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DICE hints at Battlefield 3 beta numbers

Six-times bigger than Bad Company 2.

The Battlefield 3 beta has attracted more than six times the number of simultaneous players than the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 beta did.

Exactly how many concurrent players the Bad Company 2 beta had was never disclosed. The full Bad Company 2 game had, weeks after launch, a peak of 230,000 simultaneous players. Multiplied by six, that number is 1.38 million.

At that point, however, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 had sold 2.3 million copies. The Bad Company 2 demo/beta was downloaded more than 3.5 million times in the month it was available. Potentially, then, more people than 230,000 could have been playing simultaneously. That, in turn, suggests the Battlefield 3 beta has been played by upwards of 1.38 million gamers simultaneously.

Impressive stuff. And it has lead DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson to make what sounded like a sales prediction.

"The fact that Battlefield 3 is clearly our biggest game launch ever by a magnitude of six makes it doubly important to test everything," he wrote on the Battlefield blog.

That prediction can be equated. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 sold 2.3 million units, according to EA internal numbers, in just under two weeks. That qualifies as "a launch" period to us. Is Troedsson, therefore, predicting that Battlefield 3 will sell six times that - 13.8 million units - in a similar time-frame?

Look out for Digital Foundry's assessment of the Battlefield 3 beta, from a technical viewpoint, later today.