Following Battlefield 1’s strong reception from critics and fans alike, EA’s flagship shooter franchise will take a hiatus in 2017, with Star Wars: Battlefront 2 releasing in its place.
EA’s Chief Financial Officer, Blake Jorgensen, made the announcement at investor’s meeting late last week, saying that the break will likely last “a couple of years”, according to VideoGamer.
As for Battlefront 2, Jorgensen promised that the development team at DICE is aiming to address the criticisms that focused on its lack of content when compared to other major titles in the FPS genre. A part of this will involve the ability to use content derived from the new Star Wars trilogy and the upcoming spin-off movies.
Unlike 2015’s reboot, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is slated to include a single player campaign, though details on that are yet to be released. The reason for the first game’s lack of a campaign was, reportedly, a desire to launch alongside the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and tap into the marketing campaign of that film.
Although FPS campaigns are usually considered little more than tutorials for multiplayer, DICE has a proven track record in their ability to create campaigns that engage the player emotionally. The Battlefield: Bad Company subseries is often cited as one of the best examples of a well crafted shooter campaign, while the respectful, vignette-styled approach to World War 1 utilised in Battlefield 1 has attracted considerable praise. Fans can only hope that the new Battlefront will be handled with the same level of care and attention to detail.
Battlefield 1’s critical acclaim was matched by its sales figures, which reportedly outstripped those of the series previous two release, Battlefield 4 and Hardline, but given the recent trend of high-profile titles underperforming, the series hiatus may be well deserved.
In addition to Star Wars: Battlefront 2, EA also has Visceral Games’s untitled Star Wars action-adventure title in the works, helmed by Uncharted’s Amy Hennig and set for release in 2018.