Update, January 3 2018: Battlefront II classic has gotten a new patch aimed at fixing multiplayer.
Star Wars: Battlefront II – the one by Pandemic and LucasArts – got a major update back in October aimed at restoring the old game’s official multiplayer functionality. Things didn’t go entirely according to plan, with players having plenty of trouble enjoying the game with varied technical issues following the update. Now there’s a new patch aiming to fix those problems.
Enjoy the best multiplayer games on PC.
The 240MB update features “minor bug fixes and optimized performance,” and lists the following as the most important points:
- Lobby functionality has been improved
- Steam usernames should now display correctly
- Ping calculations are more accurate
It’s a shame the multiplayer fixes didn’t work 100% in the first place, but I don’t think anyone was expecting patches for a decade old game at all. To whoever it is at Disney, or EA, or GOG, or Steam, or LucasFilm that’s in a closet somewhere trying to make this game work again: thank you.
Update October 3, 2017: Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s multiplayer restoration hasn’t gone entirely smoothly.
Amidst the understandable excitement that the classic game’s multiplayer is back, there are widespread reports of difficulties connecting, and serious laga after having done so.
A casual browse of the Steam thread will turn up many such reports, but it’s a similar story over on GOG, whose collaboration with Disney is responsible for the whole resurrection.
GOG are on the case, with technical staff investigating a common problem where the game simply freezes when attempting to join multiplayer mode. They say “it is most likely related to the matchmaking servers being hit with much bigger traffic than anticipated.”
Other common issues include an ‘unknown error’ crashing the game, and there are many complaints that mods are no longer working.
Original story October 2, 2017: EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront series, lavish and gorgeous as it is, still stands in the shadow of the original games bearing the name. That’s partly nostalgia talking, but it’s also true that original-style Battlefront is quite good. Now, multiplayer features for Battlefront II are back in business.
The restored multiplayer apparently comes from a partnership between Disney and GOG. Not only is multiplayer live again, but it’s live across both Steam and GOG Galaxy clients with players on each service having access to each other’s games. This is the first time the game’s had official online features since GameSpy shut down in 2014.
Battlefront II hasn’t been truly dead all this time, of course. The game has continued to be in circulation through digital distribution, and fans have been modding in access to unofficial servers with just a little hassle. Still, the difference between “little” hassle and “zero” hassle is a significant one.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens to player counts over the next few days, whether players are digging the game out from their dusty ol’ digital libraries or taking advantage of GOG’s current sale on all things Disney-related. Oh, and that other Battlefront II is likely whetting people’s appetites for some multiplayer Star Wars action.