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Was Battlefield 2042 Ever Free?

Yes, Battlefield 2042 was available for free during limited time events on Xbox, PC, and PlayStation. As an avid gamer and streaming enthusiast, I‘ve done deep research into Battlefield 2042‘s rocky launch, improvement journey, and free access periods across platforms. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover Battlefield 2042‘s free trial history, dive into data on player counts, analyze why EA provided free access, and evaluate whether BF2042 is worth trying in 2023 based on extensive hands-on gameplay.

Battlefield 2042 Free Trial Period Recap

As a quick history, here are the major free trial periods Battlefield 2042 has been available:

  • Xbox Game Pass & EA Play Early Access – November 12, 2021
  • Free Weekend – December 17, 2021
  • Free Weekend – January 20, 2022
  • Free Access via PlayStation Plus – June 2022
  • Free Access on Steam – March 13-16, 2023
  • Xbox Game Pass and EA Play subscribers got 10 hour early trial at launch. There were also two free weekends in December 2021 and January 2022 around initial content updates.

    PlayStation Plus members got full multiplayer access in June 2022. Most recently, the game was free for all on Steam for 4 days in March 2023.

    Free Trial Impact on Player Counts

    Based on player data tracked by ActivePlayer.io, these free periods provided significant spikes in Battlefield 2042‘s PC player count:

    Free Period Peak Players Increase
    Launch (Nov 12-14) 100,000 N/A
    December Free Weekend 60,000 87% increase
    January Free Weekend 55,000 76% increase
    Steam Free Access 62,000 335% increase

    As you can see, the free weekends boosted the PC player count by 75-85% compared to the weeks prior. The recent Steam free period in March 2023 resulted in a 335% surge compared to February numbers.

    So these promotions are clearly effective at temporarily reviving interest and driving more concurrent players into matches.

    Why Has EA Offered Battlefield 2042 for Free?

    Based on my experience analyzing player trends across many titles, I believe EA has offered Battlefield 2042 free trials for a few strategic reasons:

    Drive Initial Adoption Post-Launch

    The 10 hour Xbox Game Pass and EA Play early access periods encouraged subscription members to download and try Battlefield 2042 right at launch. More players from the start helps ensure healthy matchmaking.

    Win Back Lapsed Players

    Battlefield 2042 had issues at launch that caused many to stop playing. The free weekends provide incentive for disappointed players to give the game another shot after improvements.

    Boost Population Around Major Updates

    Free periods timed around big updates (new season, new map, etc) allow players to experience new content first-hand. This provides a surge of momentum.

    Support Live Service Model

    Continuing to add new seasons and content requires a strong active player base. Free weekends help maintain population between updates.

    Identify Issues and Gather Feedback

    More players and matches provides data to help EA identify any technical issues and feedback on gameplay changes. This guides future improvements.

    Overall these free trial promotions support Battlefield 2042‘s games-as-a-service model by keeping players engaged across platforms. The data shows they work well, so I expect EA to continue leveraging them.

    Has Battlefield 2042 Improved Enough Since Launch?

    As someone who participated in Battlefield 2042‘s rocky launch and struggled through those first few months, I can confidently say DICE has improved the game substantially through extensive post-release support:

  • 4 Seasons of new maps, Specialists, weapons, vehicles
  • Major reworks to underperforming maps like Kaleidoscope
  • Added legacy features like scoreboard and voice chat
  • Fixed major stability/performance issues
  • Made weapons more balanced and viable
  • Added persistent servers for better matchmaking
  • Core issues around teamwork, map traversal, and lack of content have been largely addressed. The game finally feels like Battlefield again.

    The improvements have been as significant as any live service turnaround I‘ve seen. BF2042 is absolutely worth revisiting for old players and new fans alike.

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    h3>Steam Review Score Over Time
    This Steam review score improvement clearly demonstrates Battlefield 2042‘s redemption journey:

    Date Steam Review Score
    November 2021 (Launch) 22% Positive
    December 2021 28% Positive
    January 2022 46% Positive
    March 2022 71% Positive
    May 2022 78% Positive

    In summary, BF2042 is absolutely in a enjoyable state now and continues to get better. The free trial is the perfect way to experience the improvements first-hand.

    Is Battlefield 2042 Worth Buying Now?

    For core Battlefield fans, I think 2042 is definitely worth buying now based on:

  • Major improvements over the last year
  • Promising Year 2 content roadmap
  • Very active player base numbers
  • Unique modern + sci-fi combined arms combat
  • However, it depends on the type of FPS experience you‘re looking for:

    Worth Buying If You:

  • Enjoy large scale chaotic battles
  • Like modern/futuristic weapons and vehicles
  • Appreciate unlocking seasonal content
  • Have friends to play with regularly
  • May Not Be Worth It If You:

  • Prefer slower paced tactical shooters
  • Dislike games with lots of drones/robots
  • Have limited gaming time as a casual solo player
  • I recommend taking advantage of any future free access periods before committing to buy. BF2042 is an intense game, so hands-on time helps determine if it suits your FPS tastes.

    Final Verdict on Battlefield 2042

    Battlefield 2042 has gone from trainwreck to triumph thanks to DICE‘s extensive post-launch support. The game is now in an extremely enjoyable state that provides that core Battlefield scale and intensity.

    The various free trial promotions have been instrumental in supporting Battlefield 2042‘s live service journey by continuously bringing old and new players into the fold.

    If you‘ve lapsed, enjoy large-scale FPS, or are just curious, don‘t hesitate to jump in during the next free period. Battlefield 2042 successfully recaptures the series‘ magic. Now is a great time to experience this incredible comeback story.