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Star Wars Battlefront 3: Will We Ever Get A Sequel?

Mention the modern day Star Wars Battlefront series to a group of gamers and you're likely to get a lot of head-shaking and eye-rolling that quickly devolves into digs against Electronic Arts. Despite boasting a built-in audience clamoring for more Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader, and company, the two existing installments in the rebooted Battlefront franchise are riddled with controversy. 

Some players feel the series should have ended with Battlefront 1, although Battlefront 2 fixes have made it eminently more playable in the years since its release. It's hard to imagine that, after everything that's happened, Battlefront 3 will ever become a reality though.

When it comes to Star Wars-related properties, never say never — just look at what George Lucas and Disney have done. Still, whether or not you get to play another Battlefront may depend on how much EA wants to dredge up the past. Battlefront's history manifests as baggage EA carries to this day, a key factor likely standing in the way of a sequel.

Star Wars: Battlefront, LucasArts, and the fall of Pandemic Studios

Games in the Star Wars-inspired Battlefront lineup have been available for some time — long enough that players have grown used to having them around. Back in 2004, LucasArts released the first Star Wars: Battlefront, which was developed by Pandemic Studios. In 2005, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 followed. Renegade Squadron came in 2007 and Elite Squadron and Mobile Squadrons appeared in 2009. 

People generally liked this series of Battlefront games, first and third-person shooters that were part of LucasArts' solid stable of Star Wars titles. LucasArts did a consistently good job with the intellectual property, churning out 16 Star Wars games between 2002-2006. It's a pretty nice record that included fun gameplay and some innovative features.

EA purchased developer Pandemic Studios in 2007 and closed it down in 2009, viewed by many as its first offense when it comes to the Star Wars games. In 2012, Disney acquired LucasArts, along with much of George Lucas' empire set in a galaxy far, far away. As fans of the films know, much of the Expanded Universe was wiped away so Disney could start with a clean slate.

The Star Wars Battlefront reboot featured impressive graphics but failed to satisfy

The discarded EU included the video games. A new Battlefront series was born, sporting the same name minus the colon. EA DICE got the license to develop Star Wars Battlefront, which was released just ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. It drew from the previous games and had plenty of shine of its own — but it might have been a bit rushed.

The multiplayer shooter (it has no single player campaign) was pretty. Critics had no beef with the accuracy, the look, or the feel of Battlefront. But, right out of the gate, it experienced its share of controversy because it was so simple

Battlefront launched with just four planets, limited environments, not enough characters, too few maps, and a straightforward progression system players found boring. When EA defended itself by saying it was aimed at Star Wars fans and not FPS fans, you can imagine how that went down. Still, people liked the game well enough that a sequel soon became a done deal.

The Star Wars Battlefront 2 launch was one of the biggest disasters in gaming history

Battlefront 2 has become the poster child for how not to handle in-game monetization.

Basically, the sequel debuted with a microtransaction system in which major characters and other desirable items were locked unless you spent many, many hours focused solely on obtaining them — or you used your money (on top of the game's original $60 price tag) to purchase them. You could also buy loot boxes to upgrade your characters, meaning you could gain an edge on your multiplayer opponents just by throwing cash at the problem.

Following the brouhaha that met this release, EA did make some hasty repairs and removed the offending systems. Today, the game is doing just fine. It released a Celebration Edition in December 2019 and has offered players over 20 free updates that have shaped it into a stand-up title. The company announced in 2020 that, while it will continue to support Battlefront 2 for years to come, the game's vision is now complete.

But what about Battlefront 3?

Naturally, the end of the life-cycle of Battlefront 2 has gamers wondering whether a Battlefront 3 is coming. Unfortunately, the Battlefront name has been tarnished by the two previous installments, leading to slim chances for a third.

This thought was confirmed by the folks at Star Wars-focused news outlet Bespin Bulletin, who posted on Instagram in April 2020 that Battlefront 3 is not currently in development. DICE is reportedly focusing on a new Battlefield game for the next generation of consoles. Of course, that won't last forever, so once that's complete, who knows?

The general feeling within the gaming community seems to be that EA needs to let the franchise sit out for a bit. It's only been a few years since Battlefront 2's botched debut, and people are still a bit bitter about how the licensed game series went from a well-respected, playable group of titles to a visually magnificent but badly-managed disaster.

If Battlefront 3 ever happens, you can bet it will undergo intense scrutiny — but a full-on redemption of the franchise would be a welcome surprise.