Put Battlefront on Switch

Look at this beautiful menu.

Seeing as my previous plea/prediction/hope in this vein came true, right down to the announcement of some beyond-my-wildest-dreams Restored Content DLC for KOTOR 2 (though we’ve still yet to see that DLC), I’ve decided to push my luck.

While indulging my own nostalgia last week, I remembered that I still have my original installs and saves of Star Wars: Battlefront™(2004) and Star Wars: Battlefront II™(2005) saved on my backup drive. I then proceeded to fall down an all too familiar rabbit hole of mods for said games. Mid-rabbit hole fall, however, I realized that these two classic shooters had been glaringly omitted from prolific Star Wars video game port developer Aspyr’s recent salvo of Nintendo Switch-flavored announcements.

In September of 2019, Aspyr released its Switch port of Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. In March of 2020, they released the game’s predecessor, Jedi Academy. In June of 2020, Star Wars Episode I: Racer made its way to Switch. In April of 2021, they resurrected Republic Commando for the Switch. Finally, on November 11, 2021, my specific prayers were answered with the release of Knights of the Old Republic, with its sequel, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, following in June of 2022. A Switch port of The Force Unleashed also arrived in the time between these two games, in April 2022.

Here’s my new plea/prediction/hope: Aspyr should port both original Battlefront games to the Switch with fully functional online multiplayer.

Once again, Aspyr/EA/Disney, I’ve done your mockup work for you.

Obviously, we have a clear precedent of classic, popular Star Wars games finding a home on Switch. The most recent release from this drip-feed being less than a year ago also gives me hope that Aspyr aren’t done yet. There is also precedent for Aspyr’s ports including online multiplayer, with Jedi Academy supporting 16-person multiplayer on Switch.

There’s also reason to believe that these two games in particular have not fallen out of contention for future releases, even though two new and entirely different (and much worse) games titled Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront II have been released in the nearly 20 years since the originals first came out. In 2019, just four short (okay, extremely long) years ago, and just two years after the release of NEW BF2, EA re-released both Battlefront™(2004) and Battlefront II™(2005) on Steam and GOG, with their multiplayer functionality intact.

Now, while I was correct in thinking that the KOTOR Switch releases were no-brainers and would be along shortly, there are a few reasons to believe this round of ports might not happen. While multiplayer survived in Jedi Academy‘s Switch port, the multiplayer modes of Jedi Knight II and Republic Commando did not. Aspyr has also had a rocky few years, internally. It’s had a much bigger project on its hands than any of these ports for the last few years in the massive Knights of the Old Republic Remake for PS5. Aspyr was abruptly taken off this project in late 2022, apparently after their (reportedly very expensive) efforts failed to wow the folks at Sony.

There have also been major issues with at least one recent Star Wars port. Aspyr’s Switch port of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was released with a few game-breaking bugs, at least one of which made it impossible to complete the game until a patch was shipped several weeks later. Then there’s the matter of KOTOR 2’s previously announced Restored Content DLC, to which I alluded earlier, and which would have seen content that the game’s original developer, Obsidian, had to cut in order to meet the game’s release deadline, and which fans have spent untold hours modding back into the game. The news that a previously unfinished game was being made officially whole, without the need for mods, was a huge deal when it was announced. This DLC was originally slated for release in Q3 of 2022. This is still the stated release window on the game’s FAQ page. It still has yet to be released as we approach Q2 2023.

It is conceivable that development of the KOTOR Remake, a much larger project than the studio is known for, required all of the developer’s available resources, and ended up adversely affecting other projects at the company, such as the KOTOR 2 port. It is also conceivable that worsening material conditions in the games industry as a whole have hit Aspyr as well, causing a loss of forward momentum, and calling the development of future projects into question.

Whatever the reasons behind their recent turmoil, given Aspyr’s history of speed and quality at cranking these things out, I’d still bet on them being able to jump back on the Star Wars port train and find success. Maybe whatever’s going on with the KOTOR 2 DLC is the cork in the proverbial bottle, and once that’s cleared, the studio can return to its list of “Star Wars Games to Port to Switch.” And maybe the Battlefronts will be on that list.

Besides, I can’t be the only one who wants to see this loading screen again:

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