In 2016, Battlefield 1 sent players back to the trenches of World War 1, and in 2022, a sizable portion of those players are playing the six-year-old game on Steam. More people are presently playing Battlefield 1 on Steam than any other game in the storied franchise. For fans of the franchise, the time between Battlefield 2042, the most recent installment, and Battlefield 1 is fast approaching being historically significant.
Battlefield 1942, which launched the Battlefield brand 20 years ago, allowed a whopping 64 players to participate in a single match on a sizable battlefield. Since then, EA’s top shooter series has distinguished itself from the competition by emphasizing expansive ground engagements. Although Battlefield: Bad Company and Battlefield: Hardline experimented with decreased match counts for better console performance, the series’ core still revolves around intense PC warfare. Battlefield’s popularity has fluctuated throughout the franchise’s 20-year existence, but the current resurgence of interest in Battlefield 1 stands out as a statistical aberration.
Battlefield 1 experienced an all-time high concurrent player count of 51,950 gamers over the last weekend on Steam. The previous record was set on July 22, 2021, when 43,332 gamers were concurrently playing. Battlefield 2042, the most recent game in the franchise, only had a total of 5,435 players throughout the same period, which makes Battlefield 1’s accomplishment all the more remarkable. Battlefield 1 has had more players before, but this is the first time the differential has been this close to 50,000 players.
Battlefield 2042 was initially panned by fans and critics for its subpar performance when it was released in 2020, the same year Battlefield 1 became first-party on Steam following its first EA Origin release.
The Battlefield 2042 developer DICE acknowledged that they had made several mistakes. While Battlefield 1’s current success can be somewhat attributed to the franchise’s most recent game’s underwhelming performance, other elements may also be playing a role. The substantially discounted price of $4.79 for Battlefield 1 right now might be luring more players to give it a shot.
Battlefield 5 may not be performing as well as its predecessor because players may find the unique World War 1 setting to be more engaging after playing so many contemporary and World War 2-themed games.
Battlefield 2042 may be superior to Modern Warfare 2 in Shroud’s opinion, but player figures contradict him. Late last year, EA made the announcement that it was restructuring the Battlefield production teams at DICE and exploring the possibility of creating a shared online Battlefield universe for the next games. Fans of Battlefield are currently expressing their gaming choices in unprecedented numbers until that time.
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