It's probably fair to say that no-one quite expected the arc of EA's Star Wars: Battlefront 2. On release it became the galactic poster-boy for overbearing microtransactions, with fans kicking up such a fuss over the grind and premium currencies that Disney got involved. Shortly after release, the microtransactions were temporarily removed, and that soon became permanent.
Despite such an inauspicious beginning, developer DICE hunkered down to support the game and publisher EA, clearly stung by the reaction, committed to making all future DLC free. Over two-and-a-half years the game received an enormous amount of Star Wars content from across the series, and its reputation steadily grew as people got over the launch and realised, hey, there's a decent game here.
12 days ago Battlefront 2's Celebration Edition was made available for free on the Epic store, and immediately proved so popular that EA's servers felt a great disturbance. The scale of what was going on is now a little clearer: over 19 million Force-fanciers picked up the game.
More than 19M PLAYERS got #StarWarsBattlefrontII from the Epic Game Store promo!🤯Thank you so much for the continued support, even after our final content drop! We’ll watch your careers with great interest! May the Force be with you, troopers! pic.twitter.com/fC4A92HLNNJanuary 25, 2021
Note the definitive and polite insistence that Battlefront 2 is done with DLC: this isn't exactly news, as DICE was always clear that last year's the Battle of Scarif would be the final major addition, beyond in-game challenges and recurring events.
Still, giving almost 20 million players the whole kit-and-caboodle for free was not where I expected Battlefront 2 to end up... as a little dude once said, difficult to see, always in motion the future is. No less a Jedi master than our own Fraser reckoned that, by the end of everything, Battlefront 2 had become the best Star Wars game in years.