As someone who grew up in the PS2 era, I have played some good games. But my favourite has been Star Wars Battlefront 2; a game with so many options and so many ways to play. It’s immersive in its game play and simple in its mission, to put a big ol’ smile on your face! The reason I bring this up is that Battlefront 2’s style is dying.
The game that had 5 campaigns and hundreds of combinations for instant battle modes is now not sufficient. Every year we see a new Call of Duty. As every game is virtually the same, stick in some rubbish storytelling, focus the game on multiplayer and that’s it. The reason why this formula works is because the surface changes just enough to make people believe that the game is new. But the underlining reason is planned obsolescence. The game makers won’t make money if we buy their game and never get bored of it, as we wouldn’t need another game. So the plan is to make the game repetitive enough so people will lose interest before the next game is released so they will buy that game.
This method of making games is not that great, as it shuts down creativeness and starts turning games into cash cows rather than devices meant to entertain. Another evil thong done by game companies is to use DLC (downloadable content). DLC is used to get more money out of a customer, by withholding features unless the customer pre-orders the game or pays extra money to the company after they have purchased the game. For example, let’s say that you buy a house, a £250,000 house you have saved up for really hard. And after you move in you realise you can’t open the kitchen door or the bathroom door either. You call the estate agent and they come round with a list of prices and say: “now you can purchase additional features.” The estate agent tells you that you can spend £60,000 on a kitchen, £50,000 on a bathroom or spend £100,000 and buy both now. Now I would tell them to get lost and call the police for fraud, so why do we allow game companies to do this? It is because they know people will pay for it, they know they CAN get away with it.
Micro-transactions are virtually the same. Bypassing 24-hour wait timers on mobile games by buying in-game currency, it is absolutely ludicrous. So how does this link to Battlefront 3? Anyone who has read anything about it knows there is no single-player campaign, it is focused on the multiplayer, you can customise the look of your soldier and that DLC is being released a month after the game. This game has all the symptoms of a game that is being created for profit. This game will have micro-transactions and will not be played a year after release. This release of Battlefront looks exactly like Battlefield 4 and Hardline. These games have the same developers, EA and Dice. The usage of the Battlefront brand to further goals of international money-grabbing idiocy is deeply disturbing.
Battlefront is a game that has been a big part of my childhood. Battlefront 2 was good because the game developers wanted to make the best game ever made. And in my opinion, they succeeded. Battlefront 3 will be bad as the game developers want to make the best game ever sold. They want to use a brand for profits, even if thousands of fans believe their past has been disrespected by a bunch of idiots with too much money who couldn’t care less. Hopefully this is a phase of gaming that passes. And Battlefront 3 will hopefully throw the culture of DLC, micro transactions and planned obsolescence into the core of the death star. Ending the empire of money-grabbing idiocy, and ushering in a new gaming age with Ewoks and a renewed vigour for creating amazing games, games that anyone can play, and games that don’t have to be played with friends to be enjoyed.