After years without a satisfactory Star Wars game, Star Wars fans are very excited about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which releases later this month. However, this excitement comes with a fair bit of wariness. EA, the parent company of the game’s developer, Respawn Entertainment, has long had a shaky relationship with gamers. Can Jedi: Fallen Order make up for EA’s past mistakes?
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A Brief History of Star Wars Games
Star Wars video games have not always been in such a precarious place. Before EA acquired the licence to produce Star Wars games in 2013, there were plenty of great Star Wars titles. Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005), and Star Wars Jedi Knight- Jedi Academy were some highlights. These games were huge successes with Star Wars fans and remain favorites today. However, EA has largely squandered this priceless licence and left many gamers upset.
Issues with EA
EA has largely made Star Wars fans upset for two reasons. First is a general lack of quality games. While fans used to have a wide range of Star Wars games to choose from, EA’s Star Wars releases have been few and far between. With Star Wars being one of the largest franchises today, many are baffled by the fact that EA has released so few games under the licence.
The second and perhaps most famous issue is that of microtransactions. In a famous reddit post, an EA community representative responded to customer complaints about the large role of microtransaction in Star Wars: Battlefront II (2017) by saying that “the intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes”. This comment is the most downvoted comment in reddit history, with over 660,000 users “disliking” the response.
This response demonstrates EA’s disconnection with the Star Wars gaming community and general lack of understanding of their market. This comment and the overall negative reception of Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) and Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) caused many fans to lose faith in and loyalty to EA.
What have given Star Wars fans a bit of hope for this particular title is the fact that it’s being made by Respawn Entertainment, a child company of EA, and not directly by EA itself. Respawn has an overall positive image in the gaming community, especially after the relative success of Apex Legends. Respawn has promised that this title will include no microtransactions. They have worked very hard to show fans that they have listened to complaints about the recent EA Star Wars titles and hope to make a game that will be a fan favorite. Most fans are hoping that EA has played a minor role in the game’s development because of the high level of mistrust with the company.
What We Know So Far
What we’ve heard so far about the game give fans hope. Here’s some highlights of what has been revealed so far:
The game is a third-person action-adventure
You will play as a young padawan who has escaped the massacre of Order 66 and seeks to complete his training, all while evading the Empire’s grasp
The game will feature dynamic and exciting lightsaber combat that will be the most detailed of all Star Wars titles
In addition to exciting lightsaber combat, there will also be highly-integrated Force abilities that will interact with the environment and can be used in a variety of new ways
Players will get the chance to experience never-before-seen planets, animals, and alien species
There will be Dark Souls-esque boss combat that require coordination, patience, and quick reactions
Can EA Make Amends?
Only time will tell, but based on the information and gameplay previews released so far, things look promising. It seems that EA has given Respawn a fair bit of autonomy in its development of the game. Additionally, it seems that Respawn has listened to the many complaints about EA and has worked to fix those issues in this new title. It will likely take more than one good game for players to trust EA again, but this could be a good start. Star Wars fans are famously hard to please, but hopefully this title will satisfy their long standing need for a new, quality Star Wars game.