Star Wars Battlefront Campaign Skipped to Meet Movie Release
Star Wars Battlefront was widely criticized for being a full price game that lacked the content of modern day first person shooters. The absence of a single player campaign was one major issue. But fans and critics also took runs at the lack of multiplayer game modes, playable characters, and weapons, all seemingly locked behind an expensive season pass.
Electronic Arts recently had their Investors Day and took questions from those in attendance. One such person was prolific video game analyst Michael Pachter from Wedbush Morgan Securities. Pachter directly asked the publisher’s executive team poignant questions on the failure of EA branded NBA games, the death of the Medal of Honor franchise, and more notably how last years Star Wars Battlefront failed to receive critical acclaim.
“It was a conscious decision that we made due to time, and being able to launch the game side by side with the movie that came out to get the strongest possible impact.”
EA Studios Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund’s Response:
“Star Wars, I think is a game where you have to look at it from a slightly different perspective. Yes, we know that the one thing that we got criticized for was the lack of a single player campaign in it. It was a conscious decision that we made due to time, and being able to launch the game side by side with the movie that came out to get the strongest possible impact[….] Are we happy with the 75 ratings? No. Is that something that we’re going to cure going forward? Absolutely. But I think overall, we look at everything that we do in isolation, but if you take a step back and look at our overall portfolio, it’s actually in pretty good shape.”
EA’s decision to cut the campaign to meet the release window of Star Wars: The Force Awakens demonstrates the power of the brand. Those who played last years Star Wars: Battlefront know that the game’s setting took place during the original trilogy that began in 1977. There isn’t any narrative or environmental similarities between the game and film.
If there was an actual story tie between the game and the movie I could understand why the campaign was cut. However, in my ideal gaming world that doesn’t exist I would argue since the stories do not intertwine EA could’ve taken more time to fit in more content at launch and not charge as much for a season pass……..
I feel like I’m digging a deeper hole with every word so I’ll stop.
Despite drawing the ire of critics and the public, Star Wars Battlefront was undoubtedly a commercial success. The game sits at 73% on metacritic from professional gaming news outlets. Aggregated user scores are much lower ranging from 3.4-5.0. Despite the lack of critical success from both professionals and the general public, the game was still the 4th best seller in 2015. To this date it has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. You could say a lot of people just “Shut Up…and EA took our money.”
Given the obvious commercial success its no surprise that EA announced that Star Wars Battlefront 2 is going to be released sometime in 2017. Let’s just hope that either EA has learned their lesson, or gamers have and will speak with their wallets.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I will respond to as many as I can.
Nic – @TetraNinja