'Battlefield 2042' Petition: Why Gamers Are Right to Demand a Refund

Battlefield 2042 has found itself in hot water yet again, as an online petition has been gathering thousands of signatures, demanding that the game be refunded across all platforms.

For a bit of context, Battlefield 2042 was initially heralded as one of last year's major releases, right up until the moment that consumers actually got their hands on it.

All of the pieces were in place for this to be the next huge blockbuster. The early trailers showcased impressive production values, next-gen graphics, and an unprecedented sense of scale. Meanwhile, it had a terrific pedigree, with the usually dependable DICE at the helm, and it being part of a beloved franchise that has churned out nothing but hits lately.

Unfortunately, when the game finally came out in November 2021, fans quickly discovered that it did not live up to the monumental hype. It was an all-round buggy experience, plagued with matchmaking problems, horrendous lag and frustrating technical errors (some of which were quite funny, while others were utterly game-breaking)

Unstable releases like this aren't out of the ordinary in the gaming industry (given that developers can now patch things afterwards) but Battlefield 2042 had it particularly rough. Plus, even when it was working properly, the foundations just weren't that strong.

Other titles — like the original Destiny and No Man's Sky — have managed to recover from their similarly tumultuous launches and eventually managed to course-correct. Yet Battlefield 2042 is arguably in an even worse shape now than it was 4 months ago. Players are abandoning the servers at an astonishing rate and no substantive updates are going to be rolled out until Summer.

Any news relating to the military shooter over the past few weeks has been almost universally negative, with game modes being unceremoniously pulled and Steam waving its usual policy on late refund requests. However, while the PC distribution platform has been giving customers their money back outside of the usual 14-day window, the same privilege has not been extended to consoles owners.

Battlefield 2042 Screenshot
Picture shows a screenshot from "Battlefield 2042". The game had a rocky launch in November and has yet to meaningfully rehabilitate its image. EA Games

New Petition Demands PlayStation and Xbox Refunds for 'Battlefield 2042'

Lobbying for the same treatment as their PC counterparts, console players are now signing a petition demanding that Battlefield 2042 refunds be issued across all platforms.

Describing the release as a "mockery of every customer" who purchased it, the document contends that Battlefield 2042 is a fundamentally unfinished product. The author, who goes by the display name Satoshi Nakamoto, also accuses EA of "false advertising", arguing that the company published trailers that were not representative of the real thing.

He writes "According to [consumer] reports, Electronic Arts and DICE did not keep many promises made at launch, and Battlefield 2042 was launched as unplayable. Even today, Battlefield 2042 has bugs that drastically change the in-game experience so much that it's deemed an unfinished release by many community members.

In fact, Battlefield 2042 was so poorly made that even Steam, a highly reputable provider of PC video games, allows customers to get a full refund."

The text continues to say that, once the petition has secured 50,000 signatures (a milestone that has already been passed), Nakamoto will consult lawyers to see if a legal case can be made against EA and DICE.

Although you might think that this is a direct appeal to the executives at EA, they're not the ones who get to choose if the game is refunded or not. Instead, that decision lies with the digital storefront that you bought it from, which is why the petition is actually addressed to Microsoft, Sony, Steam and the Federal Trade Commission.

On that note, both the PlayStation Store and the Xbox Marketplace have inflexible refund policies, stipulating that you must ask for your money back within two weeks of purchasing a given title. Unless the content is deemed faulty (which usually means that it flat-out won't start), then you will no longer be eligible for a refund after that fortnight period has elapsed.

Why Gamers Are Right to Demand a Refund

The rules are pretty clear-cut then. If you purchased Battlefield 2042 over two weeks ago, then you're not entitled to your money back on either PlayStation or Xbox consoles.

That being said, exceptions have been made in the past. Most famously, the PlayStation Store did reimburse those who bought Cyberpunk 2077 at launch, and Battlefield 2042 is in a fairly comparable state to that game. If one of them can be refunded, then it stands to reason that the other should as well.

Furthermore, Steam also has a two-week refund window, but it's waived that rule for some dissatisfied Battlefield customers. So, you can understand why Xbox and PlayStation owners just want the same deal.

Battlefield 2042 might not be broken in the strictest sense of the word (in the same way that a car isn't faulty so long as its engine starts) and you can successfully boot it up in most cases. Yet that doesn't change the fact that it fails to deliver on most of its promises.

Even after four months, it's still a buggy and unreliable experience that makes gamers feel justifiably ripped off. As the petition itself points out, this is why its important to stand up for consumer rights.

At the time of writing, the Change.org page (which is titled "Allow Refund for Battlefield 2042 on All Platforms") has over 150,000 signatures, meaning that it has reached its initial goal.

Newsweek has contacted EA for comment on the situation and the claims that Battlefield 2042 is unfinished. At the time of writing, there has been no response.

Battlefield 2042 Screenshot
Image shows gameplay from "Battlefield 2042", overlaid with the Change.org logo. A new petition is demanding that players be issued refunds for EA's military shooter. EA Games