Beleaguered 'Battlefield 2042' will launch first big update this week

After being named one of Steam's worst-received games ever.

Battlefield 2042's launch troubles have only deepened over the past few days, with many players reporting major bugs and questioning some of the shooter's basic design decisions. Now, developers EA and DICE have announced that the game will receive a major update (termed "Update #2") on November 25, followed by two major updates before the holidays.

The official Battlefield site features a truly exhaustive list of changes that these updates will bring to 2042, with way too many to list here. Update #2 will focus on bug fixes and basic balance, while Update #3 will be larger in scope and will overhaul many aspects of the game experience, especially the menu flow.

Award-winning, but not the way you want — 2042 was recently named of the worst-reviewed games on Steam ever, though that fact does come with a bright spot: it's also one of the most popular games on the platform. As of this writing, Battlefield 2042 comes in at #9 on the Steam 250 Hall of Shame, which is based on public data gathered by Steam.

The Steam store page for the game currently lists a staggering 21,970 negative reviews, most of which cite the game's persistent glitches and lack of traditional Battlefield features like voice chat, peeking out of cover, or a single-player campaign as the main issues. Needless to say, those seem like the kind of problems that take a lot of time to solve.

Par for the course? — As we mentioned in our previous article on 2042's messy debut, Battlefield as a franchise has a reputation for launching in a sorry state, with glitches and bugs aplenty even in its better entries. However, it seems that 2042 has fallen well short of even those generous standards, with many players describing it as blatantly unfinished. Some players have gone so far as to say that 2042 may very well be unfixable without some fundamental design shifts, such as restoring the traditional classes that most Battlefield fans expect.

If you've paid attention to the gaming industry the past few months, you've probably noticed quite a few big launches that resulted in serious pushback from fans. (For example, Konami's micro-transactions farm eFootball 2022 is #1 on the Hall of Shame, and it just launched in September.) Heck, 2042 isn't the biggest high-profile miss in the month of November — that dubious distinction belongs to Rockstar's GTA: The Trilogy — Definitive Edition, which shipped with the same inaccessible "hot coffee" mini-game that cost parent company Take-Two millions of dollars back in the day. You think they would've learned their lesson on that one.

The mess we made — Disappointing game launches are nothing new, of course — after all, we're somehow more than a year removed from the historic failure of Cyberpunk 2077, which was so buggy on last-gen consoles that Sony removed it from sale — but it does seem like they're more and more the standard these days, at least for big games.

Then again, according to SteamDB, 2042 is also the 10th most popular multiplayer game on Steam, with a peak of 69,000 players. It's doubtful that the game will continue to maintain those numbers if developer DICE doesn't fix these issues, but at least in the short-term, it seems like the game has managed to find an audience regardless of its panoply of flaws.

It remains to be seen if these patches can fix 2042's nest of problems. We'll see if that bubble deflates over the coming weeks.