It's rare that a game finds itself under fire before it even hits store shelves, but that's exactly what happened to Star Wars: Battlefront. The chief complaint for most gamers was that Battlefront was seemingly launching with half a game's worth of content: EA made no secret that the future of Battlefront would be built on DLC, and many gamers predicted that the core game would come up short as a result.
Sadly enough, that's basically what happened: while the gameplay mechanics and presentation are great, Battlefront didn't have much on the disc at launch - what's worse is that the game blatantly advertised the Season Pass on the main menu. On top of all that, EA never explained what their plan for post-launch content was: fans knew that DLC was coming, and that it'd cost $50...but that was about it.
Thankfully, EA has finally fixed that: in a post on the PlayStation blog, the publisher revealed its plans for both Battlefront's paid DLC and free content updates.
Thankfully, the Battle of Jakku update wasn't the only free DLC planned for Battlefront: EA and DICE confirmed that smaller monthly updates would be coming, with the first scheduled for release on Jan. 27. These updates won't necessarily come with much in the way of brand-new content, but they could help keep the community playing in between larger DLC packs.
For example, the January update is more about small tweaks than anything else: along with a number of balance tweaks, players can unlock new outfits for Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, along with the ability to host Private Matches. The Tatooine Survival map will also be available in the game's smaller multiplayer modes, such as Hero Hunt and Droid Run. Finally, Daily Challenges and Community Events will grant players extra credits and EXP if certain prerequisites are met.
As for February's update, EA will release new, large-scale multiplayer and Survial maps on Hoth, as well as the ability to play Turning Point on any of the game's larger maps. In March, EA plans to release something similar on Endor, with a second Survival map planned for Tatooine - and whether or not EA plans to release any further free updates after that is still up in the air.
EA also detailed the future of Battlefront's paid DLC - while players already knew that they'd be getting new Heroes, maps and weapons spread across four separate packs, no one knew when they'd actually launch. As it turns out, players won't be waiting much longer: the first pack, Outer Rim, is set to launch in March 2016. The second and third packs, titled Bespin and Death Star, are set for release this summer and winter respectively - finally, an unnamed expansion will launch sometime in early 2017.
Sadly, there isn't much new information on what said DLC will include, but at least anyone who bought the $50 Season Pass will finally know when they can get a return on their investment.
All in all, it's nice that EA is including a few free content updates for those who don't want to pay for the Season Pass on top of a $60 game. While the updates are smaller in scope, it shows that EA is at least somewhat willing to listen to its fanbase - even if the publisher is still charging $110 for the full Battlefront experience.
The first of Star Wars: Battlefront's free monthly updates is scheduled to launch on Jan. 27 - for even more information, check out the PlayStation Blog.