Electronic Arts caught a lot of heat from disgruntled fans last November when they launched the long-awaited Star Wars Battlefront without a single-player campaign. According to the publisher, they were forced to cut the campaign in order to have the game out in time to coincide with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
At EA’s Investor Day briefing this week, EA Studio’s boss Patrick Söderlund addressed the issue directly:
“The one thing that we got criticized for was the lack of a single player campaign,” he said. “It was a conscious decision we made due to time and being able to launch the game side-by-side with the movie that came out to get the strongest possible impact.
Söderlund admits that not including a traditional campaign was an error in judgement and seemed to indicate that next year’s sequel will include a more substantial single-player offering.
“Star Wars Battlefront came out [but] we got criticized for the depth and breadth of it. So 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.”
Star Wars Battlefront received mixed reviews, attaining a 75 score average on review aggregator Metacritic, which indicates “mixed or average reviews.” Söderlund admitted that EA was disappointed by the game’s Metacritic score, something that he says they will try to improve with the next game.
“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. So from that perspective, it’s a success. Are we happy with the 75 rating? No. Is that something we’re going to cure going forward? Absolutely.”
In summary, a publishing giant decided to compromise the quality of one of their biggest games in a bid to increase sales. Nothing to see here folks; just EA being EA.