Battlefield 2042 was released in 2021, and it quickly became recognised as the worst game in the history of the franchise. With this near-future, multiplayer-focused title, EA and DICE made several glaring errors that left the community so disjointed that many people came to wonder, will Battlefield 2042 be free to play when the game inevitably collapses in on itself?
Is Battlefield 2042 Getting Better?
When 2042 launched in 2021 (that might sound confusing), it brought with it a relatively bland, multiplayer-only experience that players failed to fall in love with at first sight. There was a mere handful of thoughtless maps, an unwanted class system, and a weak assortment of weapons, and ultimately, it was unstable and offered a poor user experience across the board.
With Battlefield 2042, EA and DICE had done away with several key features that left players standing solemn in disappointment, staring down at the once-great FPS franchise that, once upon a time, could have rivalled Call of Duty.
For instance, elements as important as a single-player campaign, to features as simple as an in-game scoreboard were omitted from the final Battlefield 2042 product that was shipped in November 2021.
But, since the game dropped, DICE has pulled its socks up and tried to repair the broken mess that was Battlefield 2042. Following a series of sizeable updates, the release of a few in-game seasons, and countless bug fixes and amendments, Battlefield 2042 started to approach some semblance of a resurgence.
There were numerous core changes made to the game, new maps and modes introduced, the nostalgia-serving Portal mode upgraded, and a whole host of fresh content injected into the game over time.
But, even with all that information on board, will Battlefield 2042 be free-to-play? Have EA and DICE gone past the point of no return?
Battlefield 2042 Probably Won’t Ever Be Free to Play
In 2023, EA cancelled a key Battlefield project – Battlefield Mobile – so that the developers could focus their attention on the more mainstream titles in the franchise.
At the end of 2022, DICE stepped out to declare that Battlefield 2042 ‘is a really good game now,’ which was admittedly a sentiment echoed by the portion of the community that has stuck with the game through its roughest patches.
It still isn’t in a perfect place, but will Battlefield 2042 be free-to-play? No, it almost certainly won’t be. It wouldn’t make financial sense for EA to make a paid-for product free, especially considering a follow-up title may still be some years away. It’s the current thing for EA and DICE, and even though it has underperformed massively, there’s no fiscal logic to making it a free-to-play game – there’s nothing to gain.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to play Battlefield 2042 for free.
For instance, as of March 2023, Battlefield 2042 is on PlayStation Plus, and for a while, it has been on Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass through EA Access. This means that, provided you’re a subscriber to any of those services, you can download, install, and play Battlefield 2042 for free – or for no added cost, at least.
There are expectations that DICE will support Battlefield 2042 long into its second year of operations. In March 2023, reports began surfacing revealing content pointing to that fact, and it makes sense, given that in December 2022, DICE reaffirmed its commitment to the ongoing support of the game.
So, the game may have improved – and it’ll likely continue to do so – but owing to the plans to keep building up the ecosystem, no, Battlefield 2042 isn’t going to become free-to-play anytime soon.