Star Wars Battlefront 2 Release Window Announced, More Details Revealed

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More heroes and characters.

During its third-quarter earnings call with investors, EA gave more details on the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront sequel.

The follow-up is due to release holiday 2017, with EA mentioning the addition of a single player campaign to the sequel. It also said the new Battlefront game has “more heroes and characters” than the original game, and takes place not only in multiple locations, but also across multiple eras within the Star Wars universe.

EA first officially confirmed the sequel to Star Wars Battlefront back in May 2016, and at E3 we learned EA Motive was working on the game. EA has Motive, DICE, and Criterion bringing “their areas of expertise” to the game.

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Interestingly, during the investor call, the game was not referred to as “Star Wars Battlefront 2,” but instead was called the “next” Star Wars Battlefront.

The quarter saw record Q3 net and digital sales revenue for EA, with over $1.1 billion in net revenue, up 7% over the same period last year. Digital revenue accounted for 60% of that figure.

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BioWare Launching Its New Action Franchise By April 2018

BioWare’s previously confirmed new franchise will be out in the next 14 months, launching by April 2018, EA said today.

During a call with investors, EA CEO Andrew Wilson indicated the new game will be out by the end of the upcoming fiscal year, which runs through March 31, 2018. He only spoke of it at a high level, saying it features “new concepts” and could disrupt the action game space.

BioWare Launching Its New Action Franchise By April 2018

“At the end of the fiscal year, our BioWare studio will be delivering an all-new IP, a clean-sheet design with new concepts, new gameplay mechanics, and new stories set in a unique new universe,” Wilson said. “This game has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the way people think about an action title, bringing friends together to play in an exhilarating new way. We’re very excited about the future of this new franchise and its ability to attract a large, global audience.”

When pressed for further details during the Q&A portion of the call, Wilson described it as an action-adventure game, rather than an RPG, and suggest it will blend genres.

“What we’re seeing more and more is genre-melding, which is great components of a number of different genres really kind of coming together into single games,” he said. “And so when you think about this game, you should be thinking about the great RPG character development and storyline progression that BioWare is known for, but in a world of greater action and greater adventure, which is growing to be one of the larger categories in games.”

He also confirmed it will be a wholly owned IP, meaning it isn’t based on another company’s franchise (as with, say, Star Wars Battlefront).

BioWare manager Aaryn Flynn previously spoke about an unannounced new IP from the studio, indicating it would be a while before any specifics were shared.

“We’re not going to talk about it until we’re confident about what it’s going to be and everything,” he said in November. “We’ve been doing reviews with [Wilson], and I think he likes it. So, knock on wood, we’ll keep working on it and we’ll keep doing it. Hopefully you’ll hear more about that once [Mass Effect] Andromeda‘s done and we’ve satisfied fans with that game.”

He continued, “You have to ask yourself, ‘Do you want to do something that fiercly different or do you want to do something that’s very recognizable?’ ‘Do you want to take something that you’ve done and put a spin on it, or do you want to wipe the slate clean and say what would we do in this.’ And for us, what we said was we’re BioWare, so we have a certain kind of game that we love making and we know our fans would love, so we started with that and that’s a game that has as its heart stories and storytelling. So we decided we’re going to stick with that. We’re not just going to walk away from that. Once we agreed on that, everything started to fall into place.”

Further specifics–including a name, settings, or platforms–remain unknown. As Flynn alluded to, don’t expect to hear much more until after Andromeda’s launch in March.

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Star Wars, Mass Effect, NBA, Battlefield: Here's Everything We Learned From EA's Earnings Call

[UPDATE] Here are some highlights from the EA earnings call:

  • On Star Wars Battlefront 2, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said he knows fans have asked for more depth. The sequel will have more games modes, a single-player campaign, and content from multiple Star Wars eras. Wilson said EA has every reason to believe it is delivering what fans want from the game.
  • EA confirms Madden 18. It will use the Frostbite engine.
  • A new NBA Live game is coming this fall.
  • New NHL, UFC games are on the way.
  • New Need for Speed game is on the way for fiscal year 2018; it will be the best-looking game in the series.
  • Titanfall 2 sales did not disappoint, though EA did sell fewer copies than expected, Wilson said. The game is expected to sell well for a long time due in part to its strong reviews.
  • Battlefield 1 sold more copies than EA expected; it is expected to be the best-selling Battlefield game ever.
  • EA and Origin Access continue to grow.
  • Battlefield 1’s They Shall Not Pass expansion is coming out by the end of March.
  • EA won’t talk about unit sales much in the future but will instead focus on revenue per game and engagement levels.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda is expected to sell 3 million units by the end of March.

The original story is below.

Electronic Arts today reported earnings for the quarter ended December 31. The company did not announce sales numbers for any of its games, but mentioned that Battlefield 1 was the company’s “biggest Battlefield launch ever.” It had a playerbase that was more than 50 percent bigger than that of Battlefield 4 over its launch period.

Research firm Cowen & Company put out a note to investors this week in which it said it’s modeling Battlefield 1 sales to be as high as 18 million. The firm also said Titanfall 2 might “struggle a bit” to reach 6 million copies.

Star Wars, Mass Effect, NBA, Battlefield: Here's Everything We Learned From EA's Earnings Call

EA also boasted that FIFA 17 was the best-selling console game in the world for 2016, again, without specifying any numbers. More than 10 million people tried FIFA 17’s The Journey single-player mode, EA said, though this was also playable in the FIFA 17 demo.

Additionally, during the quarter, the average play time per person for Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes was 155 minutes per day, representing a new record.

In terms of business performance, the company posted $1.15 billion in revenue, up slightly from $1.07 billion during the same period last year. EA recorded an overall loss of $1 million, which was much better than the $45 million loss it took last year.

Another notable number from the report is $355 million. That’s how much EA made from full-game downloads during the quarter, which is more than 2.5 times what the figure was two years ago ($140 million), and up substantially from last year ($195 million).

EA will hold a call to discuss these results and answer questions, starting at 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET. We’ll report back if anything noteworthy is discussed.

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The Lord of the Rings Cast Is Still a Fellowship 15 Years Later

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Squad goals.

The Fellowship of the Ring didn’t last long, but the friendships from the Lord of the Rings trilogy have endured for 15 years now.

Merry actor Dominic Monaghan posted photos on Instagram of himself getting together with cast members for a bite. The Lord of the Rings reunion included Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Orlando Bloom (Legolas) and Billy Boyd (Pippin).

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring debuted 15 years ago last month. So they have carried on their friendship for longer than Frodo carried the ring to Mordor.

The trilogy also has made a mark in TV and film over that time. Last month, we highlighted 15 fantasy movies and shows that owe their existence to the Lord of the Rings films.

And last year, the Lord of the Rings trilogy got a super expensive boxset with The Hobbit movies.

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Evan Campbell is a freelance writer who scripts the Daily Fix, streams games on his Twitch channel, and chats about movies and TV series on Twitter.

A Star Wars Story We Want: The Ancient Jedi

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The Jedi have a rich history in the EU, and one well deserving of its own standalone movie.

The Star Wars Expanded Universe may be gone, but some of the saga’s grand history involving the ancient Jedi could still be made into amazing standalone movies. A Star Wars Story like Knights of the Old Republic or Dawn of the Jedi, for example, could thrill mainstream crowds and old-school fanboys alike.

Many fans were not happy when Disney declared the EU to no longer be canon (retitling it Legends in the process). But what if the Legends could return? Star Wars Rebels has already introduced Grand Admiral Thrawn into the new timeline, and if the rumors are true that Woody Harrelson is playing Garris Shrike in the Han Solo movie, then Thrawn won’t be the only EU character to be making a comeback. More intriguingly, a recent episode of Star Wars Rebels alluded to a war in the past between the Jedi and Mandalore. Star Wars fans may recall that the Mandalorian Wars were a critical part of the backstory for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which is also one of the all-time great Star Wars video games. If aspects of KOTOR are still canon, then there could be ripe material from that era for a future Star Wars anthology film to explore. And it’s not the only piece of ancient Star Wars history that deserves to be fleshed out on the big screen…

A Star Wars Story We Want: The Ancient Jedi

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi (Volumes 1-3)

Dawn of the Jedi

Writer John Ostrander and artist Jan Duursema explored the early days of the Force wielders for Dark Horse Comics with their Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi series. Taking place roughly 26,000 years before A New Hope, and long before there was even a Republic, the book depicted an era where even the Jedi and the Sith hadn’t yet been fully formed.

It all started on the world known as Tython, where the warrior priests who would eventually become the Jedi work towards peace while also trying to find balance in the Force. They must face the evil Rakata race and the Infinite Empire, dark creatures that use Force Hounds — slaves trained to locate Force users for the Rakata to dominate.

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Perhaps the most intriguing part is that the Jedi (or the Je’daii Order, as they were called then) used swords instead of lightsabers, since they hadn’t yet adopted that technology. Considering that George Lucas was reportedly inspired to make A New Hope in part because of Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, there’s something fitting about the idea of seeing a Star Wars film go full Samurai. Dawn of the Jedi was also refreshingly different from most of the other EU eras, as nearly everything in the galaxy was still being discovered. Star Wars has always been famous for its “lived-in universe,” but for once we got to see everything when it was still new and unexplored, and that could make for a very exciting cinematic experience.

Tales of the Jedi

Back in 1993, Dark Horse Comics realized the potential of telling stories that took place thousands of years before the movies. And in doing so, they ended up charting the history that eventually led to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. This was also long before “the Rule of Two” was established, so it meant that the writers and artists had the freedom to use as many Sith as they wanted to. Of course, that inevitably led to armies of Jedi and Sith facing each other on the battlefield, and that’s something that we’ve desperately wanted to see onscreen for years.

A Star Wars Story We Want: The Ancient Jedi

Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider

Remember Darth Maul’s awesome double bladed lightsaber? Artist Chris Gossett came up with that for the Tales of the Jedi comic, and it wasn’t his only innovative design. The Tales of the Jedi series also introduced a new female heroine, Nomi Sunrider, as well as Ulic Qel-Droma, a Jedi who eventually fell to the Dark Side — and in the process, changed the galaxy forever. Even by itself, that would be worth exploring in a movie. But it’s the stories that came after that that were among the best in the franchise.

The Great Sith War

A Tales of the Jedi movie would be a useful prologue, but we wouldn’t object at all if Lucasfilm simply jumped ahead to the Great Sith War. After his turn to the Dark Side, Qel-Droma became the apprentice of the Sith Lord Exar Kun. Together, they very nearly wiped out the Jedi in a wide scale conflict. Unlike the Emperor, Kun and Qel-Droma openly conquered territory in the name of the Sith and drew other fallen Jedi to their side.

A Star Wars Story We Want: The Ancient Jedi

Exar Kun

The Great Sith War was depicted in various arcs in Tales of the Jedi, but imagine if the prequel trilogy of movies had given us a Jedi and Sith conflict on that scale. Perhaps someday we won’t have to imagine it.

The Mandalorian Wars

Roughly 20 years after the Great Sith War, the forces of Mandalore went to war against the Old Republic. And eventually the Jedi were drawn into the Mandalorian Wars as well. Thanks to Star Wars Rebels, we know that there was at least something similar to that event in the current continuity, although the specifics have yet to be explored. The vast majority of the Mandalorian mythos has been explored in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and we’d say it’s highly overdue to see that warrior culture on the big screen. (Although it must be noted that Boba Fett and his father Jango wore Mandalorian armor, and that in the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back way back when there was a now non-canon mention of a battle between the Jedi and the Mandalorians that took place during the Clone Wars.)

A Star Wars Story We Want: The Ancient Jedi

Revan during the Mandalorian Wars

The Mandalorian Wars are also a pivotal moment for the saga because they served as a prologue to KOTOR. This was the war where the Jedi known as Revan and Malak became legends, and also where they fell to the Dark Side. The recent Warcraft movie serves as a cautionary tale about throwing too much backstory into a film, but we still feel that the story of Revan deserves to make it on the big screen. It’s simply epic.

The Jedi Civil War

Most of KOTOR was devoted to the turning point of the Jedi Civil War, when Revan was nearly killed after being betrayed by Malak. The Jedi saved Revan’s life, and he was essentially forced on a path of redemption after his memories were wiped. While it would be nearly impossible for a KOTOR movie to recapture the connection that fans felt towards Revan when they controlled his actions in the game, it could still be very intriguing to see Revan’s relationships develop as he is drawn to both the Dark Side and the Light. Because where Revan leads, his party follows.

A Star Wars Story We Want: The Ancient Jedi

Revan and Malak

The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic also offers a unique period in the history of the franchise — a rare and tenuous period of peace between the Jedi and the Sith. Of course, peace is a relative term, and it didn’t really last. But the game’s developers once again created an immersive Star Wars experience that was easy to get lost in. If The Old Republic was ever to be adapted into a movie, it wouldn’t necessarily have to be tied to any previously created story. The setting itself could be a great springboard for Lucasfilm to start building new characters and stories at a largely uncharted time in the franchise’s history.

Ultimately, we’d like to see the distant past of Star Wars on the big screen because there are only so many times that Lucasfilm can revisit popular characters for the standalone anthology films. The Tales of the Jedi stories, KOTOR and the rest have already proven that the saga can go even deeper into the mythology. It just needs someone to lead the way.

A Star Wars Story We Want: The Ancient Jedi

Star Wars: The Old Republic

What do you want to see in the Star Wars spinoff films? Let us know in the comments!

Blair Marnell is a freelance writer whose work can be found all over the Internet. You can talk to Blair on Twitter at @BlairMarnell.