Ten years ago, LucasArts and Pandemic Studios gave the world "Star Wars: Battlefront," one of the best Star Wars video games ever released. A year later, LucasArts published the console-only sequel "Battlefront II." Since then, other iterations developed by a myriad of studios have been greenlighted, but nothing has lived up to the legacy of the original title.
At E3 2013, Electronic Arts, which currently has the rights to the Star Wars video game franchise, showed a teaser trailer for a game it titled “Star Wars: Battlefront.” EA was mum on details, but it at least said that DICE, the studio behind "Mirror’s Edge" and "Battlefront," would develop the new "Star Wars: Battlefront" game, not as a direct sequel to the original in the franchise, but as a reinterpretation of it by DICE.
At E3 2014, Election Arts once again teased some footage from the upcoming "Battlefront" title, although it was mostly comprised of pre-rendered cutscenes spliced with some behind-the-scenes storytelling from the DICE team, who provided details on some of the game’s development processes. It's trying hard to keep true to the spirit of the original game and stick to the first six "Star Wars" movies for inspiration. But as great as DICE’s intentions may be, it’s worth remembering that it's not writing the check for this.
Electronic Arts is. And in past years, EA forced out "Battlefield 4" and "SimCity" before they were ready, effectively charging customers for games they couldn’t play. The company’s shady business practices haven’t exactly inspired consumer confidence, either: EA is frequently in the running for “Worst Gaming Company in America.” Electronic Arts won the honors in 2012, after the release of Origin, EA’s service that competes with Steam. The company stopped selling PC versions of its games except on its own game service. EA successfully defended its dishonorable title in 2013.
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So with the new footage shown at E3 2014, the question is, will EA mess up "Star Wars: Battlefront," too? The game is slated for release in Q2 or Q3 2015 (January 1 to June 30), which means the game should have had a development period of two or three years.
"Battlefield 4," an unfinished product shipped to stores last October, had a two-year development period and runs on the same Frostbite 3 engine that "Star Wars: Battlefront" will run on. With that track record, it’s hard to have faith in a publishing company that's bungled multiple games recently just to ship products in a hurry.
Electronic Arts -- if you have to delay the "Star Wars: Battlefront" reboot until Q4 2015 or even Q1 2016, that’s okay. Just don’t turn this into "Battlefield 4" all over again.
It’s better to be late than broken. And we deserve a great "Star Wars" game.