So look, no one likes a busted video game. It’s not fun to play and leads to all kinds of headaches for developers and players alike. But worse than a busted video game are Angry Gamers™ demanding studios miraculously fix shit immediately. The latest game plagued by both such problems and such players is DICE’s Battlefield 2042, which has had a rough go of it since its November 19 launch. The toxicity some players are inflicting on devs has gotten so egregious that the game’s subreddit is at risk of closing.
It all started when EA global director of integrated communications for shooters and Star Wars, Andy McNamara, expressed frustration at the community’s incessant demands in a since-deleted tweet. Some Battlefield 2042 fans wanted DICE to address the game’s myriad problems immediately, despite the studio taking some time off to enjoy the holidays, as anyone should. The expectations caused McNamara to tweet at the community that “people gotta rest” and though DICE loves its fanbase, “these expectations are brutal.” Cue the memes and mockery on Reddit and Twitter.
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One popular post on the Battlefield 2042 subreddit used shots from director Andy Fickman’s 2009 sci-fi action thriller Race to Witch Mountain. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is talking to AnnaSophia Robb in a car, with The Rock (embodying Battlefield 2042 players) saying he wants “the old Battlefield scoreboard, server browser content, and great maps.” Robb, apparently playing the role of EA and DICE, retorts those are “brutal expectations.”
There are plenty of posts like this all over the subreddit, essentially chastising McNamara, EA, and DICE for the “brutal expectations” the community has. Another one, an apparent repost, has a list of “missing, removed, and/or downgraded” features folks want in Battlefield 2042.
All of this mockery and toxicity has incensed the moderators. The subreddit’s top message swings like a cudgel on the community, with mods saying they will “do whatever it takes” to decrease the shittiness and vitriol. This includes either locking threads on a majority of posts or, much like Halo Infinite’s before it, shutting down the entire subreddit “for a period of time.” Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way, with mods also adding that they will leave the subreddit alone “if toxicity goes down.” In other words, the fate of the Battlefield 2042 subreddit is in the community’s hands.
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“It’s an understatement when we say that this subreddit has grown incredibly toxic,” the mods wrote. “It’s near impossible to have a simple discussion without insults being flung around at each other—and it’s really starting to harm the entire Battlefield community, and each of us that are part of it. […] The mods have an obligation to follow the rules set out by Reddit, and if we are found to be in breach of not enforcing them, or doing a poor job at enforcing them, we risk the community getting banned altogether.”
I get it. Battlefield 2042 has been broken for months. Certain buildings lack collision. Snipers are blowing up tanks faster than rockets. Hell, even hovercrafts have been destroying helicopters. The game’s a mess. It’s entirely understandable that players are frustrated with the state of a game they had high hopes for. But the approach of mocking developers and demanding that vast changes be implemented immediately while they’re trying to take a break and enjoy time with their families isn’t exactly cool, realistic, or appropriate. Hopefully things will cool off on the Battlefield subreddit as that subset of players causing all this trouble calms down and trusts that the game’s devs will do their best to make the game more playable in time.