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People really, really liked the Battlefield 1 beta – now it’s Call of Duty’s turn

People really, really liked the Battlefield 1 beta - now it's Call of Duty's turn

If you are a gamer, there is a good chance you already know this, but Electronic Arts and DICE recently held an open beta for its upcoming game, Battlefield 1. There’s nothing unusual about this – it’s a new entry in a franchise built around multiplayer, and so a beta makes sense. What makes this beta stand out, however, is how successful it was.People really, really liked the Battlefield 1 beta - now it's Call of Duty's turn

Over the course of its nine days, more than 13.2 million people played the Battlefield 1 beta. EA runs betas fairly often, but this game set the record and is officially the most played EA beta of all time. When more than 13 million people download and play a beta, that’s a good sign for the game.

Along with just touting the numbers, EA also revealed some key stats, including how often people played specific classes and the like. You can find the full stat reveals in the image to the right, but here are a few key numbers.

  • The assault class was the most used, with 30-percent of players choosing it. The Medic was the least at 10-percent.
  • There were 28.9 million melee kills
  • The armored train accounted for 13 million kills.
  • The total number of road kills was over 23.8 million.
  • More than 62.2 million players were killed by people on hores.

Battlefield 1 is built on the bones of the long-running Battlefield franchise, but technically this is the first release in the franchise from DICE since 2013’s Battlefield 4. 2015 saw the releases of both Battlefield Hardline and Star Wars Battlefront, but Hardline was developed by Visceral and Battlefront is considered its own thing.

The beta should help DICE to ensure the game runs smoothly on launch – something Battlefield 4 had an issue with. With 13.2 million users, that should be more than enough of a test for the game in terms of server stress, but you can never tell with betas. The Battlefront beta was heavily praised, but the game lost a lot of fans once it was released.

If it can live up to its potential, Battlefield 1 should help EA compete with the upcoming Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Sure, EA and Activision both claim there is no rivalry between the franchises, but very few people actually buy that. They are similar, competitive FPS multiplayer launching within a few weeks of each other, released by two publishers that frequently poach talent from each other.

Interestingly, Activision has been keeping the lid on Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer, instead focusing on the campaign story. Infinity Ward recently released a story trailer highlighting an evil Jon Snow and we do know that the game utilizes plenty of space combat, but details on the competitive aspect haven’t been released.

Call of Duty will offer a beta for Infinite Warfare. PS4 users will get it on October 14 – an official date hasn’t been announced for Xbox One yet, but it will likely be a few days later. With Infinite Warfare coming out on November 4, however, that seems like the beta is more meant to advertise the game than to truly test it for the developers. With just over two weeks between beta and launch, there won’t be a lot of time to make any changes if necessary.

Of course, Call of Duty is a machine at this point, with years of experience in launching new titles, and things like weapon balance can always be addressed through patches. The beta also comes out days before the October 21 launch of Battlefield 1, which – intentionally or not – may steal a little attention away from EA’s shooter. With 13.2 million users flocking to the Battlefield 1 beta, the bar has been set high.

With luck, gamers will have two great games to play. In reality, the battle continues. And at the moment, EA might have the advantage if the beta is any indication.

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Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.