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No VR for Star Wars Battlefront II but still "very important" for Criterion

UK studio says Rogue One demo "informed" Starfighter Assault mode, but sequel will not support virtual reality

In a somewhat surprising move, Star Wars Battlefront II will be completely devoid of any virtual reality content.

A VR X-Wing mission themed around last year's Rogue One movie was added to the 2015 original, exclusively for PlayStation VR. The content was developed by UK developer Criterion, which is assisting with development of this year's Star Wars Battlefront II, and it was presumed that the team would once again be working on VR once again - but Metro Central reports this isn't the case.

"There is no VR," the studio's general manager Matt Webster told the site, adding jokingly that it "took enough effort" to make the Rogue One mission.

He later said: "In something like this you're doing the job of a fighter pilot. And in the real world that has a significant physiological effect on you, which would dramatically limit the audience."

Webster added that work on the VR demo for the previous Battlefront has "absolutely informed" the development of the new Starfighter Assault mode, which focuses on the saga's iconic space battles.

Designer John Stanely stressed that "VR for Criterion is something that's very important", suggesting it could be something the studio could explore for future projects.

Criterion was working on a first-person extreme sports game that might have leant itself to virtual reality, but this was confirmed to be cancelled last year so the studio could concentrate on Star Wars and explore the possibilities of new IP. It would also, no doubt, have has a similar physiological effect on players.

It's likely that the still limited number of PSVRs out in the wild did not warrant the investment into further virtual reality games on EA's part, but as the install base for PlayStation's headset and other VR devices grows, we could see virtual reality reintroduced to the Battlefront series - either as an add-on at a later date, or for the inevitable third outing likely to follow in 2019.

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was