Criterion Games, the EA studio that developed the PlayStation VR-exclusive Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: VR Mission, says Battlefront II won’t be getting the virtual reality treatment the developers previously announced, and that no VR missions will be present in the game.

As tweeted by tech directior Alex Mole back in April, VR headset owners would be seeing “something awesome in Battlefront II.” It was previously thought that PSVR support would come lock, stock and barrel with Starfighter Assault Mode, the game’s dogfighting expansion.

Metro spoke with game designer John Stanley and Criterion general manager Matt Webster at this year’s GDC. According to the interview, it now appears PSVR support—or any VR support for that matter—has been abandoned completely.

Metro: The other obvious question I have is whether there are any VR options in the game?

Matt Webster: [hesitant] There is no VR.

Metro: Nothing at all?! But you were doing so well!

MW: [laughs] It’s taken enough effort to make [Rogue One VR].

John Stanley: VR for Criterion is something that’s very important.

Metro: You must have learnt so much doing that, it’d be a crime to let it go to waste.

MW: Well it doesn’t, you don’t forget it. I think as Andrew [Wilson, EA CEO] was saying a few months ago. VR is going to be a part of gaming’s future in the coming decade.

Metro: Oh, don’t give me all that!

Both: [laughs]

Metro: It’s a particular shame because first person mode with a starfighter is still useless.

MW: At some point we could sit down and spend a good number of hours talking about where VR needs to get to in order to work with that, because 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.

JS: Matt mentioned at the start, how the handling doesn’t feel the same as in VR, and that’s because they’re completely different beasts.

MW: But making the VR demo absolutely informed the work we’re doing now. So there’s a lot of the VR mission’s soul in Starfighter Assault.

This comes as a surprise since a number of job openings first appeared at Criterion, all of which mentioned Criterion’s involvement in Battlefront VR Mission, including an Environment Artist listing targeted devs with “experience developing for VR.”

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There was also some apparent mock-ups of a Battlefront II box art featuring an advertisement for PSVR compatibility, as first spotted by a Danish user of the web forum NeoGAF and later corroborated by German forum users.

There’s no telling at this point exactly why the studio decided to scrap the VR project, but we’ll be keeping our eyes out for more information as it comes in. Lets take a look at that Starfighter Assault gameplay trailer one last time and let out a collective sigh, shall we?


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  • Stefan Eckhardt

    Aw, that sucks! Would have much preferred a standalone VR game anyway, but doesn’t sound at all like they are doing that. Probably the publisher looked at the userbase and gave a veto unless there are a few million more people in the target audience…

  • iUserProfile

    Sounds fishy. Let’s hope whatever they teasered there is now a standalone side project.

  • me

    this is really unfortunate – I feel that we really need big experiences like this to help draw additional VR interest with the general public…

  • Mario Baldi
  • Tim Suetens

    Install base too small for them to bother. This is dangerous for VR. If they all think like this, VR will never take off.

    • Wiines 007

      Not if you have 2d or 3d option. Why not make both communities happy. Instead, EA has chosen the lazy way, no VR, and now it will effect sales negatively. Resident Evil 7 developers admitted that creating a VR product isn’t as hard as people think and it doesn’t take long. This article proves that EA is very out of touch with the reality of what gamers want.

      • SoloKrauT

        So true!

    • C. W. Chenery

      The sales reached a million in April. That’s huge. Now the system isn’t out of stock everywhere, that number will grown. EA really missed the boat on this one. I’m way less excited for it now. Star Wars VR? What is there not to love about that?

    • DotComCTO

      Perhaps. I actually think it’s more likely that they encountered some technical challenges in keeping the refresh rate high while keeping the details in. Part 2 of that is that technical challenges + time crunch means features like VR get cut.

  • GreasyMullet

    wow very disappointing. Not boycotting but now I have zero personal interest in this game which I would have otherwise purchased. this really sucks :(

  • Wiines 007

    Battlefront 2 not going full VR proves how isolated EA is from gamers. The ONLY thing that would have had me buy this game was VR. Great job EA, what a let down!

  • Tony

    Whelp, glad I haven’t pre-ordered yet… back burnered until VR support.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    For those interested, Star Wars Battlefront the ultimate edition is now only 4,99 at EA Origin, xbox and playstation. if you already have the regular version but not the seasonpass, you can get the pass for free now.

  • Sandy92877

    Such a dissapointment for me to not support Sony PSVR . I do not get it that EA as a AAA does not support the most exciting Hardware ever created. PSVR is a gem and its at least for me a must support.

    If people still enjoy it in 2D its ok for me .
    But as a PSVR owner i want to be fully 3D immersed.

    I will support you diehard if you support VR again :)

  • John

    This is most disappointing, especially considering how great the SW VR mission was. As others have said, the potential for more VR was the reason why I was interested in Battlefront 2. Won’t be buying this, now. Shame.

  • robert

    Very unfortunate considering how incredible the X-wing mission was. I’ll pass.

  • Graham

    Gutted. Gutted. Gutted. Off to sulk in a corner. :-(

  • Gary Moran

    The exact wording is: There is no VR.

    That doesn’t mean there won’t be VR in the future, so we can definitively rule it out in the base game but can hope something will turn up at some point.

  • Raphael

    Not a surprise really. I think this franchise developer will be one of the last to bring VR. Along with devs like CD Projekt and Hello Games.

  • Pablo C

    I love SW, but I´m finding increasingly difficult playing games that are not VR. Sure they look prettier on a monitor, and so does an artistic painting. But it just doesn´t feel real enough anymore.

  • MadridiCooL

    for me now all games seems similar clones of clones, VR changed that and now you can be in the game,

    No VR support = no buy. simple,

  • Master E

    Great… it’ll take me less effort to not buy this game

  • James Aita

    Super unfortunate. This really was the reason I bought PSVR. This to me was supposed to the killer app. What a let down. Criterion, you really screwed us.

  • Get Schwifty!

    Meh – worst news I heard all week, even worse than that tin pot fascist in North Korea swinging his little nuclear penis around…

  • Jason Mercieca

    No vr no buying.

  • Buyed battlefront 1 just to see the VR mission… strange they didn‘t use the experiences to made more and better in next version… so sad…

  • MasterI3laster

    Not surprising really. Neither the PS4 or PRO are really capable of doing this game justice in VR. I personally feel the PSVR is just a gimmick, and is detrimental to the growth of VR. I know of many people, myself included, who are simply underwhelmed by it. The poor visuals lead to games not feeling immersive, especially when compared to Rift/Vive. The technology is not quite there yet, at least at an affordable price.

  • I don’t see the problem. If I want to starfight in VR, I should be able to. Yeah not everyone can handle it but F them

  • Edward Franks

    Very disappointing, I was about to pull the trigger on this when I saw it on Amazon cuz i saw the back of the box with the VR emblem but then if you blow up the screen you can see the fine print says Battlefront II not compatible with PSVR :/

  • LinckG

    That’s really too bad. However, I’m hoping they will eventually make a full VR only game. I loved the original X-Wing and Tie Fighter games back in the 90’s. I also bought every expansion they made for both games and loved every minute of it.