Classic Star Wars Games Deserve Better

You were the chosen one.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection
Aspyr Media

Star Wars is one of the few series that has managed to flourish in video games over the decades, releasing dozens of beloved, and often influential, games. As it turns out, Star Wars is also one of the rare series that’s been able to rerelease a lot of its games for modern systems, and in recent years that’s fallen to mostly one company, Aspyr. One of the most acclaimed Star Wars games of all time comes back Thursday with the launch of Aspyr’s Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection, but by all accounts, it’s a mess. It’s disappointing, but more importantly it highlights a stark trend that Aspyr simply isn’t giving the franchise the due it deserves.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection has been besieged by negative reviews on Steam, Reddit threads full of complaints, and a clearly disappointing launch. Multiple Steam and social media users have claimed that the game only had three servers available at launch, for nearly 10,000 users trying to play. Even as things have increased across launch day, countless players on Reddit have reported major issues connecting to matches, joining matches and instantly being booted, and more. Even in our own experience the first four matches we joined instantly disconnected, and our fifth crashed the entire game on PS5.

The Battlefront Collection packs in all the single player and multiplayer content of both games, along with a few additions like new heroes and maps.


Multiplayer and connection issues can, of course, be ironed out, but the Battlefront Collection’s problems run deeper than that. A massive Reddit thread of bug reports has been made, with players reporting missing textures on maps like Hoth, visual glitches that weren’t present in the original games, no option to invert aiming controls, missing cutscenes in story mode, and much more. There are even some core design issues: the UI has been altered and arguably doesn’t work as well as the original game, and shooting controls sometimes feel overly sensitive. I hesitate to call the collection disastrous, but it’s close.

This disappointing launch would be one thing in a vacuum by itself, but it looks even worse when propped up against the other Star Wars games Aspyr has bungled.

In April 2021 Aspyr rereleased Republic Commando, a fan-favorite first-person shooter. While the PS4 version was a fine if unexceptional port, the Nintendo Switch version had a game-breaking bug that would lock up the camera and send it flying up toward the ceiling. While Aspyr announced it was working on the issues at the time, going through threads on Reddit and GameFAQs shows that, two years later, players are still having these issues.

In 2022, the company brought Knights of the Old Republic 2 to Nintendo Switch, announcing a “Restored Content” DLC that would include the notorious cuts made to the game’s original launch. Unfortunately, KOTOR 2 was a mess at launch, with a game-breaking bug that prevented many players from being able to complete it. It took over a month for a patch to fix the bug, and when it came it introduced new issues that heavily impacted the experience. Then, after a year of radio silence, Aspyr unceremoniously canceled the Restored Content DLC, which was a major selling point for KOTOR 2 on Switch.

Aspyr is developing the Knights of the Old Republic remake with its parent company Saber Interactive.

Saber Interactive

It’s important to note that Aspyr has released other Star Wars ports that haven’t suffered these same issues, like The Force Unleashed, Episode I Racer, and Jedi Academy. But even then, those ports often have small frustrating issues or choices. Episode I Racer left fans disappointed with a lack of online multiplayer, and the Switch port of The Force Unleashed did almost nothing to update the Wii game’s visuals.

All of this could simply be a case of a developer doing too much. Since 2020, Aspyr has ported seven Star Wars games to modern systems, on top of other titles like Tomb Raider I-III Remastered. That pace of production could have taken its toll on the quality.

No matter what though, it’s a pattern of lackluster rereleases that can’t go on like this, especially when the games in question are so influential. It can’t be overstated how important the Battlefront games were years ago, and continue to be. These were some of the first examples of massively multiplayer shooters, and more importantly a blueprint for how to adapt a mega-hit series like Star Wars. For nearly two decades, the Battlefront games have had dedicated fan followings that have modded the game extensively. If there was one kind of Star Wars game that Aspyr had to get right, it’s this one.

It also doesn’t instill much confidence in the Knights of the Old Republic remake, which was announced with a trailer in 2021 and hasn’t had updates since, outside of Embracer Group saying it’s still “in development.”

There could be big, and necessary, changes coming to the studio, however. Aspyr is a subsidiary of Saber Interactive, which up until now has been owned by the embattled Embracer Group. Embracer has been notorious for snapping up dozens of studios over the last few years, which seems to have led to mass layoffs, project cancellations, and developer shutdowns.

In a bid for independence, Saber Interactive has purchased the rights to themselves and several other studios in a massive $247 million deal. Saber also confirmed the KOTOR remake is coming with it. Aspyr, on the other hand, is staying with Embracer Group. But hopefully, it means the studio will have more time and resources on its hands.

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