More than 13 million people played open beta for WWI shooter ‘Battlefield 1’

Gabe Gurwin
More than 13 million people played open beta for WWI shooter ‘Battlefield 1’
Electronic Arts and DICE ran an open multiplayer beta for Battlefield 1 this month, and it attracted a record-setting number of propspective players. More than 13 million people participated.

With its focus on one of the largest military conflicts in history, it seems fitting that Battlefield 1 would attract a huge number of players. And curious gamers did indeed check out this month’s open beta in droves, with more than 13 million people playing it, which set a record for publisher Electronic Arts.

The World War I shooter’s beta, which let players try out both “Conquest” and “Rush” modes on an enormous Sinai Desert map, attracted more than double the amount of people who actually participated in the war on both the British and Ottoman sides — the two forces featured on the map.

As you might expect, the number of kills recorded is nothing short of staggering. Nearly 29 million melee kills, 13 million armored train kills, more than 23 million road kills, and more than 62 million horseback kills were recorded during the beta period.

Related: Battlefield 1 expansion packs bring the French and Russians to the front line

“We’re trawling through forum posts, social media mentions, and digging into some great data,” said senior producer Aleks Grøndal. “We’re identifying what worked well, and what didn’t work as well.”

Grøndal also admits that there are balancing changes that need to be implemented before the game launches next month, particularly with the not-so-light Light Tank vehicle.

Shortly after Battlefield 1 releases, all players will be treated to a free map, “Giant’s Shadow.” The map is set during the Battle of the Selle, with British troops “are now in pursuit towards an important railway center,” and the German Empire standing in their way. Like the Sinai Desert, the map features an armored train capable of shifting the momentum of the battle. It will release for free in December.

Battlefield 1 will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on October 21. Purchasing the “early enlister” version will let you start playing the game three days early.