Game cover for Battlefield 1943.
|Developer(s)||EA Digital Illusions CE|
|Release date(s)||Xbox Live Arcade
July 8, 2009
July 9, 2009
Battlefield 1943 is an online multiplayer World War II first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network via digital download only. Unlike Battlefield 1942, this game takes place only in the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II. A PC version was planned but later cancelled.
Battlefield 1943 casts players as either the United States Marine Corps (USMC) or the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) with up to 24 players on three classic Battlefield maps: Wake Island, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima. After players collectively reached 43 million kills, their respective console versions received access to an additional Coral Sea map.
Like Battlefield: Bad Company, 1943 features the Frostbite Engine for its environmental damage. The game only features the series' signature Conquest mode and a new gametype called Air Superiority which was unlocked when the online gaming community reached a combined total of 43 million kills in Conquest. Similar to Battlefield Heroes, 1943 features only three classes - Infantryman, Rifleman, and Scout. Each class has an unlimited supply of ammunition; however, explosive ordnance takes a few seconds to replenish. The game also features a regenerating health system.
There are four types of vehicles in the game; fighter, tank, jeep and landing craft. Each team's base has two one-man fighter aircraft with A6M Zeros for the Imperial Navy and F4U Corsairs for the United States Marine Corps. Typically there is an airfield for either team to capture where a third plane can be used to a team's advantage. Each airplane has four machine guns and can also drop bombs. Tanks can accommodate two players, a driver who can use a tank cannon and a coaxial machine gun, and a passenger who can use a tank mounted machine gun. Jeeps can accommodate up to three players: a driver who cannot fire, a gunner in the back who operates a .30 caliber machine gun, and a passenger who can fire their own gun. Landing craft (boats) are used to deliver troops from the carriers to the beaches. Players can also use air raid bunkers to order three bomber aircraft to clear an area of a map. To operate these, the player must enter a bunker with a large spinning dish on top. Planes can be shot down by fighter pilots and anti-aircraft guns, reducing the amount of bombs that the air raid can deliver.
Development, marketing and release
According to the game's development team, accessibility and value were the main reasons the game went digital as opposed to a retail launch.
At the time of the Xbox Live Arcade version's release, issues with server joining and statistic recording functionality were reported. DICE's Gordon Van Dyke and EA responded to the situation, noting that the player volume was higher than expected and server capacity was exceeded. To remedy the issues, EA and DICE added more servers. Van Dyke also noted that there were problems with players having trouble using their EA accounts. Despite launch problems, DICE reported that after the first day of release players had accumulated 29.45 years worth of game time and over 5 million kills. In 2011, DICE announced that development of the PC version of the game was cancelled, in order to focus onto Battlefield 3.
At Sony's conference at E3 2011, Sony announced that a copy of Battlefield 1943 will be included on every disc of Battlefield 3 for the PS3. It was revealed by customers that Battlefield 1943 was not included in the PS3 copies of Battlefield 3. EA revealed through Battlefield's Twitter account by telling a customer that "In lieu of 1943 being available on disk for PS3 customers, EA has made all BF3 expansions available early to PS3 customers."
Ultimately, EA decided to honor the pre-order announcement.
Release and reception
The game was given an aggregate score of 83 out of 100 from Metacritic and a score of 84.18% from Game Rankings for the Xbox Live Arcade version. In addition to having the best sales ever on the first day it was released, Battlefield 1943 went on to become the fastest selling download-only game after the first week. Battlefield 1943 was the top selling Xbox LIVE Arcade game of 2009, as reported by Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb. It moved over 268,000 units in 2010 according to (FADE).
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