, is truly astounding. Will making Battlefield 2042 free-to-play solve Electronic Arts problem? No, it won't, and they are making plenty of money as it is. I think that it's unlikely they will be making this shift anytime soon. If I am wrong, though, I'll eat a pizza and – of course – my hat.