DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront is finally here, launching a full month before the highly anticipated release of Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Though the launch was not without its hiccups, Battlefront enjoyed the most successful release of any previous Star Wars games and broke publisher EA’s record for digital sales. Critical reception has been largely mixed, but most agree that while the game’s design is impressive, Battlefront simply lacks the content to make it a compelling product.
EA already has plans in motion to remedy the problem, with the free ‘Battle of Jakku’ DLC pack launching December 1st for those who preordered the game (everyone else gains access on December 8th). The pack will add two new maps as well as the new mode Turning Point, a 40-player game that sees the Rebellion attempting to wrestle control of the planet from the Empire. Though the mission takes place 29 years before The Force Awakens, it will allow players to witness the events that ultimately shaped the planet seen in the film.
Today EA announced that they would be continuing to offer free DLC and support for Battlefront. While the publisher didn’t announce specifics at this time, they confirmed that the free content will include Star Cards as well as new maps. The free content is separate from the season pass and will be available to all players.
The season pass has been a source of contention for Battlefront, especially since the game’s content at launch was underwhelming at best. The current price for the pass sits at $50 – and while it supplies players with a sizable amount of content, many would argue that $110 is an unfair price point for the package. That the main menu of the game pushed the season pass so hard at launch only fuels the anger of outspoken fans.
The bigger question here is how can Battlefront compete in terms of DLC when games like Halo 5: Guardians and Rainbow Six: Siege are offering their new multiplayer maps for free? The Star Wars license will give EA more leeway in this regard, but comparatively it’s easily the least impressive value of this holiday’s biggest games. Counting on the strength of the license may work in Battlefront‘s favor for now, but that might not be enough if fans burn out on the game too early.
In the end, the market will decide. Fan outrage won’t change anything if the season pass still sells exceptionally well. Unless sales slow to a crawl, expect another comparable season pass when the planned Battlefront sequels are eventually released.
Star Wars: Battlefront is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Battle of Jakku releases December 1st for those who pre-ordered, and on December 8th for everyone else.
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