After a listing for a new game titled Star Wars: Squadrons, complete with some neat game art of X-Wing and Tie Fighter pilots, appeared briefly on the Microsoft Store, curiosity reignited about a new EA Star Wars game.
The listing was really just a title, game art, and a preorder button on the front page of the Microsoft Store, according to a screenshot shared on the forum Resetera. The button went nowhere and the only other info was the game’s subtitle: ‘Pilots wanted.’ No release date, price, or info on whether it would be coming to current consoles or just the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Update: The cat’s out of the bag: EA quickly tweeted out an official confirmation of the game, complete with the title and previously-leaked art, as well as promise of a full trailer coming on Monday, June 15 at 8AM PT / 11AM ET (below).
Pilots Wanted. Tune in for the reveal trailer of #StarWarsSquadrons this Monday, June 15th at 8:00 AM Pacific Time: https://t.co/ULwkIhQy2y pic.twitter.com/L0Z3jC2c3jJune 12, 2020
Of course, if Squadrons is the next game EA has cooking for the franchise, it could be the one we heard about in May that’s reportedly code-named Star Wars Maverick – which itself has only seen scant details leaked aside from stylized game art.
Recent rumors suggest that EA would officially unveil Maverick soon before its EA Play showcase slated for June 18, which would have occurred before the now-cancelled E3 2020. Today we’ve heard that EA Motive, the studio reportedly behind Maverick, would have started teasing the game but the Microsoft Store leak spoiled the surprise, per VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb.
Star Wars: Squadrons will be “an aerial/space combat game about piloting ships in head-to-head battles. It features a single-player campaign, but the main focus for Squadrons is on the multiplayer,” sources told Grubb. Motive had worked on Star Wars: Battlefront II’s single-player campaign and helped BioWare on Anthem, but is now the lead developer on Squadrons.
Where does that leave Star Wars: Battlefront II?
2017’s Star Wars: Battlefront II had a rough start, earning ire from fans for a pay-to-win loot box system, but walking back that system, along with years of patches, has built back the game’s reputation and community. As a Battlefront game, it’s mainly large-scale ground-based battles, but it does have specific modes of team-based space combat.
In that sense, Squadrons could conceivably overlap with Battlefront II, but there’s plenty of room for a far more robust starfighter experience. Star Wars gaming history is rich with games, like the Tie Fighter, X-Wing, and Rogue Squadron series, that have more complexity than the arcade-style dogfights in Battlefront II.
There’s also a question of scale: the Squadrons game art suggests Tie Fighter and X-Wing combat, but the Star Wars universe is littered with ships of all sizes and dynamic worlds that could make for far more robust fights than what we’ve seen in Battlefront II. We’ll have to wait for EA and EA Motive to officially reveal the game, which we expect during the online-only EA Play soon.