With Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, both EA and Respawn Entertainment are hoping to deliver a solid Star Wars experience and alleviate the worry from Disney that the exclusivity deal with EA may have been a huge mistake.
Respawn has a stellar track record with games and managed to release a top of the class battle royale game in Apex Legends earlier in 2019. All fans want here is a fun and enjoyable Star Wars game that lives up to the film franchise's impressive legacy. That's a tall order, and there's a lot on the line here. Let's take a look at some crucial elements Respawn have to get right, along with some potential pitfalls the team will need to steer clear of.
10 Succeed: It's Star Wars
For better or worse, most things will sell pretty well if they have the Star Wars license attached. The only real exception to this was Solo: A Star Wars story, which underperformed at the box office due to over-saturation and poor reviews.
Fans have been yearning for a high-quality single-player video game experience from Star Wars, so the saturation problem won't be an issue. The anticipation for this game could turn launch sales from good to extraordinary, simply due to fan's thirst for that type of experience.
9 Flop: Copy/Paste Story
A big worry going into Jedi: Fallen Order is that it will take on the structure of the classic hero's journey narrative, but won't do much beyond that to make the story it's own.
Cal Kestis is a promising young character who seems to have a real ambition and go-getter attitude, which means his story could go in several directions. The last thing players want is the story of Luke Skywalker with a different coat of paint. Respawn are brilliant developers, but there's a chance the story could feel redundant.
8 Succeed: Respawn's Track Record
If you look at all of the games that Respawn Entertainment has released since its formation, you'd be hard-pressed to find a stinker in the bunch. Titanfall 2 managed to deliver one of the best first-person shooter campaigns of the generation, while Apex Legends is a world-class battle royale with interesting characters released earlier in 2019.
They care about the projects they release, and that passion and dedication to excellence seems to be coupled with the desire to deliver a worthy Star Wars experience.
7 Flop: Broken Gameplay
When it comes to third-person action games (specifically ones that try and mimic the ever-present Dark Souls), precision hitboxes and well-crafted combat are the hardest things to nail. The combat is a crucial element: it needs to be as solid as it is satisfying.
With Respawn Entertainment at the helm, we're hoping this will be the case. It's a potential stumbling block, though, and possibly one of the biggest of all when it comes to Jedi: Fallen Order.
6 Succeed: Fulfilling Story
The truth of the matter is that people want to love new Star Wars media. Movies, television shows, video games... fans are ready and willing to embrace it. If Jedi: Fallen Order can deliver a compelling story that follows Cal Kestis' journey into becoming a Jedi, then it could quickly ascend to royalty in the franchise.
Most Star Wars games are either re-tellings of stories fans already knew, or are lackluster and suffer from any real creative risks or cohesive storytelling elements.
5 Flop: Loot Boxes
It's often said that actions speak louder than words. In EA's case, the truth of the matter is that their business plan with games during this generation became completely focused on loot boxes and microtransactions. They continued to cross the line until it was egregious.
Gamers in general are still so upset with what happened with Star Wars: Battlefront II. If even the slightest inkling of a loot box is mentioned in reviews, it could spell disaster for Jedi: Fallen Order. If such a system is included, it'll need to be handled very, very carefully.
4 Succeed: No Microtransactions
We know that Jedi: Fallen Order is set to be an experience that focuses on single-player, and (supposedly) will not feature any microtransactions whatsoever. This is a huge deal, considering EA has a history with them.
It seems that they may have finally learned their lesson after keeping their hand on the stove for over a half-decade with the Star Wars license. Gamers were furious with the loot boxes in Battlefront 2, but if Jedi: Fallen Order is great and there's not a single microtransaction in sight, most people will welcome the game with open arms.
3 Flop: Battlefront II
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 had such a cascading effect on both loot boxes in video games and players' confidence in any future Star Wars titles. Even with all of the positive preview coverage that Jedi: Fallen Order is receiving, fans are still reluctant to buy into the hype.
As we know, promises have been made regarding microtransactions, but who's to say the system won't be implemented later? It wouldn't be the first time. With the track record of the publisher and their implementation of loot boxes in licensed games, time will tell.
2 Succeed: Great Reviews
Positive critical reception could truly lift the game to new heights. Despite the fact that licensed games bearing the franchise's name always sell well, the truth of the matter is that most Star Wars games are good at best and rarely great.
Respawn's newest Jedi adventure has the chance to be something special. There are even rumblings that it could contend for some Game of the Year awards after its release. It's just got to be worthy of that sort of hype.
1 Flop: Poor Reviews
Recently, fellow publisher Ubisoft suffered after poor reviews and customer frustration led to lower than expected revenue from Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. EA is probably paying attention to that. They understand that even though they are releasing a game with the Star Wars license attached, that doesn't mean it will sell better than expected.
The disappointing box office performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018 showed the world that the brand truly isn't bullet-proof and needs to be handled with care.