The as-yet-announced Star Wars: Battlefront 3 2015 release is likely going to be pushed back a little further now that DICE has announced they're suspending work on the project so they can have all hands on deck to address the ongoing issues with their marquee franchise Battlefield 4. EA released a statement earlier this week apologizing to fans for a litany of BF4 problems including a one-shot kill bug, issues regarding animation/player syncing, broken hit detection/registration, delayed hit notifications and a host of other problems that have players understandably frustrated.
"First, we want to thank the fans out there that are playing and supporting us with Battlefield 4," a spokesperson told Polygon. "We know we still have a ways to go with fixing the game - it is absolutely our No. 1 priority. The team at DICE is working non-stop to update the game. Since Battlefield 4 China Rising expansion pack was already in the final stages of development by the time issues began with Battlefield 4, we decided to fulfill our promise to deliver it this week, but we're not moving onto future projects or expansions until we sort out all the issues with Battlefield 4. We know many of our players are frustrated, and we feel their pain. We will not stop until this is right."
It's all well and good that EA and DICE are trying to do right by Battlefield 4 fans but, let's be honest, a lot of the folks waiting for the Star Wars: Battlefront 3 release date aren't interested in Battlefield 4. But we're looking at BF4 as a kind of litmus test to see how DICE might handle our beloved franchise and, so far, it's not looking good. As soon as BF4 launched there were issues.
"Players on all formats have been experiencing game crashes and freezes while playing," DICE reports on Battleblog. "We have logs of the most frequently occurring client crashes, and we are actively working to Obliterate the cause of these crashes in upcoming updates."
It's been over a mothn and it's obvious that progress is slow. Now the Star Wars: Battlefront 3 release date is in jeopardy so DICe can scramble to repair issues to a game they should know inside and out. I'm trying to remain optimistic if only because EA has been vocal about their desire to NOT screw up Star Wars: Battlefront 3 and actually create a product fans want instead of just cashing in on the newly acquired license.
"People don't want another Battlefield with Star Wars graphics; they want a Star Wars game that is proper," Battlefield 4's executive producer Patrick Bach told Videogamer.
For example, EA has confirmed that a third-person mode will be part of Star Wars: Battlefront 3 in order to make it more consistent with the other titles in the series. EA is well aware of how much potential this game for restoring its reputation as well as the rep of the Star Wars franchise as a whole.
"The most important thing for me is that we take the Star Wars license and come up with games where peoples' jaws drop," EA Games Patrick Soderlund told Polygon in August. "We need to do with this what [Batman: Arkham Asylum] did for the Batman license."
EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau talked about the long term strategy EA has for Star Wars: Battlefront 3 as part of its trio of FPS franchises: Battlefield, Titanfall and Star Wars: Battlefront 3. That strategy is to NOT run games into the ground like the current FPS marketplace and instead focus on a different game every year.
"The shooter rotation we think about now is Battlefield, Titanfall, and Battlefront, and so we like those three brands going forward," Gibeau told CVG. "We're working out how we're going to line that up because that's what you'll see from us."
It sounds good on paper. But DICE needs to clean up the BF4 mess before Star Wars: Battlefront 3 fans can find out what they're really doing to make sure one of gaming's most beloved franchises gets the reboot it deserves.