The Battlefield 1 beta that wrapped up earlier this month was big—unprecedentedly so, in fact. EA recently announced that it was the single biggest beta test in the company's history, bringing in 13.2 million players in total. “That's more than double the strength of the British and Ottoman Empires deployed in the Middle East during World War 1,” the publisher said in a trivia-filled infographic. It's even more than Blizzard pulled in for Overwatch.
“I want to personally thank you all for the great feedback you've given us. We're trawling through forum posts, social media mentions, and digging into some great data. We're identifying what worked well, and what didn’t work as well. We truly value your input,” senior producer Aleks Grøndal wrote. “In the near future, we'll have more details on the changes we'll be making to the full version of the game (yes, the Light Tank performed a little too well, that will be addressed).”
The infographic doesn't indicate exactly how much ass the Light Tank kicked, but it does say that the Assault class was the most popular choice during the beta, accounting for 30 percent of deployed players. The Scout came in second at 28 percent, followed by Support at 21 percent and, distantly, the Medic at ten percent; the remaining 11 percent was split between the Tanker, Pilot, and Cavalry classes.
28.9 million melee kills were scored during the beta—killing a man with a shovel is always a good time—and 23.8 million “road kills” were notched up. (EA didn't define that particular type of mayhem but I assume it involves pancaking pedestrians from behind the wheel of a tanked-up Model T.) But horses beat them both: A whopping 62.2 million kills were recorded by mounted players.
To be fair to Overwatch, the Battlefield 1 open beta ran for eight days, compared to just five for Overwatch, so it's a bit of an unfair comparison. But there's no denying that interest in Battlefield 1 is running high, and for good reason: You can't judge too much based on a single map in a pre-release build, but Evan's time with the open beta left him suitably optimistic for the full release. That will happen on October 21.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.