Even without revealing any actual details or gameplay footage, one of the most exciting announcements that came from E3 2013 and Electronic Arts’ Media Briefing was the confirmation that developer DICE is developing Star Wars: Battlefront. A third installment in the Battlefront series is something fans (and our team at Game Rant) have waited on for years, and when rumors surfaced periodically of its developments and cancellations, one thing we’ve written into our content is that DICE – the makes of the Battlefield series and Frosbite 2/3 game engines – should take the reins for that series. It would be the perfect match, since Battlefront drew its inspiration from Battlefield, the flagship franchise of DICE.
It is the perfect match and through destiny, or perhaps the Force, a series of interesting events led to Disney buying Lucasfilm, shutting down LucasArts and signing an exclusive licensing deal with EA to produce multiple triple-A Star Wars games, the first of which is Battlefront… in development at DICE, who begged to take on the project. But when will the game release?
According to CFO Blake Jorgensen, speaking at today’s EA investors meeting, the targeted release date for Star Wars: Battlefront is “most likely” in summer 2015 for the most obvious reason that it’s when Star Wars: Episode VII will be hitting theaters and relaunching the film franchise.
What this means it that not only will the unnumbered Battlefront game draw from the existing lore and films, notably the epic Hoth battle as revealed in the Star Wars: Battlefront E3 teaser (and promised thereafter), but it’s almost a certainty that it’ll also feature weapons, vehicles and maps based on the Episode VII, if not in the main game, then in DLC – something Battlefield 3 & 4 took full advantage of.
With Battlefront and Titanfall, EA has two games to make up for the failure of Medal of Honor to take off as a lucrative shooter franchise. With these two games and the Battlefront series, EA can better compete with Activision’s genre-leading Call of Duty series and the highly anticipated Destiny series from Bungie.
The 2015 release date also is a bit of a relief in that the game will be much more than a reskinned total conversion of Battlefield 4. With that much time, they’re able to build the game and its unique mechanics from the ground up. Bring on the Snowspeeders roping down AT-AT walkers, bring on the speeder bikes, and bring on the X-Wings! DICE did promise the game will “innovate.”
Expect Star Wars: Battlefront on PC, PS4 and Xbox One… in about two years.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for more on Star Wars games and movies.