After months of speculation, fan-favorite developer DICE has revealed that they are currently working on Star Wars: Battlefront – a modern follow-up to the classic LucasArts game series. For nearly half a year Star Wars gamers have been trying to make sense of a sudden cancellation that left Battlefront 3 on the cutting room floor. While Disney’s acquisition of LucasArts caused a lot of anxiety about the fate of in-development projects, and resulted in the untimely abandonment of third-person shooter Star Wars 1313, Battlefront 3 was reportedly 99% complete at the time of its cancellation.
The exact reason for terminating the nearly-complete project is still the subject of speculation and it may be awhile before we have a clear picture of the game’s development timeline; however, with the teaser trailer and E3 2013 press conference reveal, we now have official confirmation that Battlefield series developer DICE will be delivering a new entry in the series (which may or may not actually be titled Battlefront 3).
Of course, the teaser is nothing more than a cool CGI clip, depicting an non-descript player character trudging through the Hoth snow as Imperial laser fire flashes on the screen. Seconds later a crashing Rebel Snowspeeder erupts out of the dense snowfall – followed by the foot of an AT-AT walker. The teaser sets the stage for epic conflict (set in a galaxy far, far way), especially if the game delivers the same Triple-A action of the studio’s upcoming Battlefield 4, but does not contain actual gameplay footage – meaning it’s still unclear how much (if any) of Free Radical Design’s cancelled Battlefront 3 ideas and assets have been utilized in the forthcoming DICE version.
The trailer does not specifically address which platforms Electronic Arts intends to support, though Xbox One, PS4, and PC are safe bets, the official Star Wars page confirms (unsurprisingly) that the game will utilize DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine.
Since EA has already gone on record, stating that there will not be any new Star Wars games until 2014, it’s not a shock that they used E3 2013 to confirm the project – allowing plenty of time for further reveals down the line. In fact, there’s no guarantee that this particular game will even launch in 2014. That said, considering gamers have been following news of the sequel’s active development for over three years, it’s hard to imagine that DICE would announce their involvement without a plan to release Battlefront by the start of 2015.
After all, a Star Wars: Battlefront 2014 release could help build excitement for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode 7 – as well as leave room for Electronic Arts to deliver a movie tie-in or spin-off game in 2015.
We’ll keep you up to date as DICE reveals official Battlefront details.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.