EA Explains Why Star Wars Battlefront Didn't Have Single-Player and Teases Sequel Might
"Are we happy with the 75 rating? No."
Speaking today during EA's Investor Day event, EA Studios boss Patrick Soderlund talked about how Star Wars Battlefront, while generally well-received, was criticized for its lack of a single-player campaign. He also teased that a future instalment might introduce a campaign, something that even Star Wars actor John Boyega has called for.
He started off by explaining it was a purposeful decision to leave out a campaign for Battlefront, in part so that the team at DICE would get it out in time for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The game is based on the original Star Wars trilogy, but it did have content based on Jakku, a setting from The Force Awakens. Additionally, it makes sense that EA would want to get the game out in time for the film, as it turned out to be a box office smash that brought more attention to the Star Wars brand overall.
While Battlefront was overall a success (it shipped 14 million copies), Soderlund said he is not pleased with the game's average review score. Right now, it sits at around a 75 on GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
"The one thing that we got criticized for was the lack of a single-player campaign. It was conscious decision 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," he explained. "I think the team created a really good game based on the premise that we had. I would say the game has done very well for us and reached a very different demographic than a traditional EA game. So from that perspective, it's a success. Are we happy with the 75 rating? No. Is that something we're going to cure going forward? Absolutely."
While Battlefront lacks what might be considered a traditional single-player campaign, it does have a series of "Missions," which can be played solo and offline.
Also in the talk, Soderlund spoke about how EA is focusing on "depth and breadth" when it looks at building new games. In order for a shooter game to "truly break out and become really large," it's best to offer both a single-player campaign and a multiplayer component, he said. This is because a campaign can help players familiarize themselves with controls before jumping into online multiplayer, Soderlund mentioned.
"The depth and breadth is something that's proving to be more and more important," he said. "In a world where we want $60 up front and we expect people to stay with us over the course of a long time, the depth of what we offer is important."
"We have to go back and course correct that for another version if we were ever to build one," Soderlund added about how a future Battlefront game would need to offer more depth and breadth.
In December, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said Battlefront was intentionally designed to be "accessible."
"We had designed it to be a much more accessible product to a wide age group," he said at the time. "So, an 8-year-old could play with his father on the couch, as well as a teenager or 20-year-old could play the game and enjoy it. It is more accessible. And for the hardcore, it may not have the depth that they wanted in the game."
Last week, Jorgensen revealed that EA was working on a Battlefront sequel that would feature content from "the new movies" and include "bigger and better worlds."
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