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Battlefield 2042 player count drops below nine-year-old Battlefield 4

DICE's latest multiplayer shooter is struggling to compete with its 2013 predecessor....
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Photo by Anton Maksimov

Battlefield 2042’s player count keeps falling, and has now dropped so far that the number of active PC players of DICE’s latest multiplayer competitive shooter is lower than that of 2013’s Battlefield 4.

A slate of technical glitches, connectivity issues, and gameplay bugs, which have riddled Battlefield 2042 since launch, continue to drive players away, even as DICE commits to improving the game through ongoing updates.

According to SteamDB, the number of people playing Battlefield 2042 on February 28 fell below that of Battlefield 4 for several hours. At 11am EST / 4pm GMT 1,734 players jumped into a game of the latest Battlefield, while a slightly higher 1,794 players logged into its predecessor. Four hours later, 2042’s player count had risen to 2,082, while Battlefield 4 was still surpassing it at 2,177.

Battlefield 2042’s playerbase has trended downwards since the game released last October. Earlier this February, the game’s player count fell to a rather awkward position, as it dropped below the game’s title number. The game has never come close to its 100,590 post-launch player count peak, which it achieved in the days following its release, with its average number of active daily players over the last 30 days now sitting at just over 3,000, according to SteamCharts.

Of course, the total number of Battlefield 2042 players is likely to be higher, as these figures only capture the number of people playing the game on PC. Add in those who are playing the game on Xbox Series X/S, PS4, or PS5, and the game’s total playerbase will inflate. The number of uncounted players who are currently enjoying the game, however, is unlikely to be enormous, given console players are reporting the same bugs and irritation with the game as their PC counterparts.

Analysis: a gesture of goodwill is sorely needed

(Image credit: EA)

Battlefield 2042 hasn’t had a fantastic launch and it doesn’t look like things will be getting any better for the triple-A multiplayer shooter. Poorly received since day one, the game continues to cause ire among fans of the series, who complain of its many bugs, glitches, technical issues, and lack of content.

While DICE delayed the game’s first season of DLC in early February to give itself more development time to fix existing problems and implement several quality-of-life improvements, substantial fixes that tackle the community’s most pressing concerns haven’t yet materialized.

With players now criticizing the game’s broader design and making less justified criticisms, such as pointing out its recycled character models, it’ll likely take more than gradual bug fixes and technical improvements to win over the Battlefield crowd. Something along the lines of a gesture of goodwill would be more appropriate, giving fans a reason to stick with the game as it hurtles downwards.

Aside from anything else, neither DICE nor EA has fully acknowledged the poor state of the game, admitting that more work needs to be done, without updating fans on how development is progressing behind the scenes. That doesn’t give the game’s already irritated players the impression they’re being listened to.

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