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Battlefield 2042 could be delayed to 2022 — and I’m actually pleased

Battlefield 2042
(Image credit: EA)

Reports are surfacing that Battlefield 2042 will shortly be receiving a delay that could push the back game as far as 2022; the year of delays looks set to claims its next victim. While my first reaction was immeasurable disappointment and a surge to declare my day ruined, on reflection I’m actually okay with it. 

Of course, nobody truly enjoys delays. For the developers, it means potential months of extra work. And for gamers eagerly anticipating a title it means weeks more waiting, but some delays sting less than others. After a little bit of consideration, I’m definitely leaning towards a Battlefield 2042 delay being a good thing. 

The rumors, and for now they are just rumors, of a delay surfaced earlier this week when industry insider Jeff Grubb tweeted “more delays coming this week." He later clarified to he was actually referring to a single delay in this case. Other sources, including Nick Baker of Xbox Era, quickly backed up the claim and suggested the game in question would be Battlefield 2042.   

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Nick Baker was quick to clarify that he’s only heard the game is getting delayed rather than definitely being pushed into 2022. It could instead only receive a small push into November or even December. Either way, it certainly appears that the odds of Battlefield 2042 hitting its currently scheduled October 24 release date are looking less likely. 

A delay into 2022 would take the game out of competition with its high-profile contemporaries Call of Duty: Vanguard and Halo Infinite, both scheduled to launch before the year is out. But that’s not why I’ve embraced the potential delay. Allow me to explain why I’m actually pleased that Battlefield 2042 might be delayed. 

Not quite ready for action 

Battlefield 2042 wingsuit

(Image credit: Dice)

For a game that is supposed to be releasing in barely more than a month, we have seen very little of Battlefield 2042. In fact, almost two weeks ago the official Battlefield Twitter account posted a short clip of barely a minute and a half in length, and it was one of the most significant looks at the game in action we’ve got to date. 

This short social media clip stands alongside a cinematic reveal trailer and two high-edited gameplay trailers that run three minutes each. Such a scarcity of available gameplay footage isn’t normal for a game due for launch in just a matter of weeks. 

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For comparison, Call of Duty Vanguard is entering its second beta this weekend which is open to all players, and Halo Infinite had a playable technical preview back in August. Not to mention both these games also have a wealth of unscripted game footage available to watch online. 

Battlefield 2042 did hold a technical alpha of its own over the summer, but it was under strict NDA so any participants were forbidden from talking about their experience or sharing any footage. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a few players opted against following these rules and leaked gameplay footage that looked pretty rough. 

The few minutes of officially sanctioned gameplay footage we’ve seen have looked solid, but the dozen or so minutes of leaked video really don’t paint the game in the best light. While the technical alpha is almost certainly an outdated build of the game at this point, all signs indicate that Battlefield 2042 could probably do with a little more time to cook.

Battlefield 2042

(Image credit: Dice)

An open beta was also scheduled to be held this month, but no dates or further information have been provided by developer Dice yet. The Battlefield Twitter account did poke fun at the deluge of beta queries it receives at the start of the month. But we’re halfway through September now and we’ve still heard nothing; that could be an ominous sign. 

Putting all the clues together, it’s definitely starting to look like Battlefield 2042 isn’t quite ready for prime time. If that is indeed the case I would much rather the developers take the necessary time to polish the game further and ensure that when it does release it’s in good shape. I’ve waited since 2013 for a mainline Battlefield game to return to a more modern setting, I can wait a few extra months. 

Avoiding the mistakes of the past 

Battlefield 4

(Image credit: EA)

Another reason that I can get on board with a delay, is because we've seen what happens when a Battlefield game is rushed to market. Battlefield 4 is now considered one of the best entries in the entire series, but that definitely wasn’t the case at launch. 

Battlefield 4 was released in a borderline broken state. At launch, there was such an abundance of technical issues that many players literally couldn’t play for weeks. I vividly remember that over the launch weekend I probably spent more time watching the matchmaking screen fail to connect than I did actually playing the game. 

I’m certainly not keen to repeat that experience when I finally get my hands on Battlefield 2042 either later this year or in 2022. If the developers at Dice have deemed a delay necessary then it’s likely because they are desperate to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. 

As the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait and that could well be the case with Battlefield 2042. I’ll certainly be disappointed if October 22 rolls around and I’m not deploying onto the battlefield. But I’m confident that in the long run being patent will be lead to a better game, and that’s a trade-off I’ll happily make. 

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.