Players who’ve long been awaiting good news, or any news at all, about the developed of Star Wars: Battlefront 3 know and understand how developer Pandemic Studios essentially replicated the successful Battlefield large-scale battles with vehicles and infantry and applied a Star Wars skin to it and new features. It worked and the brand lent itself perfect to the type of shooter.
So when developer DICE began showcasing the Frosbite 2 engine and the first gameplay footage for Battlefield 3, we on Game Rant began suggesting over and over again that they be the ones to take over the Battlefront series after the project had been repeatedly canceled and retooled. Through destiny or the force, it happened and Star Wars: Battlefront is being rebooted by the makers of the Frosbite 3 engine and the game that blew everyone away at E3 2013, Battlefield 4. How did this come to be?
CVG chatted with executive vice president of the EA Games Label Patrick Söderlund about the Star Wars: Battlefront announcement during EA’s E3 2013 media briefing and how the deal came about to have DICE take on the franchise.
“…It was just something as boring as resources and availability. The DICE guys Karl Magnus Troedsson and Patrick Bach were talking and I told them we were in dialogues with Disney over this deal and they just looked at me and said, ‘Why haven’t you spoken to us? What are you doing? We want to make Battlefront.’
DICE is a very particular place and they are very proud of what they do and you don’t really tell them what to do. I didn’t anticipate them wanting to work on a license – they’ve always been new IP or their own IP. But they were just like, ‘we would kill to make this game’ and the whole studio started talking about it like, ‘please give us this game’.
That’s when I called Frank [Gibeau, EA Labels boss] and I realized we had something here. ‘If they want it that badly, then the game will be freaking awesome – we have to figure it out’. So we figured it out, we got them the game and it was that simple. They begged to do it, the opportunity was there and that’s exactly why you’ll see a game that will be what it needs to be.
With a new DICE studio opening in LA, where will Star Wars: Battlefront be developed? The good news it that the main studio behind the Frostbite engines and the Battlefield series will be in charge of it:
“You will have people that have worked on Battlefield for many years on it, you will have Patrick himself involved in it. These are experienced DICE people in Sweden building this game – it’s being built in Stockholm.
When it comes to the actual game, the approach we’re going to take is it’s a rebirth of the brand, it is Star Wars: Battlefront done the DICE way. The original Battlefront games actually took a lot of inspiration from Battlefield and they’ve been publicly open about that. As the guys said, the game is ‘coming home’. That’s as much as we can say.”
With EA growing DICE and them being able to produce Battlefield 4, the Frostbite 3 engine and Mirror’s Edge 2, there are multiple teams at work, so fans worried about what Battlefront may mean for the future of the Battlefield series need to be concerned. Battlefield is extremely important to EA with BF3 serving as their fastest-selling title ever and it’s possible that Battlefront can be used to replace Medal of Honor in that EA can release flagship shooters annually, alternating between Star Wars and modern-set Battlefield. That’s a much better pairing than BF/MoH especially in their attempts to compete with annualized Call of Duty installments from Activision with Infinity Ward and Treyarch alternating between releases.
Now that Activision also has Destiny from Bungie, which is often compared to Star Wars, the timing couldn’t be better for EA to lockdown the Star Wars license from Disney and to have Respawn’s Titanfall on the way as well. Is there any chance of Star Wars: Battlefront releasing next fall? Or when DICE said their Battlefront reboot will “innovate” they weren’t kidding around and they need at least two or more full years of development? At least Star Wars answers fan desires for future-based Battlefield game with mechs (see: Battlefield 2143). Well, that and Titanfall.
We wouldn’t be upset of the prequels were left out of the game. If you missed it, here’s an hour of gameplay footage from the canceled pre-alpha build of Battlefront III.
Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes what you want most from Battlefront 3.