Following developer harassment, Battlefield 2042's toxic subreddit may go on lockdown

Battlefield 2042
(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

A tweet thread posted by a Battlefield 2042 spokesperson has resulted in a social media dogpile that could eventually shut down the game's official subreddit. In response to fans criticizing DICE for a lack of communication and patches throughout the end of December, EA global comms director Andy McNamara told fans in now-deleted tweets that the Battlefield team is just now getting back to work after a holiday break.

"Guys, people gotta rest. We have things in motion but we have to figure out what is possible," McNamara said. "Let us get back from break and get back to work. Love you guys but these expectations are brutal. The things you want take time to scope, design, and execute."

Some replies expressed understanding, but the thread was flooded with angry responses mocking McNamara or declaring that DICE released a broken game (Battlefield 2042 is buggy, but it's functional and some of us find it pretty fun). The dogpile accelerated after the tweets were picked up by the BF2042 subreddit with a post titled "EA/DICE finally responds to the Backlash" with over 10,000 upvotes and 2,000 comments. McNamara later deleted his tweets, replacing them with an apology for not being more clear in his message, which fans have also taken issue with.

One reply reads, "We wanted a finished game. Sorry for being unreasonable. I guess this unfinished buggy sh*t is all you are capable of making."

Another reads, "If I made a bad thing at work I have to work as long as it needs to remove the failure. I paid 100$ for the game and it's only 20% finished but you are doing some nice long holidays. If the job as game developer is too hard, don't do it."

battlefield 2042 tweet

(Image credit: @Randomassname20 on Twitter)

Since its launch last November, Battlefield 2042 has had a particularly prickly relationship with the most vocal corner of the Battlefield community. The game immediately launched to tens of thousands of negative reviews on Steam, many of them citing launch bugs and dissatisfaction with 2042's biggest changes for the series, such as classes being replaced by specialists or the lack of a traditional scoreboard.

In the weeks following, DICE published several blog posts outlining planned changes, some of which will include the return of "legacy features" that fans have been asking for, and deployed three big patches that fixed a lot of early balancing concerns (RIP overpowered hovercrafts). In the patch notes for Update 3.1, DICE said that it would be the last update of 2021, noting that the team would "take a break towards the end of [December] and return in the new year with fresh eyes ready to go on the road to Season One."

The backlash to McNamara's tweets comes from a community that feels in some ways betrayed by Battlefield 2042, and was primed to take his comments as a defense of the game as a whole. They were another grievance to add to an ever-growing list that contains a mix of reasonable gripes, questionable accusations, and extremely specific nitpicks ("no swelling crescendo of dramatic music at the end of a match," read one early Steam review). 

Seemingly prompted by the latest dogpile, the BF2042 subreddit mod team published a post today with an ultimatum for the community: Be less toxic, or don't post at all.

a_message_from_the_mod_team from r/battlefield2042

"It’s an understatement when we say that this subreddit has grown incredibly toxic," the post reads. "It's near impossible to have a simple discussion without insults being flung around at each other—and it’s really starting to harm the entire Battlefield community, and each of us that are part of it." 

The announcement goes on to list a few potential futures for the subreddit. If toxicity stays as is, then the mods will start locking comment threads immediately. If toxicity increases, the mods will resort to a total lockdown of the forum.

"Yes, the last two options seem nuclear, and we don’t want to use them, but we said we will do whatever it takes to drive the current toxicity down," the post reads. This isn't the first time gaming subreddit mods have considered the nuclear option. Last month, Halo's subreddit was temporarily shut down by mods following an avalanche of complaints and targeted developer harassment over Halo Infinite's crappy monetization.

Meanwhile, people are still playing Battlefield 2042. I'm one of the people still having a great time with it, especially in small bursts. I'm also eager for more specialists and maps. DICE put out a teaser this week for what could be a new map coming in Season One (I spy a beach).  

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.