Battlefield 2042’s 500% player boom explains PS Plus live-service duds

By Lee Brady,

Battlefield 2042 saw over 500% more PS5 and PS4 players in its first week on PS Plus, which might explain why PS Plus gets so many live-service duds.

Battlefield 2042 trophies have seen an absolute surge of interest after the game's PS Plus debut took it from being the 31st most popular PS5 and PS4 game in our PlayStation Chart last week to being the fifth most popular. Using gameplay data from over 3 million active PlayStation accounts, we can see that Battlefield 2042 gained 578% more players after coming to PS Plus and became more popular than GTA V.

Battlefield 2042Battlefield 2042 stays alive on PS Plus.

Battlefield 2042's PS Plus success explains influx of live-service duds

By far the most successful of the PS Plus Essential games for March 2023, Battlefield 2042's inclusion as a 'free' PS Plus monthly game has helped increased player count by 578%. The result is that Battlefield has now rocketed above competitors such as GTA V, Rocket League, Overwatch 2, Apex Legends and Destiny 2 to become one of the Top 5 most played PS5 and PS4 games.

As a live-service title, Battlefield 2042 has never been a complete "dud," though it has walked a rockier path than most Battlefield games in order to find its audience. The game stuck it out in the Top 40 for 21 consecutive weeks before dropping off the popular radar, but recently Battlefield 2042 has seen something of a resurgence and has remained in the Top 40 for seven weeks in a row now. That's why we can't say the game ever really died, but that said, Battlefield 2042's fivefold player count does help explain why so many failing live-service games keep coming to PS Plus lately.

The PS Plus Essential games have been revealed earlier than expected for March 2023!It certainly performed the best of this month's PS Plus offerings!

EA's Knockout City will have its trophies made unobtainable after it tried to claim that sweet 500% player boost back in November 2021. PS Plus Extra game Marvel's Avengers is getting delisted after only joining the service back in July 2022. Plus, Turtle Rock announced Back 4 Blood was ending just over two weeks after that game hit PS Plus Extra.

And that's just the big games that hit PS Plus — we've also seen Hood Outlaws & Legends, Divine Knockout, Arcadegeddon, Tribes of Midgard, Godfall (technically not live-service, but always online), and Destruction All-Stars hit PS Plus Essential over the last two years. They share a common theme: all failed to make a big splash on our gameplay charts. Judging by the player count of February 2023's PS Plus games, we'll probably see Evil Dead The Game join the list in the near future too.

Unless you're the developers of Deep Rock Galactic, who seem happy enough with the audience PS Plus has afforded them, things have not been promising for the live-service games coming to PS Plus recently — though at least now with Battlefield's success we can clearly see why these publishers bother. You can never really tell what might make the next Fall Guys or Rocket League, but if you're a live-service game and you aren't initially free-to-play, PS Plus can potentially boost your numbers by 578% like Battlefield 2042.

Of course, most of the time, PS Plus will almost certainly never boost your numbers like Battlefield 2042, because Battlefield 2042 is a Battlefield game, and Battlefield games are absolutely enormous. Battlefield 2042 comes from a series of some of the best FPS games on PlayStation. These games are considered a serious competitor to Call of Duty — or, at least, they were. Even EA noted during Microsoft and Sony deal talks that Battlefield's last two games weren't up to snuff. Otherwise, shooter fans probably would've just bought the latest title instead of hoping it would come to PS Plus.

Though who knows; maybe our next PS Plus live-service contender can pull a similar feat. Meet Your Maker is coming day-one to PS Plus and seems to have the scrappy energy of a wildcard pick. It might be coming to PS Plus because it's simply Dead On Arrival, but let's try and be a little more optimistic. Though no matter how well it does, we can guarantee it won't be pulling Battlefield 2042 numbers on PS Plus anytime soon.

Chart compiled using gameplay data from over 3 million active PlayStation accounts. Chart information is copyright GameInsights.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee loves to write about classic PS1 games on PS Plus, examining the game design of upcoming PS5 games like Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and Like a Dragon Ishin, and his shameless love of Sonic, Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts games. He's also your resident PlayStation Stars guy.
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