This week, the starved-for-content Battlefield 2042 community received some big news. DICE officially unveiled Zero Hour, the game's first season, but the response has been less than enthusiastic.
The new season kicks off today, bringing one new map, two vehicles, two weapons, a gadget and a new Specialist. The season had previously been delayed, and arrives almost seven months after launch.
Compared to past Battlefield games, the volume of content is well below what players have come to expect, including the embattled Battlefield 5. Nevertheless, DICE committed to shipping four seasons, but Zero Hour hasn't made the best first impression.
Unfortunately, it sounds like this is about the level of support we can expect from the team going forward. According to GamesBeat reporter Jeff Grubb, only a skeleton crew is left handling Battlefield 2042 at EA. Grubb called it "abandon ship time," speaking on his Giant Bomb show.
"This game is basically down to a skeleton crew," said Grubb (via VGC).
"It’s down to like the barebones and those people are specifically just working on the promised additional seasons that the game needs to meet the requirements of the high-end version that it sold. The skeleton crew is working to pump that stuff out the fastest and the cheapest it possibly can."
Unsurprisingly, the remainder of the Battlefield team has moved on to pre-production of the next mainline game. This unannounced project will be developed under the stewardship of Respawn's Vince Zampella, who took the reigns of the Battlefield series back in December.
Since Grubb revealed this insight, EA contacted the reporter to deny the report. "This is untrue," EA said in a statement to Grubb.
"There is a significant team across studios focused on evolving and improving the Battlefield 2042 experience for our players, and at the heart of that is our team at DICE. We are committed to the future of Battlefield 2042 and our areas of focus for the game, based on what we have heard from our players, was laid out in our recent development update."
Setting aside the lack of new content, DICE has been lethargic to make major changes to the core game. The developer communicated its intent to revamp all of the game's existing maps to add more cover, move objectives closer together, and well, make them more fun to play on. But the first of these updates is set to arrive sometime during Season One, so you can try to imagine how long the rest of the roster will take to update.
The same is true about Specialists, which DICE is also working on revamping. The details of this endeavour, much less a schedule, have yet to be revealed. At this rate, Battlefield 2042 will reach its full potential much deeper into 2023, if not 2024.