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USA Star Wars Battlefront II: Three Studios, One Ambition

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By many measures, Star Wars Battlefront II is shaping up to be the most ambitious game in EA’s history. It’s a colossal, global development effort that spans multiple game modes, genres, and all three film eras. And it’s being managed by three prestigious studios: Criterion Games, DICE, and the newly-formed Motive Studios.

I recently had an opportunity to catch up with representatives of all three studios: DICE Producer Craig McLeod, Criterion Executive Producer Matt Webster, and Motive Creative Director Mark Thompson.

It’s a juicy conversation — more than 20 minutes of detailed discussion revolving around the game’s conception and how the studio is addressing fan feedback.

A few details that stuck with me:

  • Battlefront II was strongly influenced by player feedback from the original game. ”After a few months of play, [players] lacked long-term goals,” DICE’s Craig McLeod told me. “These are the things we are looking to nail in Battlefront II.” Prime examples of that increased depth and breadth include the addition of all three film eras, space combat in addition to ground combat, a detailed character progression system, and ongoing free updates to the multiplayer experience.
  • Setting the new single-player campaign from the Empire’s perspective was partly borne out of gameplay necessity. “[Battlefront] is about being a soldier on the front lines in the Star Wars universe,” EA Motive’s Mark Thompson mentioned. “It’s about being an ace pilot in a starfighter in the skies. And it’s also about being a hero. We merged those three fantasies… and that’s why we landed on Imperial special forces.”
  • The ambition extends to the game’s post-release DLC support. “We decided to embark down a model of seasons, themed around content drops,” McLeod explained. “We’ll look to keep the community together, that’s really important to us.” Shortly after launch, a Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi-themed content drop will hit, bringing a new planet, and new characters (Finn and Captain Phasma) will enter the fray.

Give it a watch and let us know what you think. Enjoy your weekend!


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