EA DICE (Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Computer Entertainment) recently caused a disturbance in the force amidst the fans of the Star Wars Battlefront series, when they released the details of the games playable content at the recent Star Wars celebration event in Anaheim, California. The revelation that the game series newest instalment would not feature any space battles, none of the battles from the prequel trilogy and would be limited to MMO (Mass Multiplayer Only) gameplay angered many fans of the film and game franchise. The previous instalment in the games franchise, Star Wars Battlefront II was considered by many as the closest thing to a perfect Star Wars video game, with many, many battles taking place across a vast galaxy and re-enacting famous battles from the movie franchises' (at that point) six episodes such as Kashyyyk, Hoth, Endor, Geonosis, Tattooine, Coruscant and many more.
The Sullist environment was showcased recently to appease fans.
Many fans feel betrayed by EA and DICE, whom have taken over the development of the video games licensed from Star Wars from former, in house developer Lucasarts, feeling the the new Battlefront instalment has been stripped down to its bare minimum so that the games fans can be exploited via DLC and season passes to pay for content many feel should have been released with the game at launch. While this drip-drop release of a video games content has almost become common place within the industry, the fact remains that the new Battlefront game, due for release November 17th, will be both upon launch and after all of the games DLC's have been downloaded, a smaller scale and less extensive game than its predecessor.
Normally I would be the first to jump on the bandwagon and burn effigies of EA for their inevitable milking of a successful franchise, and continuing the trend of sub-par release games that require up to £100 or $150 and six months to come close to the game we the gamers and the fans want, and have overpaid for. This is a practice that EA have become notorious for, with the annually released sport titles and the cash cow franchise called The Sims. Yet, strangely enough I find myself, agreeing with and, to some degree supporting what EA and DICE have done with the Battlefront game.
But the reality behind why the new Battlefront game is so small is three fold. The first reason is the fact that this game, as well as being released on the latest PC graphics cards, is only being released on the new next generation consoles; the Xbox One and the PS4. Consoles which are still relatively new on the market and as such developers, including EA and DICE, are still learning how best to utilise and harness the abilities of these machines. No matter what generation of games console, the more advanced and more groundbreaking games, from a technical standpoint are usually released towards the end of a consoles short lifetime. Remember, Star Wars Battlefront II was released in 2005, near the end of the Xbox and PS2s lifespan.
The second reason is the simple fact that the new game is being launched to coincide with the new movie, and by extension is thus merchandise for that movie. The time setting of the new movie and the sequel trilogy and a concious effort by the developers to distance their product from the less popular prequel trilogy explains the lack of battles pre-episode IV and a focus on the 'classic' trilogy and the new movie.
The third and final reason why the new Battlefront is so small is hinted at in the title. Whereas some are referring to the game as Battlefront III, officially it is only known as Star Wars: Battlefront. This is because it is not a full game, at the very least it is not the final intended product, but a mere test of what can be done with the consoles at this point in time. Come the release of Star Wars Episode IX in 2019, the current next generation consoles will be reaching the point in their short lifespan when the boundaries can be pushed, and as such a new Battlefront game released at that time would be technically far more superior to the 'test game', the demo we will be playing come November - think higher player caps per session, multiple modes of play, and a galaxy full of unique planets. Not only that, but the game will likely include all of the battles from the entire Saga, telling the full story of the nine Saga movies, and possibly the forthcoming Anthology movies such as Rogue One and Boba Fett.
In short Star Wars: Battlefront is an interactive teaser of what EA and DICE think the Battlefront that will released in 4 years time will look like. The DLC released for the game will likely explore new ideas and planets previously unseen. It is your chance as a player to help forge the outcome by playing this new content and pushing the game to its limits, as a community rather than as individuals. Come 2019 EA and DICE's next Star Wars: Battlefront will be the best Star Wars game ever made.