EA Says Star Wars Battlefront Didn't Have A Campaign Because Of The Force Awakens

If you thought Star Wars Battlefront was insubstantial, you're not alone. The folks running EA agree, and they say they plan to add more content when the next one comes along. Yesterday during EA's annual investors day, executive vice president Patrick Soderlund explained that they chose to develop Battlefront without a single-player campaign so they could release the game in time for The Force Awakens last summer. Responding to a hilariously blunt question about game quality from analyst Michael Pachter (who also criticised EA for the flops of NBA Live and Medal of Honor), Soderlund said the publisher plans to learn from that mistake.

"Star Wars I think is a game where you have to look at it maybe from a slightly different perspective," he said. "Yes we know that the one thing we got criticised for was the lack of single-player campaign in it. That was a conscious decision that we made due to time and being able to launch the game side by side with the movie that came out, to get the most possible, to get the strongest possible impact. I think the team created a really good game based on the premise that we had. I would say the game has done very well for us and reached a very different demographic than a traditional EA game would do, so from that perspective it's a success."

Commercially, Battlefront was certainly a success, selling over 14 million copies. From a critical perspective, though, it was a bit disappointing. Soderlund pointed to Metacritic as an example of that. "Are we happy with the 75 rating? No. Is that something that we're going to cure going forward? Absolutely."

Earlier in the presentation, Soderlund had made similar comments about Battlefront, promising that the sequel to their shooter will be way more substantial.

"The depth and breadth is something that's proving to be more and more important," he said. "In a world where we want $60 upfront and where we expect people to stay with us over a long time, the depth of what we offer is important. We've actually had some dialog — Star Wars Battlefront came out and it totally nailed a lot of these factors out there but we got criticised for the depth and breadth of it. As we look at why that was, we have to go back and course correct that for another version if we were ever to build one."


    Please.. this time guys, don't pre-order. EA thinks its ok to get away with this shit and this is just some PR press release to make you think they're going to do more next time, when really, they are not.

      For every 1 gamer that does this, there are 9 that simply don't give a shit.

    Wow, in defence of the games skeletal content he pulls the Obi Wan 'from a certain point of view' line. I wouldn't be surprised if he ended the interview by trying the Jedi mind trick, waving his hand and saying "this game had enough content."

      "It's over consumers, we have the high ground of morality"

        Now watch as we destroy our credibility with this barely functional battle sta.......game!

      "If you don't play online, this is not the game you're looking for."
      "This isn't the game I'm looking for. Move along."

    Why do people want a campaign when you know it would be a bland piece of shit?

      They wanted something to flesh out the bland piece of shit that was the multiplayer?

      The best Star Wars games are all about a well told story. You can get snippets - interesting events, perhaps even an interesting sequence of events - out of multiplayer, but you won't get a cohesive, well-told story with plot points and character development.

      Some Star Wars games have nailed this. Others.. not so much. Star Wars Battlefield didn't even try, so it lost that competition before the race began.

      There are also a lot of people who avoid multiplayer shooters in general because they have more interesting things to do with their time than be called rude names by twelve-year-olds (and certainly don't want to put down a hundred dollars for the game + DLC for the privilege.)

      Because if it had a campaign there would still be a reason to play the game now. Rather than trying MP on an empty server

      My thoughts exactly. I have barely finished the BF4 one. BF is known for its multiplayer and it will continue to stay that way due to the crappy single player campaigns.

      I wish all their time was spent on map building. In an ideal world, no season pass, just good old fashioned multiplayer with maps available to everyone.

      BF4 was ruined by the releases of new content. 50% play it 50% don't. Xbox one you can barely find a game that involves the new maps. Everything is vanilla rotations.

      I don't buy into season passes anymore as I find this happens with every game that is released.

      Sorry, went on a tangent there.

    I wouldn't care about the lack of single player content if the multiplayer was up to scratch. But it was so bereft of any kind of depth that it barely held my interest for a weekend.

    It's hard to believe that the same people who create the fantastic Battlefield multiplayer could turn around and produce something as lightweight (and not in a good way) as Battlefront.

    Still, while it may be an ordinary game, it is a fantastic bit of Star Wars merchandise. Nailed the look and sound of Star Wars perfectly.

      That's the saddest part for me, the art team and dev's clearly worked hard to make it look so amazing, then the penny pinchers said 'well that's enough, lets try and destroy the reputation of another dev we purchased.....

      It's so fucking short sighted, it's so far beyond my understanding why EA would buy these giant brands and run them into the ground with shitty project management....just leave them alone for the sake of the gaming industry and go back to your annual roster updates to your sports games.

        I think part of the problem WAS the Star Wars branding, though. Battlefield has a lot of long-time players who religiously pick up each new game when it gets released and play the hell out of it. The reason people put so many hundreds of hours into the multiplayer on each BF is because is has that depth, the way all the classes, weaponsm squads etc all interact with each other and complement each other is what makes it interesting.

        With Battlefront, I suspect they knew the Star Wars brand woudl be bringing in a few million people who never played a Battlefield game and probably never would play a Battlefield game. Presumably they didn't want to scare them off, but what they ended up with was something geared too heavily towards casual players who might play it a little bit then move onto something else.

        Battlefront is like a McDonald's happy meal compared to a regular Battlefield game's 10 course degustation with matching wines :P

        Last edited 19/05/16 10:22 am

          See what pisses me off is they continue to make campaigns for Battlefield - it was actually quite refreshing to me that Battlefront didn't waste my time with a single player campaign.

      Yeah, you nailed it brother. It's a shame because it was pretty close to being great. The look, the feel, the sound of "there they are! Blast 'em!". All of it was great, except for the shallow and imbalanced game play. It feels more like the wrecked something here rather than started in a good direction. It's really unlikely that I'd come back for another go at the second one after being left with such a bad taste from this one.

    "conscious decision that we made due to time and being able to launch the game side by side with the movie that came out, to get the most possible (Cash), to get the strongest possible impact. (Profits)"

    Might as well be honest about it.

    Instead of adding more to a future game, how about they add more to the current one.
    You know, the one that we all full price and only got half of the game.
    Nice that EA acknowledge that they were light on for content - but thay aren't going to add any more. No $$$ in that idea I guess

    Will fix it next time? How about not release a BF2 and just keep adding content to the current one? Even if you release them as Expansion packs. The engine is there (and great). No way they'll get the purchase numbers for BF2 compared to BF. A lot of people have been burned.
    They never seem to state retention numbers of the player base though...

      Yeah, that would be the decent thing to do so no chance with EA involved. I can imagine the retention numbers look pretty bad, I haven't even been in half the games modes due to lack of interest...

    Come on EA, you know that lack of a campaign was not the only complaint. The lack of substance and variety, the total absence of space battles, etc.

    I'm surprised that people are surprised about it. Literally called it the moment they announce multiplayer only because they said it will launch wih force awakens.

    "That was a conscious decision that we made due to time and being able to launch the game side by side with the movie that came out, to get the most possible (money)"

    No point trying to sugarcoat it. They did this to make more money and cut development costs. I'm one of the 14 million copies out there and I bought it the day before a holiday, wasn't I pissed off to learn there was no campaign and that I'd wasted my money.

    Cut content because of 'Episode VII impact', refused to let Episode VII impact the game (characters, vehicles, ect) - just the Jakku map that didn't really even look like Jakku..
    Nice job as always EA.

    Oh joy, when the next one comes out...They do realise there were already a couple of awesome Battlefront Games that they could of expanded on...

    Thanks for your money, we learned from our mistakes, now give us more money so we can learn some more!!!

    Fuck off EA...

    The solution is super simple - a game that looks & sounds as good as Battlefront does but also has a main storyline that you can play single player or co-op.

    OR better yet, EA gets Criterion to make Star Wars Episode 1 Podracer HD.

    Thats the thing, it didnt have to be a "single player campaign". If they had just made Galactic Conquest and made it 1-4 (or however many) player id have bought the game day one. As it stands I still have over 2 hours left from the access that EA Access gives me.

    14 million "buyers" is all EA wants. Whether or not you actually enjoy the product means nothing to them. Better that you don't. Otherwise you would be still be busy playing it the following year when they come calling for your next preorder...

    Last edited 19/05/16 1:10 pm

    It's Star Wars you could market Star Wars brand toilet paper and people should buy it. You don't really need to launch with the movie. But I understand the reasoning to why they did. Besides we now get to sit through 4-5 years of Star Wars fever till this trilogy is over so that's a big window to release stuff.

    Like my Star Wars brand cigarets that resembles a slowly retracting light sabre.

    That is some BS story right there.
    When did EA:
    - Start development ?
    - commit enough Numbers to the development team for single player ?
    - set the Star Wars deal
    _ Have some of the team work on other games at the same time ?

    And more questions ? It's amazing that EA's claim the timing was wrong is generally accepted and we're all supposed to believe it. Kotaku should call BS.

    Last edited 19/05/16 3:55 pm

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