Does the saying “better late than never” apply to live service games? Today, developer DICE unveiled “Zero Hour,” the delayed first season of Battlefield 2042, its troubled futuristic military shooter. It’s available on Thursday, June 9. Here’s a trailer:
Battlefield 2042 really, really needs this season to go well. First released in November 2021 for consoles and PC, the multiplayer shooter was as chaotic and unpredictable as previous Battlefield games. It also introduced a number of changes to form, introducing character-based “Specialists” and adding support for 128 players on PC and next-gen consoles, contributing to the feeling that players are truly just a cog in a massive battle.
But thanks to a litany of bugs and a notable absence of features—even stuff as basic as voice chat and a scoreboard—the player base quickly waned. Last month, DICE pulled the plug on the 128-player Breakthrough mode—the ballyhooed next-gen-only playlist that was one of the game’s major marketing bullet points. A roadmap for the next 12 months outlined features and minor fixes that should’ve been in place at launch, further indicating that the game was released incomplete.
Read More: Battlefield 2042 Just Can’t Catch A Break
Publisher EA said Battlefield 2042s seasons, which are available in both free and paid premium versions with bonus content, are scheduled to last around three months. (Hmm, for what other multiplayer shooter have we heard that before?) The plan, at least initially, was to release four seasons per “year of live service,” but in February EA pushed the first one back by several months, thereby pushing back the entire timeline.
It’s unclear if “Zero Hour” will revitalize the Battlefield 2042 playerbase. As of this writing, according to the Steam Charts database, the game had a peak concurrent player count of 4,000 players over the past 24 hours—roughly 4 percent of its all-time peak. During the stream, viewers spammed the YouTube chat with cries of “refund,” “zero content,” and, not really sure this applies but whatever, “it’s morbin’ time.”