Battlefield rumors point to 128-player servers, battle royale

A new rumor suggests that next year’s Battlefield game will have maps that support at least 128 players, as well as another go at the battle royale genre.

The rumor comes from Twitter user Tom Henderson, who accurately predicted last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and the subsequent release of Warzone. Henderson, formerly known as @LongSensationYT on Twitter before the account was suspended, recently stated that Battlefield 2021’s maps “have been designed with 128+ players in mind,” but that 64-player game modes will still be one of the game’s standards.

Henderson went on to clarify that the “core game is still 32v32.”

It’s unclear where Henderson got this unsourced information, but EA made it pretty obvious that DICE was looking to increase Battlefield’s scope during EA Play Live 2020. A brief demo showed off more than 64 players on a white box map, as well as more advanced destruction, clearly hinting at an increase in player count for next year’s game.

Henderson also stated that there has been an “increased interest” in battle royale over at DICE or EA (or both) following Warzone‘s success. The free-to-play battle royale has seen over 75 million players in its servers and will be carried over into the next Call of Duty game.

Battlefield V‘s battle royale mode, Firestorm, which was designed by Criterion, had a promising start when it launched in March 2019. Unfortunately, a lack of support from DICE and the fact that it wasn’t free to play doomed the mode to obscurity shortly after it launched. It’s possible that EA is reevaluating its business model when it comes to a Battlefield battle royale, though the publisher already has a successful BR game in Apex Legends.

Content updates for the “current” Battlefield game, Battlefield V, ended back in June so that the entire DICE studio, including the team behind Star Wars Battlefront II, could shift to working on Battlefield 2021.

As for what the next Battlefield will be, many are predicting that it will be a return to a modern or near-future setting. Henderson previously suggested that, while DICE is focusing on next-gen hardware, there will be a “feature-limited version” for current-gen consoles, similarly to how Battlefield 4 launched for both current- and last-gen hardware.

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