Lack of Single-Player in Star Wars Battlefront Explained, DLC De-Mystified (sort of)

Posted Aug 14, 2015
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The mystery of the missing single player campaign in Star Wars Battlefront just became a bit less mysterious. EA’s Peter Moore had a nice chat with Gamespot about why the decision was made, and how they got there.

A lack of a single player campaign speaks to the general lack of interest in multiplayer-centric games.

The decision to make a social experience above all else seems to rest with the fact that in games that rely on their multiplayer mechanics as much as Battlefront has in the past (and Battlefield and even CoD), is that the majority of gamers generally don’t really pay much attention to the single-player experience anyway. Mind you that doesn’t mean that no one plays or enjoys the campaign. I for one appreciated the thought-out story that played well with the maps, and the lore. But unfortunately the majority represent a business decision, and likely a smart one at that.

Well, you never kick yourself about these things. You make a decision, years out, and you plan for what the world looks like when a game ships in two or three years. That’s about the intuitiveness about the executive producer, and his or her vision for the game.

– Peter Moore

Gamespot went on to point out that triple-A games with single-player modes tend to do better financially, to which Moore partly agreed.

So, there’s two phenomena with that statement. The first is that yes, you might be right. The second is that very few people actually play the single-player on these kinds of games. That’s what the data points to.

– Peter Moore

The problem Gamespots question is that a majority of triple-A games are single-player only, or built completely around the single-player experience, and thus have nothing to statistically compare against. This is more of a MMOFPS type of game, and while it isn’t necessarily new, it can’t be compared directly against the traditional triple-A game. Most of the popular MMOFPS’s aren’t made by AAA publishers or developers (except Destiny), either, so it’s not really a relevant comparison.

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But I digress, the lack of a single-campaign will be strange from a series that has a huge emphasis on character-building, that is the main characters in Star Wars. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun, but will it still seem like Star Wars if we can’t see, and feel, the progression in the sensational way we expect from Star Wars? It may be that this is a great platform for it, and that the fantastic narrative will be adequately represented. Star Wars needs a good story to be true Star Wars.

And of course DLC was a topic in the interview, to which Peter Moore was happy to elucidate on, telling us what DLC means to the developer and publisher.

“A lot of resistance to DLC comes from the erroneous belief that somehow companies will ship a game incomplete, and then try to sell you stuff they have already made and held back. Nonsense.”

– Peter Moore

We might not have necessarily learned anything new here today, but at least we now have a concrete answer (more so than before) as to why we won’t be seeing a single-player campaign. Will it be missed? Technically you can’t miss something that hasn’t been included, but I do think that it could have added some value, and the story options would have been great. It could even have helped to tell the story leading up to Star Wars Episode VII.

Is this the right business decision? Do you think it’ll still do well?

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