UPDATE 8pm: Following the appearance of Star Wars Battlefront's online-multiplayer-revealing patch notes on Steam, word has emerged that the update is also now available in the GOG version (as on Steam, it's currently discounted). Better yet, cross-play is supported between both platforms, hopefully boosting the chances of finding an online game.
ORIGINAL STORY 5.55pm: If you've been looking for an excuse to pick up Star Wars Battlefront up again, you know, 16 years after it was released, now's the perfect time; entirely unexpectedly, developer Pandemic Studios' much-loved space shooter just got its online multiplayer mode restored on Steam.
The original Star Wars Battlefront (not to be confused with DICE's 2015 shooter of the same name) released all the way back in 2004 on PS2, Xbox, and PC, giving players the chance to battle their way to victory across a selection of familiar Star Wars locales - fighting from the perspective of either the Rebel Alliance, Galactic Empire, Galactic Republic, or the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and utilising multiple classes and vehicles.
Alongside a variety of solo modes, Star Wars Battlefront originally supported multiplayer - for up to 64 participants depending on platform - through LAN connections and via online play. However, official online support disappeared along with multiplayer service provider GameSpy (which shut its doors completely in 2014), and the version available for purchase on Steam since last year could only be taken online using community workarounds.
It's not entirely clear what prompted the decision to restore a feature as significant as online multiplayer (up to 32 players are supported in the new update) to a game that's rapidly closing in on its two decade anniversary, but you can check the announcement for yourself over on Star Wars Battlefront's Steam page. "Online multiplayer on Steam has been added to the game", it reads, matter-of-factly, before passing onto the next order of business as if it's no big thing.
And if you're curious to know what else is included in today's update, there's additional, if rather nebulous, "audio support", plus fixes for a variety of menu and gameplay issues across a range of different screen sizes.
Those eager to relive Star Wars Battlefront's online multiplayer mode can grab the game - and dozens of other Star Wars titles (just in time for Star Wars Day on 4th May) - for 50% off on Steam. It currently costs £3.59 instead of the usual £7.19.