While Star Wars may be known primarily for its films, the franchise has expanded into plenty of successful video games over the years. Arguably one of the best of these was the Battlefront series.
The first Star Wars: Battlefront game arrived in 2004 and spawned many successful sequels, along with an equal number of canceled titles that never saw the light of day.
In 2015 EA and DICE rebooted the video game series with Star Wars: Battlefront, followed by a troubled sequel in 2017. While EA has lost the exclusive rights to Star Wars games the studio will continue to make more titles in the galaxy far, far away, and some were hoping that would include a third Battlefront.
In 2020, it seemed that EA had no plans for a third Star Wars: Battlefront, but rumors began circulating earlier this year when cast members from Battlefront II were spotted shooting something together. Now, new information seems to confirm those rumors were indeed just rumors.
Star Wars: Battlefront 3 Shot Down by EA
Gaming journalist Tom Henderson reported in a Twitter thread the reasons that EA allegedly rejected a third Star Wars: Battlefront title.
Henderson said that DICE pitched the idea but EA rejected it due to licensing costs:
“Battlefront 3 was a pitched title from DICE, but ultimately, the title was shot down by EA due to licensing costs. “It got turned down because it takes 20% more sales to make the same money”, said one past developer.”
He went on to say that EA does seem to be working on two more Star Wars games but that they are reportedly more story-driven single-player games rather than multiplayer.
Henderson also pointed out that several key Battlefront developers have left DICE in recent years:
“Since several key developers that worked on the Battlefront series have since left the DICE studio in the past year, including the likes of Battlefront II’s creative director Dennis Bränvall, core gameplay designer Christian Johannesé, and lead hero designer Guillaume Mroz … It would indicate a Battlefront 3 is very unlikely.”
He teased that he had seen the build file for DICE’s next title and that it had passed its conceptual stage. It seems it's not the Battlefront title fans were hoping for:
“I have seen the build file for DICE's next title in October, currently just dubbed "dev-next", which indicates that the title has passed Gate 0, which is its conceptual stage. This stage usually takes a few months of time.”
According to Henderson these processes “are standard throughout game development” and it did not take away time from EA’s other major franchise Battlefield:
“These processes are standard throughout game development and although it might appear counterproductive to start pitching concepts on one title before the other has launched, it did not take away the development time of #Battlefield2042 (before the rumors start).”
No Battlefront 3, There Will Be
While it’s no doubt a disappointment for many Star Wars fans that a third Battlefront game is no closer to development, it isn’t a huge surprise. Star Wars: Battlefront II missed its sales targets largely due to a microtransaction controversy that gave players who put real money towards loot box upgrades an unfair advantage in the game.
Pair Battlefront II’s reception with the licensing costs and staffing changes that Henderson outlined, and it makes sense that EA is hedging its bets elsewhere, at least for now. Now that other studios like Ubisoft have access to Star Wars rights, competition in the market is fierce.
Henderson did also point out that the studio has two more story-driven games in development which are still exciting for Star Wars gamers. One of those games is likely the long rumored sequel to Respawn Entertainment’s Jedi: Fallen Order, which was a massive success. EA’s second story-driven game still remains a mystery but with more Star Wars video game announcements expected in December, we may not need to wait long to find out.