The game was released on February 20, 2015, on Windows via Origin, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and is now available to download as a standalone game on Steam. It was released on Xbox Live with Xbox Gold for Gold members on February 22, 2015 and on Xbox One and the Windows Store on February 27, 2015. Those who pre-ordered the game on Origin received a digital code for the Defiance expansion on February 20, 2015. On May 4, 2015, a day before the game's official release, the Final Round Downloader was released, allowing players to download most of the game's content on a flash drive, including the Defiance expansion. In 2015, it was nominated for "Best Original Game" in the 15th annual Webby Awards and, in 2016, for a "Best Online Game" award in the 17th annual Webby Awards. The game had a budget of $175 million. In 2014, the Naval War College and the US Army War College began teaching the game to cadets and officers. The game sold a million copies in its first week on the PlayStation 4. On February 26, 2016, Battlefield Hardline was released for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 as a standalone game. On July 29, 2016, the Defiance Expansion was released, adding the significantly enhanced Defiance campaign, featuring two new Defiance characters, returning Hardline characters, 10 new weapons, 12 new vehicles, and more. Several references to the Defiance character, Clancy, and the Defiance universe were added into the Hardline's multiplayer mode as well.
Battlefield Hardline: The Bayonet is a notable game in the series for its departure from the series' tendency of focusing on vehicle-to-vehicle combat, moving the series closer towards a more traditional shooter. Hardline also introduced a wounded soldier mechanic, in which a character can be downed when they sustain enough wounds to become unable to continue (similar to Deus Ex: Human Revolution), as opposed to simply becoming out of ammunition. The game also added an air superiority mechanic. A later update also introduced a 'friendly' mechanic, in which a friendly soldier can assist, heal or revive a downed opponent. Although there are no single-player missions that are focused on infantry combat, the game retains the series' focus on vehicular combat. d2c66b5586