Emperor Palpatine, one of several playable heroes and villains in Star Wars Battlefront 2, was taken out of the game five days ago by its developers at EA DICE. The studio acknowledged his departure in a post about the latest patch to the game, but didn’t say exactly why it removed the sinister Imperial overlord.
Fans think it may have to do with Palpatine’s Force lightning power. The Emperor already has tremendous range thanks to his leaping ability, and combined with a “chain lightning” attack that zaps multiple foes, anyone getting their hands on him in the multiplayer shooter was a Force (sorry) to be reckoned with. His chain lightning was at one point capable of targeting opponents through walls, before DICE tweaked that issue earlier this year.
Battlefront 2, like all multiplayer shooters, is constantly being balanced here and there. Players speculate that DICE brought back the Emperor’s original lightning abilities, either inadvertently otherwise, and that’s why Palpatine was taken out July 5. A community manager for Electronic Arts noted in a message to player that he was gone — and while that doesn’t mean forever, DICE has offered no time frame for when the Emperor will return.
“We don’t take this decision lightly, but we feel it is in the best interest for everyone until a fix can be deployed,” the manager said. Kotaku noted that developers pushed out a fix on June 28 meant to get the chain lightning ability to work better for users. That and Palpatine’s removal a week later suggests it didn’t go so well.