As it was widely expected, DICE announced their upcoming plans for Star Wars Battlefront II (SWBFII). Among other things, it revealed that Solo Season 2 will be released in two different parts. One coming next week, on May 16, and one in June. Community reactions were mixed (and that’s putting it very mildly). This article takes a closer look at the reactions and offers our personal opinions on some of the topics discussed.
Taking a closer look at the reactions after SWBFII’s latest announcements
Lack of brand new content
The announcement of Jabba’s palace making a return from the 2015 version of Star Wars Battlefront received some interesting reactions. Fans took to social media to express their frustration about the lack of brand new, never seen before-content. Some claim that it has been quite some time that we have seen new content in SWBFII. They point to late 2017 when the Last Jedi season was released and new maps and heroes were added to the game.
What we think: We agree. While SWBFII has been getting content releases every month, it’s normally small content updates that in some cases includes assets from the original game. Up to a certain extent, community reactions are justified. Brand new content hasn’t been there for quite some time now. If that’s going to change in June or not, remains to be seen.
We’re speculating that it might be easier for DICE to reuse content that’s already approved by Disney for SWBFI in order to continue giving us more things to do in the game (vs. not giving us anything at all).
It’s also good to keep things in perspective as well. DICE had two major challenges to surpass over the past 6 months. The first one was self-inflicted. DICE had to revamp the game which probably equates to attempting to re-engine an aircraft while it’s in flight. The second one is driven by Disney and deals with the Solo movie. We know from multiple sources that the company keeps a tight control over what gets approved or not for SWBFII. If Disney dictated to EA/DICE not to release any movie-related content before the movie hits the theaters then there is very little that the studio can do. More importantly, there is very little EA/DICE can say about it.
Lack of support
In some cases, some players questioned whether DICE is fully committed to supporting the game. Some claimed that there are only 20 people supporting the game. This led Electronic Arts (EA) Global community lead, Ben Walke, to post a reply on Reddit highlighting that there are currently hundreds of people working on the game.
Today, a Reddit user going by the name “Battlefrontskinleak” posted a lengthy post claiming, among other things, that the studio isn’t getting enough funding for SWBFII. They claim that they are attempting to make the game successful via microtransactions by selling more skins. Their claim is that only when skins generate revenue, they will start providing brand new content to the game.
What we think: Disagree until June. EA made a special mention for SWBFII during their recent earnings call. They specifically called out they will continue to support the game in the long-run and listening to the community. We are guessing that Disney as a franchise owner is also putting a lot of pressure on them. The “house of the mouse” is certainly seeing the potential for Star Wars gaming. Over the past 8 months, they have resurrected a number of classic Star Wars games.
It’s also worth noting, that any studio post-launch will reduce their staff numbers since they’re not in full-scale development. This doesn’t mean that support for the game will seize nor that we won’t see anything new. In past statements, SWBFII’s design director indicated that the studio has a lot more people allocated to work in the game as compared to its original iteration.
The Reddit leak
In regards to Reddit’s leak, there is absolutely no way to prove its validity. Whether their predictions are true or not will be revealed on the next content drop in June. Then and only then we will have a good indication of the studio’s intentions. Do not expect full-fledged confirmation though.
DICE doesn’t listen to the community
Some players pointed out that EA/DICE are completely ignoring the community. In specific, they are pointing out the community’s desire about Clone Wars about multiplayer content, more heroes, and more. If you ventured in any social media, you would have seen multiple comments relating to the topic.
What we think: Strongly disagree. The majority of the content that was part of yesterday’s announcement was actually in response to what members of the community asked. Starfighter Assault in Arcade was requested repeatedly for the past 3 months by solo players. In addition to this, SWBFI content continues to get many requests. Both Bespin and Jabba’s Palace were favorite maps in the original game (and that’s why there were added). Changes to menus were also implemented after community feedback.
We have repeatedly written that SWBFII appeals to a lot of different groups of players. Last month, one of the most vocal groups was single-player fans. DICE appeased them this month with Starfighter Assault but made multiplayer fans unhappy. This tedious cycle will continue. It’s also good to remember that our own personal SWBFII preferences don’t necessarily reflect what everyone else is asking for.
Communication is not improving
Another area of opportunity according to the community deals with communicating about upcoming content. The topic of having a roadmap for the game was again brought up a potential solution for improving communication. A roadmap could potentially include specific dates of when content will be released as well as the nature of the content.
What we think: Disagree. While there is always room for improvement we definitely think that communication is a lot better than two months again. Back then, engagement in social media was minimal and announcements would only be made on the day of the launch. Since Ben Walke took over, fans get daily engagement in social media. We also need to keep in mind that it’s not completely on DICE’s/EA’s hands on what to communicate. Disney continues to controls that.
Taking it all in
Currently, there is a LOT of talk in social media about SWBFII. We recommend that you listen/read/watch all opinions before forming your own. It’s extremely easy to focus on negative aspects of the debate that social media tends to amplify. Don’t forget, however, to look for the positives. These might not be easy to see and you won’t see many posts on social media about them. It doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. It comes down to a matter of choice. Choose to seek them out while you form your own balanced perspective. More importantly, offer constructive feedback, without too many extreme emotions.
In the words of Yoda…“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Cut through the rollercoaster of emotions that you read across social media and see the game for what it is. In the process, if you discover that it’s no longer fun for you, then, move on. At the same time, if you still enjoy it, then there is no harm to continue to do so. This is a personal decision that no screaming fanboy/hater should take away from you.
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