Star Wars: Battlefront, the new first- and third-person shooter from developer DICE, set in the Star Wars universe and set to release next month, has been making a lot of waves since its open beta released last week. And now that the beta is over, publisher EA Games has started talking about DLC.
It’s not all that unusual these days for game studios to discuss DLC before a game has even released, but EA’s plans seem particularly ambitious; according to Gamespot, there are already four major expansions planned for Star Wars: Battlefront, and each one will likely cost $15 USD on its own. Meanwhile, EA has also announced that there will be a DLC Season Pass made available, for the record-breaking price of $50, a price tag that’s in addition to the $60 that they want for the basic game. Previously, the most expensive Season Pass was Warner Bros.’ Batman: Arkham Knight at $40.
If nothing else, Star Wars: Battlefront is on track to set records for the most expensive game of 2015. EA is also offering a Deluxe Edition costing $70, which unlocks five additional weapons, and an Ultimate Edition for $140 which includes everything in the Deluxe Edition plus a Season Pass and a guarantee of early DLC access. Note that’s not actually a savings; as per Wired UK, it just saves having to buy the Season Pass separately; Season Pass and Ultimate Edition owners will both get access to DLC two weeks early, as well as an exclusive “shoot-’em first” emote. EA certainly knows how to monetize their properties.
That all having been said, what is in those DLC packs one is paying $15 for? When will they release? Well, nobody knows except EA and DICE, and they’re not saying, beyond that they’re “coming at a later date” and “filled with new content that will take you to new locations across a galaxy far, far away.” One has to hope that “later date” isn’t sometime next century.
Of course, if all of this sounds somewhat suspect — and ridiculously expensive — all one has to do is not pre-order the game, not purchase the special editions, not buy a season pass before knowing that it’s worth the money. Unfortunately, history shows that game publishers can get away with just about anything, by and large; a fact that EA, publishers of The Sims series, are well aware of. The Sims 3 had 25 expansion packs, all retailing at $20. In addition to the basic game, that’s $500. The Sims 4 has been steadily releasing paid content since its release in September, 2014, as well, and on Cracked’s recent list of “5 Video Game DLC So Bad, They Should Be Considered Scams” EA made four out of the five spots, and was only saved from sweeping the list by Destiny: The Taken King, and unlike Destiny publisher Activision, EA has been appearing on such lists since at least 2008.
So what do we know at this point? Well, in spite of the rampant monetization, Star Wars: Battlefront is actually a really good game. The beta went over extremely well with almost everyone who played it; as The Telegraph puts it, “There’s a reason more than 9 million people locked into the beta. This is Star Wars.”
Battlefront is visually-stunning, the gameplay (if open shooters are your thing) is excellent and complex and as much time has been spent on other mechanics (like X-Wing / TIE Fighter flight) as the ground combat. Even while it’s still in beta, Star Wars: Battlefront is still a really good, incredibly well-made game, and one can feel the developer’s love for the property shining through.
We’ll begin finding out, for better or for worse, when Star Wars: Battlefront releases on November 17, 2015.
[Image courtesy EA Games]