Although many had hoped to see something more substantial from Star Wars: Battlefront at E3 2014, what developer DICE did have to show was, if nothing else, inspiring. The developer talked about having unfettered access to the Star Wars archives, how they plan to recreate the iconic environments from the films, and even gave us a brief taste of in-engine footage.
However, after the footage faded to black many wondered if we would have to wait a full year to hear more about Star Wars: Battlefront. After all, the teaser trailer did end with a “Spring 2015” tag.
As it turns out, now that DICE has immersed themselves in Star Wars: Battlefront development, which they call “scary,” they have a little more to share about the game. In a recent interview with CVG, DICE General Manager Karl Magnus Troedsson highlighted his studio’s approach to Battlefront, specifically how much freedom the team has had whilst working with such a beloved property.
As Troedsson explains, the experience working with Disney, the new owners of the Star Wars property, has been a positive one. They know as well as anybody that Star Wars is one of the most cherished IPs around, and working within that framework could have been restrictive.
“That’s what I meant when I said it’s been a good collaboration, because when you’re working on somebody else’s IP it can often turn into a bit of a challenge I bet. But that’s why this has been so positive, because the teams are working together. I won’t go into specifics, but what I can say is that it’s been extremely positive. We don’t feel limited in anyway. We feel completely enabled within this framework.”
Unsurprisingly, Troedsson remains cagey with regards to sharing additional details about Star Wars: Battlefront‘s development. In fact, he wouldn’t even confirm how long the team has been working on the game. Many figured that development started some time after EA and Disney signed their 10-year licensing deal, but that may not be the case. On the one hand, that could mean DICE knew about the impending deal and was set to work earlier, or it could mean Battlefield 4‘s online troubles have held up development a bit.
Speaking of Battlefield, Troedsson also discusses in the interview how his studio’s approach to Battlefront will differ from previous works. He acknowledges that, in some respects, the original Battlefront games borrowed from Battlefield — specifically in their use of open multiplayer landscapes — but still promises that this third game will be its own thing.
“We approach this the same way with every game: how it is going to fit inside our portfolio? How is it going to sit with different types of gamers? Basically, we do our analysis and think about if for different demographics. We don’t just compare it to Battlefield.
This is a different game, but historically going back the two games also share a lot of mechanics, because the original Battlefront games took some cues from Battlefield, I think we can say in a nice way. So naturally there are some nice overlaps of functionality and technology, with open landscapes etc. But from what the game is and the core mechanic, that doesn’t worry me that they’re going to be close.”
Based on his comments, it sounds like Battlefront won’t venture too far outside of DICE’s wheelhouse, while still retaining the elements that fans love from those original games like a third person component. If there’s one thing we hope DICE brings to the table it’s their stellar attention to detail; there’s nothing that should get fans more excited than the prospect of a visually stunning Star Wars game.
And just in case fans were wondering, it appears DICE has some knowledge of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode 7 film, but they’re not sharing any secrets. That likely means we will see some of the new locales (if any) from that film featured in Battlefront. It also seems a pretty safe bet to say DICE and Electronic Arts are hoping to have the game ready for release alongside Episode 7 this December.
How closely do you hope Star Wars: Battlefront adheres to canon? Do you want a game that plays like Battlefield: Star Wars?
Star Wars: Battlefront should be out in 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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