There is a lot of mixed reaction concerning Star Wars Battlefront. Most of this stems from its price tag.
A lot of people have been wondering how much this latest Star Wars game “really” costs. Its MSRP is $59.99. Add on the season pass of DLC and you have people claiming the game actually costs $110, not $60. Others have stated that due to the amount of content the game features, this is really a $30-$40 game. So, which one of these lines of thought are correct?
All of them.
Part of the divisiveness that comes with Star Wars Battlefront is that everybody is drawing a different value amount from the game. Xbox One owners got the chance to play a 10-hour “demo” before launch day via EA Access. Some of these people determined “hey, this is worth my $60, so I’m going to buy it.” Others went “well, I’m glad that was a thing because now I’ll save my money and wait until the game goes on sale.” It’s important to note that this doesn’t make Battlefront a bad game. Mechanically, DICE has developed a sound, accessible shooter that encourages pickup-and-go gameplay. The experience caters to those that don’t necessarily have a lot of free time on their hands and want to get into a handful of matches without experiencing the frustrations associated with the more complex shooters on the market.
With that being said, it seems crystal clear that most of the game’s budget went into its presentation. While the Battlefield franchise is just as visually impressive as Battlefront, there’s a key difference here: the Star Wars license. With that comes costs, an increased effort to do the franchise justice, and the need to bring the iconic sounds and designs to life. In this regard, DICE has succeeded, but one wonders what the cost was. In addition to striving to meet the high expectations of quality that comes with a Star Wars video game, there’s no doubt in my mind that there was a strong desire to release the game around the upcoming Force Awakens movie, which is already breaking box office records before its major debut. With this comes the pressure of a hard release deadline.
Of course, it’s not known how much of this is actually true, but consider a recent industry trend: we’re seeing games pushed from the holiday season to the end of the fiscal calendar to create a more polished, well-rounded experience. While this would have given Battlefront more time in development, though more than likely not enough time to add in more game modes, you could argue this was never on the table due to, again, the release of Force Awakens this December. As a result, we have a game that feels like it should’ve been released two years ago alongside the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. A title that feels more like a glimpse into the future instead of providing the whole experience that was expected. Given the fact that the game released some two years after publisher Electronic Arts announced that they’ve obtained the Star Wars license from Disney, this shouldn’t be a shock.
Let’s end by going back to the question at hand. Is Star Wars Battlefront a $60 game? Is the “entire” experience actually a $110 affair? Is it really a $40 experience with an inflated price tag? The answer to this question is, ultimately, for you to decide. Whether or not you’ll enjoy Battlefront depends on your answer.