EA calls it the biggest beta in their company’s history. More than 13.2 million players shot, sniped, sliced and blew their way through the barren battlefield of the Sinai Desert. That 13.2 million is more than double the troops the British and Ottoman Empires deployed in the Middle East during World War I.
Spiked clubs and shovels did the job with 28.9 million melee kills over nine days. Horses proved a popular addition to the Battlefield universe with more than 62.2 million kills. I know I accounted for at least 20 with the sword. And another couple of dozen with the badass rifle that comes with the Calvary class. Hell, even my horse got in on the action. I may have been sniped off a few times, but the horse kept going – scoring a few extra roadkills in the process.
Check out the infographic below for more stats. Note the only 10% deployed as Medic. I’ll be covering what DICE can do to make the Medic class more enticing in another post.
So, EA calls it their biggest beta ever. But how does it stack up against other betas in recent months?
The Overwatch beta immediately comes to mind. It had the Blizzard pedigree to push the hype, and player numbers, through the roof. But it doesn’t approach the numbers Battlefield 1 did. According to Blizzard, 9.7 million players duked it out with a wide cast of heroes during early May’s open beta.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Before Battlefield 1 became the biggest beta in EA history, that honor belonged to Star Wars Battlefront. Over 9.5 million players joined the fight in a galaxy far, far away. If beta player stats translate to sales, EA is going to be very happy. In May, EA said Star Wars Battlefront sold in (to retailers, not consumers) 14 million copies across all platforms.
While the full game disappointed many, the hype leading up to it was insane. Ubisoft said 6.4 million people played The Division beta in late February. And those numbers translated into the biggest first-week sales for a new game franchise according to the publisher.
Battlefield 1’s WWI gamble appears to be paying off
DICE and EA took a chance with a World War I setting. Sure, fans said they were tiring of the futuristic setting that has taken over shooters in recent years – but WWI was still a gamble.
The sheer number of beta players shows that gamble is paying off. Big time.
Here’s a recap of how Battlefield 1’s open beta stacks up with other popular shooters:
Battlefield 1 – 13.2 million players
Overwatch – 9.7 million players
Star Wars: Battlefront – 9.5 million players
The Division – 6.4 million players.
EA’s sales expectations for Battlefield 1 are a bit lower than a traditional Battlefield game. “Typically a Battlefield does 15 million in a year,” EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen said during an earnings report earlier this year. “Our guidance is slightly under that and we hope that excitement builds and it’ll go through that number, but for now it’s slightly under that number.”
Well, the beta stats show excitement exploded. I had a blast playing Battlefield 1. And it’s just what the shooter genre needs. I’m sure I’ll still pick up Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, but it’ll be nice having a completely different shooter (and setting) to go back and forth with.