Who gets the credit? The creators behind the Star Wars: Battlefront series

 

Star Wars: Battlefront a video game that throws the player into the battlefields of the Star Wars universe is one of LucasArts best video game series ever produced. The first of the Star Wars: Battlefront series was released in September 21, 2004, which turned out to be a

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cover of StarWars: Battlefront II

major hit. The following year Star Wars: Battlefront II the game that I will
be writing right now was released in November 1, 2005, and did much better than the first in terms of sales and gameplay. Furthermore, a new Star Wars: Battlefront was released in 2015, which interestingly had mixed reviews regardless of its commercial success. Yet despite the success of the Star Wars: Battlefront series there is one important question, who receives credit for the creation of such a great game? Even though it is known that LucasArts produced the entire game series, many forget the other participants that helped in creating Star Wars: Battlefront.

 

Every time that a new Star Wars game pops out the name LucasArts soon follows. However, if we take into consideration Howard S. Becker’s idea of collective activity where a group of skilled participants work together to create a piece of art, music, or film then we begin to question the real creators of Star Wars: Battlefront II (Becker, 35). LucasArts for the most part is credited for creating the game series, but very little is mentioned about the game developer Pandemic Studios which also participated in creating both first and second Star Wars: Battlefront games. Sadly, Pandemic Studios which belonged to Electronic Arts was suddenly shutdown by the videogame company and the game developer simply disappeared into history.

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First Star Wars: Battlefront

Why does this matter? The sad end of Pandemic Studios proves Becker’s idea of the big name (LucasArts) taking all the credit for the creation of something successful such as a film or video game. Despite the fact that LucasArts is the main reason why the game was created, it is necessary that the game developer should also receive recognition since it was Pandemic Studios that did most of the legwork for Battlefront II to become a reality. This idea goes accordingly to Becker who states “Nothing in the technology of any art makes one division of tasks more ‘natural’ than another, although some divisions are so traditional that we often regard them as given in the nature of the medium” (Becker, 9-10). In addition, given that Pandemic Studios was a game developer that solely worked on war and shooting games it was their effort for providing such a great battlefield environment and experience for plyers and Star Wars fans.

Furthermore, Becker’s idea of collective activity correlates with Roland Barthes notion of “death of the author”, which basically means the participant not the artist gives meaning to the work of art. Barthes states that “The reader has never been the concern of classical criticism; for it, there is no other man in literature but the one who writes” (Barthes, 6). By using Barthes interpretation of the “author” we can see that even though LucasArts is the producer, Pandemic Studios was the developer and the place where the game got its look and style making Pandemic the author of Star Wars: Battlefront II. It was Pandemic that gave that first person/third person shooter style and gave the player that sense of immersion into the Star War universe.

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1st person view

 

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3rd person view

In conclusion, LucasArts may be the producer of Star Wars: Battlefront II, but Pandemic Studios is the creator or artist of the game. It is simply wrong to name one company or individual the creator of a good piece of art when it takes an entire group of skilled individuals to create something wonderful. In truth, it is wrong to say that LucasArts is not the creator since the company was the one that put Pandemic Studios to work on the project. I believe it is safe to say that both groups are the true creators of the game not just one, but since I cannot stay neutral it is best to side with Pandemic.

Barthes, Roland. “The Death of the Author.” Image, Music, Text. London: Fontana, 1977.

Becker,Howard. “Art Worlds and Collective Activity.” in Art Worlds. Berkeley: University of California Press: pp 1-39

 

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9 thoughts on “Who gets the credit? The creators behind the Star Wars: Battlefront series

  1. In your post, I like how you separate the creators of Star Wars and the creators of the game as most people would identify the Lucasfilms as the author due to their familiarity to the film series

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    • Yes, that is exactly what I am doing. Lucasfilm and Lucasarts are basically the same thing except that Lucasarts deals with all games related to Star Wars. Just like I said nobody pays attention to the developer which could be Pandemic, Electronic arts, or whoever. Do I have something against Lucasfilm/arts, no I just think it is unfair to give all the credit to them.

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  2. I really enjoyed your blog! I agree and have noticed from reading other blogs that it is hard to name one author. It takes a “collective activity” to create these games because it would take years for one person to create a game of this magnitude and it would also lack in creativity. I believe this to be true because when you bring together multiple people to create one piece of art you also bring together multiple ideas and thoughts that help create a unique game.

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    • I completely agree with you. Indeed the big names always take the credit for big hits, but it is this “collective activity” that creates successful projects such as Star Wars or GTA. However, I think that from another perspective George Lucas who of course is the creator of Star Wars and is the man who united everyone should also receive credit, which of course he did.

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  3. Good tying together of Becker and Barthes. You might also ask about George Lucas though. His characters. Does he get to be included in something like this (derivative works) or not?

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    • I think George Lucas is included, whether directly or not. Star Wars: Battlefront II came out around the same time Revenge of the Sith. The movie did heavily influence the game in every aspect such as character design, battlefield location, story, and so on. I think that he is included within the work and if he is not then he should be.

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  4. Your use of the different authors from the class was smooth and made for a very effective argument. I really appreciated how you started with the question and then towards the end you delivered that final punch to tell where you sided with when it came to the authorship.

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    • Yes, people tend to side with the person or company that gets credited the most, I simply sided with the workers and people responsible for creating such a cool game.

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  5. I found it interesting that you didn’t mention George Lucas in your blog. Do you think that since Lucas is the original creator of the Star Wars universe he should receive credit for the creation of all things that fall under “Star Wars”? Or do you think the title of artist should be attributed to whoever is working on that particular piece?

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