Image credit: Dice

Battlefield 6 rumors point to cross-gen and 128-player maps

by Vic Hood, TechRadar

A new Battlefield (potentially called Battlefield 6) is in development at EA Dice and it’s set to arrive on PS5, Xbox Series X and PC in “Holiday 2021” (so sometime between October and December).

Details on Battlefield 6 remain thin on the ground at this point in development, but EA has teased that the new Battlefield will be a “true next-gen vision for the franchise” and boasts “never-before-seen scale,” with rumors pointing to potential 128-player maps and a modern-day setting.

EA has said we will learn more about the new Battlefield in the next few months, but we’ve managed to pull together everything we know about the next entry in the veteran FPS series for you right here. So, read on for everything we know so far about Battlefield 6.

Battlefield 6 news and rumors

It could be cross-gen, feature 128-player maps and be set in the modern era
Firm details on Battlefield 6 may be thin on the ground, but a report by leaker TheLongSensation (AKA Tom Henderson) may give us some idea of what to expect from the next Battlefield game.

According to a video by Henderson (via VGC), Battlefield 6 will be a “soft reboot” of Battlefield 3, set in the modern era. The new Battlefield is allegedly also set to come to PS4 and Xbox One, in addition to the already-confirmed release on Xbox Series X and PS5.

What’s more, Henderson claims that developer Dice has designed some maps with 128 players in mind – a volume made possible by the power of newest-gen consoles. The leaker claims that while these 128-player maps will be available, his sources have clarified that Battlefield’s 32 v 32 standard game modes (64 players) will still be available, with players having the option to partake in game modes with a higher player count.

Unfortunately, according to Henderson, these 128-player maps won’t be available on last-gen consoles. In addition, PS4 and Xbox One players will also see visual downgrades from the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions, and limited destruction.

Despite this, Henderson claims that his sources have said that there’s a separate part of the studio working on these last-gen versions and players “shouldn’t be worried.”

The leaker also says that EA Dice has had a Battlefield Battle Royale in the works at some stage, with the studio wanting to create their own version of Activision’s successful Call of Duty Warzone. However, it remains unclear as to whether it is still developing this.

It’s always worth taking leaks with a pinch of salt, but Henderson has previously been accurate, with his claim that Battlefield 6 will be set in the modern era corroborated by VentureBeat reporter Jeff Grubb.

Battlefield 3, which apparently is a major influence on Battlefield 6, was set during the fictional War of 2014 – so we’re expecting, if Dice is aiming for a modern era, that we’ll be looking at something a bit more up to date.

We’ll find out more soon
During an earnings call in November 2020, EA CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed that more information on Battlefield 6 will be revealed “in the Spring”, which means we’ll likely hear more official info between March and May 2021. Of course, we could hear more rumors before that.

The power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X is key to its development
During the November 2020 earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson revealed the power of the new PS5 and Xbox Series X is allowing the team to make the new Battlefield “with never-before-seen scale. 

“The technical advancements of the new consoles are allowing the team to deliver on a true next-gen vision for the franchise,” Wilson said.

Battlefield 6: what we want to see

Image credit: EA

Free Battle Royale mode
If Dice is working on a Battlefield Battle Royale in a similar vein to Warzone, then we hope it’s a free standalone game like Warzone. Battlefield 5 included the Firestorm mode which was essentially a battle royale mode, seeing players fighting it out in a play zone surrounded by a ring of fire that gradually grew smaller and smaller. 

The issue with Firestorm was that it was a mode within Battlefield 5, so to play the mode you had to purchase the full Battlefield 5 game. We’re hoping that this time, Dice will offer a free-to-play battle royale mode that can sit separately from the main game, like how Activision has done with Call of Duty: Warzone.

Huge battles
Again, it’s rumored that this will be the case – with 128-player maps rumored – but we hope that comes to fruition. Battlefield’s 32 vs 32 player maps are great and all, but more players would really see these battles become epic.

Battlefield 5 lacked this important feature, meaning that PS4, Xbox One and PC players couldn’t play together. We’re hoping that Battlefield 6 will bring cross-play in, allowing everyone to play together – no matter what platform they’re on.

Plenty of modes at launch
In our Battlefield 5 review, one of our biggest issues was that there weren’t many modes available at launch – including the practice range – making the game feel a bit bare bones. We’re hoping Battlefield 6 addresses this issue and gives us plenty to jump into straight off the bat.

Dolby Atmos
While you can use Dolby Atmos with games that don’t support it, it’s undeniably better when games are developed with Atmos in mind. We feel that Dolby Atmos support for Battlefield 6 on PC and Xbox Series X (PS5 doesn’t support it) would help to immerse us in the action – and sound incredible.

Local co-op
Playing online is great and all, but we would love the option to play Battlefield offline multiplayer, so we can mess around with friends without the interference of online players.

Battlefield 6 trailers

While EA Dice hasn’t released any Battlefield 6 trailers yet, the upcoming Battlefield was featured in a tech trailer during EA Play 2020. We only caught a glimpse of some “work in progress” footage, which showed facial animations and a large number of soldiers running into battle. 

From the brief glimpses we’ve seen, it looks like facial animations will be more realistic than previously and that we’re going to see battlefields getting even larger this time round – potentially with more players (as rumored).

“We are creating epic battles at a scale and fidelity unlike anything you’ve experienced before”, EA’s chief studios officer Laura Miele said during the video. It may not be much to go on, but it suggests Dice plans to utilize the power of the new consoles to its utmost. Check it out for yourself below:

Battlefield 6 release date

Battlefield 6 is due to release “Holiday 2021” for PS5, Xbox Series X and PC. This release window was confirmed by EA CEO Andrew Wilson in an earnings call in November 2020.

Image credit: Electronic Arts

“The next Battlefield is set to launch in holiday 2021, and we are excited to share a lot more about the game in the spring,” Wilson said during the call. That means we can expect the game to release between October and December this year, with more news to come sometime between March and May. 

However, with the Covid-19 pandemic still ongoing, it’s possible we could see this release date delayed.

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