Note: WriOps is the intersection of writing and opinions on controversial topics in the gaming industry. The opinion of this article does not necessarily reflect the official opinions of NextLevel Gaming Online as an organization.
So, the other day EA DICE announced a sequel to their Star Wars Battlefront game from last winter, which will be planned for a 2017 launch.
Yay! More Star Wars games!
…or should we wait to celebrate?
Well, first let’s look at the most recent installment in the franchise, Battlefront 3. Upon the release of the game, for the triple-A industry standard price of $59.99, it shipped with just eight maps across four planets, with just six playable heroes. There was a shocking lack of space battles (or, one might even say, star wars), and only a few game modes. I, and many others, took issue with the skimpy amount of content. Not only that, but shortly before the release, they announced a Season Pass that would include four DLC’s. To top this off, Battlefront did not ship with a campaign mode of any sort – unless you count Survival as a story (a loose qualification at best). The best part? The Season Pass cost an additional $50.
So, for the low, low cost of $60 you could buy the “game”, or for the even more reasonable price of $100 you could buy an actual game.
Now let’s take a step back a full decade, and look at the previous two titles to be released under the Battlefront name. I fondly recall getting Battlefront for my 8th birthday in 2004, and playing it religiously. I remember there were at least two dedicated campaign modes and four different Galactic Conquest modes, wherein you played as one of the four available factions in the game. For single-player “Instant Action” there were at least 20 maps across 10 planets.
Lots of stuff, right? Guess the cost.
Go on, guess.
Did you guess $100?
Nope. It was $59.99.
Fast forward a year to the release of Battlefront 2. Upon the release of that we got another four Galactic Conquest games, a dedicated campaign about the chilling journey of the 501st, and another load of single player maps that, hey, actually included space battles! And don’t forget the addition of more game modes: Hunt, Capture the Flag (in both single and dual flag varieties), Space Assault, and Hero Assault (where the only playable characters are the Heroes). There was content a’plenty in this game, and all for the standard triple-A price of $59.99. There was also an additional DLC for $20 that included four maps from the original game, two new Heroes, and Hero Assault modes for three new maps.
Oh, did I say $20? Just kidding.
It was $4.99.
So let’s recap: Battlefront had 20 maps, 4 non-playable heroes, and half a dozen campaigns for $60. Battlefront 2 had equally as many maps, over 10 playable heroes, 5 campaigns, and a handful of new game modes for $60 plus $5 in DLC. Battlefront 2015 had 8 maps, 6 heroes, and no campaign for $60 plus only $50 in DLC.
“So what does this all mean?” You may be asking yourself. “What are you trying to get at here, Evan?”
What I’m trying to get at is that if Pandemic had done this sort of thing to the first two Battlefront games, they probably wouldn’t have sold nearly as well. The franchise might never have taken off. The third Battlefront game was a decent first/third person shooter by itself, but was hardly worthy of the Star Wars title, and definitely not worth the cost.
And now we are faced with another Battlefront game. I will give it a chance. Partly to be fair to the developers and the game itself, but partly because really, I want to love it. I want to have that same awesome, exciting experience that I had with the first and second games. I want this game to deliver. But the moment I hear the phrase “Season Pass” – I’m out. Namely because that tells me the base game won’t be up to par with my standards for a Battlefront game.
Regardless of whether or not I personally get the game, I do hope that this installation in the series ships with more content than its most recent predecessor. Don’t get me wront – I know EA is behind this price gouging: if DICE had it their way, I’m sure there would be no paid DLC, or at least less of it.
Maybe you disagree. But if you agree with me – that this whole “paying $60 for an unfinished “game”” – thing should stop, the best way to stop it isn’t to voice your opinion with your mouth or keyboard, it’s to voice it with your wallet. Don’t support companies that ship half a game and charge you extra for the rest of it.
Money speaks, but will EA listen?