Just over a year after its debut, Star Wars Battlefront’s life is at an end. I mean, EA isn’t pulling down servers and closing up shop, but it’s done something that’s as good as closing the doors. On Twitter, the company confirmed that there will be no more DLC released for the game. The product you see out there now, complete with all of its add-ons and expansions, is it. Move along; there’s nothing to see here. Which leaves us wondering now, did Star Wars Battlefront do well?
Certainly, looking at the sales figures would provide an answer. EA thought it would sell nine or ten million copies by the end of the fiscal year 2016. When the Star Wars Battlefront beta was well received by fans, it upped the expectation to 13 million. It met that goal and, by May 2016, there were 14 million copies shipped. It even ended up being 2015’s fourth fastest selling title and nominated for Best Shooter at The Game Awards 2015. Now, it didn’t win. Also, you can totally pick up a copy at this moment for under $20 now. But, for a brief time, it was one of the hottest tickets in gaming. That says something.
Unfortunately, we can’t just base success on sales. Sometimes bad things still make tons of money. (That’s why we have two Paul Blart movies!) There are areas in which Star Wars Battlefront clearly wasn’t the best. There was no campaign. People who wanted a singleplayer or cooperative experience, perhaps offline, had to make due with Battles, Hero Battles, Skirmish, Survival, and Training. The base Multiplayer options consisted of Blast, Cargo, Drop Zone, Droid Run, Fighter Squadron, Heroes vs. Villains, Hero Hunt, Supremacy, Turning Point, and Walker Assault. As for playable characters, you only had two generic ones, the Rebel Alliance soldier and Stormtrooper, with the six playable “stars” being Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Boba Fett, and Emperor Palpatine. The only places you could visit in maps, initially, were on Endor, Hoth, Tatooine, and Sullust, with Jakku maps being added as free DLC later.
Now, the modes were more than adequate and the major locations each offered between six and eight maps for different modes. That’s fine. But to offer so few characters is a travesty. Especially when the Star Wars series is known for such memorable icons. Star Wars Battlefront was falling short in its representation. I’d like to think I’m not the only one who felt like Dice was trying, especially by providing the single and cooperative missions it could and multiplayer modes it had, but fell short when it came to characters and content.
Which brings us to the DLC. We all know Star Wars Battlefront had a DLC issue. This felt like a game that was just barely giving people what they wanted and needed and, when it would provide, attached a steep price tag. I mean, the season pass is $30 now, but it was $50 when it launched. For that price, you ended up getting 16 more maps, the ability to play as Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Jyn Erso, Orson Krennic, Greedo, Bossk Dengar, Nien Nunb, the Battle Station, Extraction, Infiltration, and Sabotage modes, and an array of miscellaneous weapons, Star Cards, and vehicles. That’s a lot of money for an assortment of stuff that, with a comparable game, would probably have cost $30 and not, you know, almost the same price as the full game. Star Wars Battlefront did not do well in this area.
Of course, there’s another bit that’s telling. The fact that Star Wars Battlefront is getting a sequel says it all. You don’t get a second chance to go even bigger and better if the first outing wasn’t some sort of success. That EA and Dice immediately began preparing Star Wars Battlefront 2 for what could end up being a 2017 release. Even if this installment wasn’t great in terms of content availability and solo offerings, it certainly performed admirably enough to guarantee a follow-up.
I think we can safely say that yes, Star Wars Battlefront did pretty okay. It wasn’t a perfect game. There were certainly some issues regarding the multiplayer-only gameplay and amount of content released. But, it also did exceed sales expectations and convince EA that Dice should prepare a sequel. It might not have gotten everything exactly right, but it did good enough. If anything, it probably won’t be remembered as one of the best Star Wars games or as a roaring success, but it could end up making a name for itself as a stepping stone leading us toward something greater.