Ever since the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box fiasco, it feels like EA has been trying to win back popular support for its Star Wars licence, with Respawn's Fallen Order and Motive Studios' Squadrons choosing to avoid microtransactions entirely. Squadrons' release so far seems to have gone down well with the community, and many fans have requested Motive continues to support the game with additional multiplayer modes. Unfortunately, it sounds like that isn't happening.
In an interview with UploadVR, creative director Ian Frazier confirmed the team is not treating Squadrons as a live service. "We don't want to say 'it's almost done!' and then dribble out more of it over time, which to be honest is how most games work these days," he added. "So we've tried to treat it in kind of an old-school approach saying, 'you've paid the $40, this is the game and it's entirely self-contained. We're not planning to add more content, this is the game, and we hope you understand the value proposition.'"
That sounds like a pretty firm no as things stand, and if you were one of the people hoping for a map on a planet surface, that seems doubly unlikely.
"From pretty early on we wanted to be a space combat game, emphasis on space," Frazier said. "So even though we do go into the outer atmosphere of Yavin Prime, we never go anywhere truly terrestrial because we wanted to separate the game in that flavour from something like Battlefront, which we already have."
It's a real shame Squadrons won't see further development, particularly considering its multiplayer is built on such strong foundations and has the potential to be even better with more maps and modes. As many in the community have observed, the community's wish for further multiplayer support feels ironic given the strength of the backlash to Battlefront 2.
"Isn't it funny that EA's big promise was to release this as a standalone and complete title and now we're practically begging them to make it game as a service?", said one popular Reddit post.
It's worth noting, of course, that DICE ended up giving Battlefront 2 an enormous amount of support and somehow managed to turn around community sentiment in the process. But with no microtransactions to provide a revenue stream and the risk of DLC maps splitting the player base (as happened with Battlefield), trying to convince EA to fund further development of Squadrons' multiplayer will be difficult. A hard Esseles, if you will.
In the same UploadVR interview, Frazier also said there's no plans for an Oculus Quest port, which also seems a shame given Facebook recently revealed the Oculus Quest 2. The new model is due to offer a significantly higher resolution than the original Quest, so there would be no excuses for missing a TIE fighter with that.
In the short term, we can at least expect to see some patches to improve performance and quality of life in Squadrons. One is due later today, in fact, with maintenance starting at 1pm UK time, and patch notes expected to arrive soon.