The Star Wars Battlefront series established itself as the de facto Star Wars game, allowing gamers to immerse themselves in full blown warfare across dozens of locales from the sci-fi universe. While the franchise primarily focused on multiplayer, each title featured a single player mode of some kind. The first Star Wars Battlefront featured a barebones single player campaign, its sequel, Star Wars Battlefront II, put a bigger emphasis on developing a cohesive story for the mode, casting players as a member of Lord Vader’s dreaded 501st Legion. Even though the single player wasn’t the deepest aspect of the game, it was still a welcome addition for fans that weren’t interested in only playing multiplayer.
But it turns out that the single player campaign will not be returning in EA’s hotly anticipated reboot of the franchise. According to the publisher, Star Wars: Battlefront will emphasize multiplayer, and will not feature a traditional single player campaign as a result. While fans speculated that this cut was done to ensure the game would be ready for release by the lucrative holiday season, EA head honcho Peter Moore revealed in a conversation with Gamespot that the team had always planned to leave out single player.
Moore rationalized this decision by stating that when development started on the game, the team looked toward the future of gaming and recognized that the market was moving towards multiplayer-centric games, stating:
“You make a decision, years out, and you plan for what the world looks like when a game ships in two or three years.”
The interviewer at Gamespot countered that the decision to drop single player seemed odd, with triple-A games that feature both single player and multiplayer tending to sell better than titles that just focused on one or the other. Moore conceded that this point could be correct, but reaffirmed the team’s decision by stating:
“Very few people actually play the single-player on these kind of games. That’s what the data points to.”
While Star Wars: Battlefront will lack a traditional single player campaign, the game will feature stand-alone missions that can be completed solo. Outside of this feature, EA has yet to clarify if the title will feature any additional single player content.
Fan reception to Star Wars Battlefront has been mixed since it was initially revealed, with some gamers bemoaning the lack of space battles and the now linear on-rails AT-AT sections, while others championed the games eye popping graphics and grand scope. But the revelation that the game will be multiplayer-centric is sure to draw the ire of some gamers, and may end up hurting the sales of the game. Conversely, it could be argued that with no single player to craft, developer DICE is free to focus on perfecting the multiplayer, ensuring the best possible game. Regardless, it’s sure to be a decision that will get gamers talking.
Star Wars Battlefront arrives for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 17, 2015.