The Next Battlefield Game is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place


  • Battlefield’s larger scale matches and focus on online multiplayer set it apart from competitors like Call of Duty, attracting a dedicated fan base. However, some recent setbacks mean that choosing a new setting for its next game will be difficult.
  • Battlefield’s historical settings don’t tend to sell as well as its modern-day settings, making it hard to image another game focused on an old war will happen.
  • However, Battlefield 2042’s disappointing launch has tarnished the reputation of modern games, leaving the next entry in a lose-lose situation.

Predating Call of Duty by just one year, the Battlefield franchise managed to set itself apart back in 2002 from the get-go thanks to its larger scale matches, and its focus on online multiplayer which was still a fairly novel approach at the time. While Call of Duty and its competitors delivered fast-paced campaigns and online deathmatches containing around just 10 players, Battlefield delivered full-scale warzones, dropping up to 64 players into one massive arena and letting them run, drive, fly, and shoot their way to victory.

But while this niche kept Battlefield thriving for well over a decade, the franchise hit a few sizable road blocks in quick succession. First, it was the poor reception to the rushed Battlefield Hardline in 2015, then Battlefield 5‘s pre-release controversies and eventual disappointing launch in 2018, and finally Battlefield 2042‘s dismal state on release. Despite all that, the Battlefield franchise isn’t down for the count just yet, though its inevitable next entry will have an impossible task in trying to choose the right setting.


The Argument for Battlefield: Bad Company Remakes

With the franchise’s mainline entries failing to find their footing in recent years, now is the perfect time for a Battlefield: Bad Company remake.

The Next Battlefield Setting Has a Tough Choice To Make

Battlefield’s Historical Settings Don’t Tend to Do As Well

The Battlefield franchise began its life as a historical shooter first and foremost, with its first two entries taking players back to WW2 and Vietnam respectively. It wasn’t until 2005 that Battlefield 2 released, bringing with it a new modern-day setting, one that remained the focus of the franchise for an entire decade. The next mainline Battlefield game to adopt a historical setting was 2016’s Battlefield 1, a game that’s only grown more popular with age.

But while Battlefield 1 remains one of the most popular entries in franchise history, its sales still don’t quite reach the franchise’s best. Officially, Battlefield 1 sold a total of 15 million units. While that’s very impressive, it’s still less than Battlefield 3‘s 17 million. And then Battlefield 5 really dropped the ball, selling a total of 7.3 million copies by 2019, which is good, but not nearly equal to the franchise’s golden era. Generally speaking, it seems as though Battlefield‘s historical settings, even when done right, don’t sell quite as well as those with a modern-day setting, which puts the franchise in a tough spot.

Battlefield’s Modern Settings Have a Mixed Track Record

While Battlefield tends to do better when it has a modern-day setting, Battlefield 2042 may have ruined that long-running franchise pattern. Though it’s certainly gotten a lot better over the last few years, there’s no denying that Battlefield 2042‘s initial release was incredibly disappointing, and there’s no doubt that it’s tarnished the franchise’s reputation moving forward. It seems likely that, for its next entry, Battlefield would want to distance itself from a modern-day setting once more to get as far away from 2042 as possible, though this is where the series finds itself at a stalemate.

In order to distance itself from Battlefield 2042‘s modern setting, the next entry would need to head back into the past, but Battlefield‘s last period piece, Battlefield 5, was also a big disappointment. The Battlefield franchise is surrounded by disappointment on all sides, leaving really only one option, and that’s for Battlefield to get a bit weird with its next entry. The best way to avoid comparisons to 2042 and V might be to simply set the game in a completely new time period for the franchise, either leaning all the way into historical accuracy with something like a Napoleonic Era entry, or a game set in the far future, in a similar vein to the old Battlefield 2142 title.



EA’s Battlefield franchise is a series of first-person shooter games. The games have predominantly been set in the modern day, though there have also been titles set in World War 1, World War 2, and in the near future. 

The Battlefield franchise is often compared to Call of Duty, with both franchises offering single-player campaigns and online multiplayer.