I’m Not Incredibly Hyped For Battlefront 2, Because EA.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, this year’s Star Wars celebration was the venue for the release of EA’s new totally-not-Battlefield-with-a-Star-Wars-skin-for-maximum-market-penetration, Battlefront 2. While many of the people around me express nothing but joy at the trailer, I can’t help but have, how should I say, a bad feeling about this.
For those of you who don’t chase headlines, let’s talk a little about EA in general. EA hasn’t had the best of reputation among concerned gamers, being the kind of friend who sells you a Powerline Ethernet device for RM30 cheaper than most others, only for you to discover that it only comes with one of the device instead of the two needed to function. To say EA is to say Day-One DLC, Microtransactions, focus-group appeal and a Season Pass that costs almost as much as the game itself.
So that brings us to Star Wars: Battlefront II. ‘Why could I be mad about this’? I hear you ask. ‘It’s got everything we wanted- a story mode, more than just Original Trilogy nostalgia-pandering and Darth-freaking-Maul!’
There’s even been a lot of positive press regarding Battlefront II- the devs came out and said they don’t want another season pass, although the comment was felt by the EA as a disturbance in investor confidence, and the claim was promptly walked back. The claim is also that it’s “Not a Battlefield re-skin”, so only a hopeless shut-in devoid of joy could find a way to still be wary in the face of all this great Battlefront news.
Hi, my name is W. Amirul. Nice to meet you.
Consider, internet: why on earth did we bother with the first Battlefront then? The first Battlefront was a full-priced game with little content, an annoying progression system (I stand by my belief that it should be currency OR exp, never both) and a player base that felt very dead within it’s first year. The whole notion of “Well II is the game we _wanted_ to make” is great, but I can’t help but feel like there needs to be some kind of reparation for paying full price for what was essentially an overly marketed tech demo. EA seems more obsessed with just having a robust portfolio of licensed games than actually making games that people want to play, as proven by the fact the first Battlefront has a total of 2,934 players on PC currently vs a game that was actually supported post-launch, GTA V, having a concurrent user base of 26,000 at it’s lowest point in the past three days (Sourced from Swbstats.com and Steam Spy, respectively). EA and more importantly, Disney, are sending a clear message- Star Wars is not a meal to be enjoyed at your leisure. It is the chewy mints you buy to stay awake in a boring lecture, only to realize you’d eaten the whole thing and now have to go out and get more.
The final jade nail in this coffin of cynicism is Battlefront’s current parentage: the Battlefront games are the children of a licensing deal with EA and Disney, the most mass-marketed companies this side of Coca-Cola. They’re like if vanilla had a cousin that vented their self-esteem issues by desperately wanting everyone to like them. And between Disney’s plans for a new Star Wars until the heat death of the universe and Battlefront 1 being, for all intents and purposes; incomplete, there has been an awakening of the idea that maybe we’re paying a little too much for this series.