If you thought Star Wars Battlefront was insubstantial, you’re not alone. The folks running EA agree, and they say they plan to add more content when the next one comes along.
Yesterday during EA’s annual investors day, executive vice president Patrick Soderlund explained that they chose to develop Battlefront without a single-player campaign so they could release the game in time for The Force Awakens last summer. Responding to a hilariously blunt question about game quality from analyst Michael Pachter (who also criticized EA for the flops of NBA Live and Medal of Honor), Soderlund said the publisher plans to learn from that mistake.
“Star Wars I think is a game where you have to look at it maybe from a slightly different perspective,” he said. “Yes we know that the one thing we got criticized for was the lack of single-player campaign in it. That was a conscious decision that we made due to time and being able to launch the game side by side with the movie that came out, to get the most possible, to get the strongest possible impact. 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 would do, so from that perspective it’s a success.”
Commercially, Battlefront was certainly a success, selling over 14 million copies. From a critical perspective, though, it was a bit disappointing. Soderlund pointed to Metacritic as an example of that. “Are we happy with the 75 rating? No. Is that something that we’re going to cure going forward? Absolutely.”
Earlier in the presentation, Soderlund had made similar comments about Battlefront, promising that the sequel to their shooter will be way more substantial.
“The depth and breadth is something that’s proving to be more and more important,” he said. “In a world where we want $60 upfront and where we expect people to stay with us over a long time, the depth of what we offer is important. We’ve actually had some dialog—Star Wars Battlefront came out and it totally nailed a lot of these factors out there but we got criticized for the depth and breadth of it. As we look at why that was, we have to go back and course correct that for another version if we were ever to build one.”