Star Wars Squadrons is a $40 game for a number of reasons, and it looks like EA is changing how it sees Star Wars games.
Typically when a game with online play is lower priced that means it'll have in-game purchases. mTX is a way to offset the lower retail price tag. On the surface, Star Wars Squadrons has the potential to be a big live service game monetized with microtransactions.
It has a grindy upgrade-based gameplay loop complete with cosmetic and game-affecting content, online multiplayer, and a campaign. It also fills a void left by Battlefront II, which has now been sunset.
But EA doesn't define Squadrons in this way. It's not a live game that'll have lots of expansion over time. Instead, EA sees it as a smaller-scale title. It simply doesn't have the wide, sweeping breadth as something like Battlefront II, FIFA or Apex Legends.
"Our games are on different scales. We designed Squadrons to really focus on Star Wars dogfighting fantasy. It doesn't have the breadth of some of our games and we wanted to make it more widely available (cross-platform, cross-play, VR). That's why we lowered the price to $40," said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen in a recent Q1'21 earnings call.
This is pretty surprising given Squardons has all the main features of a live game. There's also massive access with cross-play and full VR support across PC and PSVR HMDs. Usually when we see online play with cross-play and a particular gameplay loop, that means the game is monetized. But not Squadrons.
"We think about the expectations of our players first and foremost," EA CEO Andrew Wilson said. "This is a very deep and immersive game and we felt this is the price point given the depth and breadth of the game."
It's possible that EA has learned from Battlefront II's huge microtransaction controversy. It's also likely that Jedi: Fallen Order's massive success has fundamentally changed how EA makes Star Wars games.
Squadrons will release October 2, 2020 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, complete with full cross-play on all platforms. It's also coming to PC-powered VR headsets and PlayStation VR.
Check below for more info from EA:
STAY ON TARGET
Compete in intense 5v5 dogfights, unite with your squadron to tip the scales in monumental fleet battles, and take off in a thrilling Star Wars™ single-player story. Immerse yourself in the pilot's seat completely with the option to play the entirety of Star Wars™: Squadrons in virtual reality (VR) on PlayStation®4 and PC with cross-play support.
MASTER LEGENDARY STARFIGHTERS
Take full control of different starfighter classes from both the New Republic and Imperial fleets, such as the X-wing and TIE fighter. Modify your ship, divert the power between its systems, and destroy your opponents in strategic space dogfights.
PROTECT THE GALAXY
Plan every skirmish with your squadron in the briefing room before taking off to the evolving battlefields across the galaxy. Pilots will triumph as a team in known and never-before-seen locations, including the gas giant of Yavin Prime and the shattered moon of Galitan.
ALL WINGS REPORT IN
Plan skirmishes with your squadron in the briefing room before taking off to the evolving battlefields across the galaxy. Compete in intense 5v5 multiplayer dogfights or unite with your squadron to tip the scales in monumental fleet battles. Together, you're the galaxy's finest.
MASTER LEGENDARY STARFIGHTERS
Take control of different classes of starfighters from both the New Republic and Imperial fleets - including the agile A-wing and the devastating TIE bomber. Modify your ship, divert the power between its systems, and destroy your opponents in strategic space dogfights.
GET IN THE COCKPIT
The cockpit is your home. Use its dashboards to your advantage and - with just a thin hull of metal and glass between you and the perils of space - feel the intensity of combat from a first-person perspective. Take off in thrilling multiplayer modes and a unique single-player Star Wars story, which covers a key campaign near the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War. Immerse yourself in the pilot's seat completely with the option to play the entirety of Star Wars: Squadrons in Virtual Reality on PlayStation 4 and PC.
THE MISSION IS CLEAR
Star Wars: Squadrons is a fully self-contained experience from day one, where you earn rewards through play. Climb the ranks and unlock new components like weapons, hulls, engines, shields, and cosmetic items in a clear path for progression that keeps gameplay fresh and engaging.