In an interview with GamesIndustry International, General Manager of DICE Patrick Bach discussed the pressure that the company feels developing Star Wars Battlefront. The Swedish development studio wants to create a game deserving of the Star Wars name. The game is one of the most anticipated games of 2015, but has also been one of the biggest recipients of criticism and doubt.
Bach discusses how it can be difficult to work within the confines of another company’s IP. “If you ever own IP it can be anything, it’s up to you to shape it, define it and also iterate it and turn it into whatever you want it to be for the future. Here we have a franchise that’s been around for quite some time to be honest and people have very fond memories of what it was and maybe not what it is. Your memories are one thing and then the reality is something else. A lot of people get disappointed when they watch the movies again, if enough time has passed, because what they remember was not even in the movies,” said Bach.
“Then you have the other breed of Star Wars fan that watch the movies over and over and over and they are extremely current when it comes to what Star Wars is. At DICE we are probably the latter, because everyone has seen Star Wars quite a few times and then some extra times after we got the deal with Disney and Lucasfilm to do this. So I think the pressure is very different, you are attracting a very different audience with the Star Wars fan but also the same audience with the shooter fan.”
The game has been under fire by Star Wars Battlefront fans with every new piece of content they release. Bach explains that the studio is trying to honor the first two games, while also making the game a from DICE’s unique vision.
“Our job has been to create a shooter that springs out of the IP of Star Wars and not the IP of DICE, if you see what I mean? It’s not supposed to be a DICE game, per se, it’s supposed to be have the DICE qualities but it’s a Star Wars game first and foremost. That’s the bigger challenge, first of all to figure that out – what is the difference between this and that? – and then also explain to people that Star Wars is so big it could be anything. We chose to create this because we want to create this experience, and this is the emotion we want to evoke so this is what we’re focusing on. And that pitch is really hard because Star Wars is so many things. If you try to do everything then everyone will be a little bit disappointed. Instead we are staying true to what we think is the right thing for this game.”
EA announced “extremely strong preorders” for the game this week and expects to sell 9-10 million units by the end of March 2016. Star Wars Battlefront launches November 17 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. All players will receive a free expansion based on the upcoming film Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.