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No more skirmishes for Star Wars Battlefront as development pivots to a sequel

Skirmish mode responded to single-player disappointment

hoth battlefront EA DICE/Electronic Arts
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Star Wars Battlefront is done updating its Skirmish offline mode, sending a larger signal that EA DICE is moving away from the 2015 shooter and focusing its efforts on the sequel coming later this year.

Skirmish, which was added to the game over the summer, allowed users to play the Walker Assault and Fighter Squadron battles by themselves or with a partner in local split-screen multiplayer, with the remainder of the fighters controlled by AI. Previously these games were available only in online multiplayer.

Skirmish was a partial response to the community's lingering disappointment that Battlefront either had no campaign or no solo option comparable to the Instant Action of its namesakes. Battlefront was criticized, almost from its launch in November 2015, for having no campaign or single-player mode.

Patrick Soderlund, the Electronic Arts executive in charge of EA's studios, said later that single-player was skipped in order to get the game out "side-by-side" with the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December 2015.

What Skirmish's sunset means, aside from signaling that work on the first Battlefront is winding down in favor of the sequel, is that none of Battlefront's other game types or maps will see the same AI treatment.

Moving on, DICE noted that the game was patched back in January with the usual slew of balancing and gameplay tweaks to address community feedback. Star Wars Battlefront's last premium DLC offering, Rogue One: Scarif, launched in early December, along with a virtual reality mission for PlayStation VR.

"While no future Skirmish content is planned, DICE isn't done with Star Wars," the studio said in a blog post. "The team has shifted its focus to creating the next great Star Wars game, a collaborative effort between three world-class studios: DICE, Criterion, and Motive."

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