Star Wars Battlefront Wasn’t Made for Hardcore Fans, says EA Exec

Accessibility was a big focus for the TV spot ads that ran prior to the game’s launch

Star Wars Battlefront has been… divisive to say the least. Hovering at around 70 on Metacritic, critic reviews vary from AusGamer’s glowing 9/10 praising of capturing the “feeling” of Star Wars to The Washington Post’s  scathing dismissal of the game’s lack of content. But one thing critics seem to agree on is that the game is definitely designed for accessibility rather than the kind of depth that hardcore gamers had hoped for. And apparently, the CFO of EA, Blake Jorgensen, agrees:

“We had designed it to be a much more accessible product to a wide age group. So, an 8-year-old could play with his father on the couch, as well as a teenager or 20-year-old could play the game and enjoy it. It is more accessible, and for the hardcore, it may not have the depth that they wanted in the game.”

To some disappointed gamers, this might seem like an “AHA!” moment of confession, but Jorgensen didn’t seem to be too concerned about the poor critical reception, citing that the hype surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens as a key driver for sales in the coming weeks. Fielding a question from an audience member about Gamestop’s “disappointment” in sales figures, Jorgensen implied that retailers had overestimated Battlefront’s popularity, stating:

“We’re very confident in our forecast of 13 million units and in our full year forecast for the company, and it’s a title that will sell well all through the holiday season”

This does not, of course, address concerns about a lack of content, but Jorgensen’s comments about digital revenue growth seem to suggest that EA will be leaning more heavily on DLC in the future. The $50 Season Pass for Battlefront certainly rubbed some gamers the wrong way considering how little content the base game had, but Jorgensen didn’t seem to suggest that EA would be cutting back on DLC, explaining that:

“Extra content… is roughly a billion dollars which is growing rapidly, 20+% over the last few years… and a huge driver for us – essentially it’s incremental profitability on the core product.”

There is a silver lining here perhaps for some gamers. Jorgensen seemed reticent to rely too heavily on microtransactions, which are another common complaint about Battlefront, stating:

“We think it’s an important part of the business model, but we’re extremely careful that we don’t ruin the consumer experience. We want the consumers to feel like they can earn their way to better gameplay, but we don’t want them to feel like they’re nickel and dimed all the time and only can get things if they buy them.”

So there you have it. The bottom line: EA is making lots of money regardless of how good Star Wars: Battlefront is, and it doesn’t look like the publishing juggernaut shows any signs of slowing down; at least no signs that it’s willing to show at an investor conference. If you’d like to watch the conference for yourself, check the source below.

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