We need to talk about Aspyr and Star Wars games…

Main Street Electrical Arcade
5 min readMar 19, 2024

I had originally planned to simply write my impressions of the Star Wars Battlefront Collection, but I’ll be honest; I’m not the guy to do it. That became readily apparent after playing a couple of hours of the offline campaign. I’m just not really into the style of game that at least the old Battlefront games are.

You are one of many, a cog in a much larger machine, and your life is fleeting. It’s ok cause hey you’ll respawn real quick and maybe here and there you will make a major contribution but honestly, it feels like you make little to no progress and the game almost plays itself. Even when you unlock a “Hero” character they seem weaker than they should be imho. But that’s also this genre of game, so again I’m really not the person to give good impressions of Star Wars Battlefront Collection specifically and we’ll talk about another aspect of its release and its publisher.

On the one hand, games preservation and re-releasing older games on current hardware is important, not always easy, and often a thankless job so Aspyr in one sense is a super important company in that they are one of a handful porting not just old Star Wars games but other games as well (i.e. Stubbs the Zombie and the more recent Tomb Raider I-III Collection). Only a handful of companies do this.

On the other hand, games preservation doesn’t add up to a whole lot if your efforts are rather slapdash, especially when you can look at easily comparable products. Sure, it takes longer but efforts by studios like Nightdive Studios, Limited Run Games, and Digital Eclipse to bring older games into the modern age and be more than just some no-frills port and give them context have been consistently amazing and recognized as such.

Aspyr mostly seems to be the king of the no-frills port, and hey there’s a place for that and at least as I alluded to earlier, someone is putting these games out on more modern platforms and making them easier to access. That being said, what started as a few understandable and easy to fix in updates bugs here and there (I remember a few game-crashing bugs in the Star Wars: Republic Commando release upon launch but I believe those were fixed in short order) has become a more prominent pattern with Aspyr that really needs to be addressed.

It arguably really started snowballing with their re-release of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. Granted, KOTOR II is an infamously rushed and somewhat unfinished game to begin with, but it’s also the first game where Apsyr became a little more ambitious than usual, claiming they would add fan-created work that essentially restored cut content and “finished” the game as much as it could be finished. Not only did the game launch with some awful bugs that would corrupt saves and make beating the game completely impossible, but they just kind of quietly never added that DLC and only even released a statement when people who bought the game expecting that DLC kept asking about it.

Then easily Aspyr’s most ambitious and biggest swing and miss, they were set to do a high-quality from the ground up remake of the orginal Knights of the Old Republic. Seemed like a huge project for a studio that literally only had done very low-frills or no-frills ports to that point. Turns out it was too big because it was literally taken away from them and as far as we know it’s still in some form of development but also never see the light of day.

And so Aspyr goes back to what they are known for, re-releasing old games. But Unlike many of their other ports, the classic Star Wars: Battlefront games are actually pretty easily available on both Steam and Xbox for fairly cheap so if you are trying to sell them to an audience at a significantly higher price you better give a compelling reason. And Aspyr trying to provide 64-player online battles on platforms you previously couldn’t play them on (i.e PlayStation and Switch) is arguably a compelling reason. Unfortunately, it follows the Aspyr pattern to a T. Not only did it launch with pretty significant bugs, but there were only a scant few servers at launch (like literally single digits) making it nearly impossible to even play online, which as of this writing, still has not been addressed to the degree it needs to.

I don’t want to attribute this to “lazy” developers, that’s never the case but it’s still a troubling trend from Aspyr that honestly at this rate is doing more to harm the case for game preservation than to contribute to it. Granted, there are only so many more old Star Wars games to port (I don’t think anyone is clamoring for a Masters of Teras Kasi remake, or at least I hope not), but if Aspyr is going to continue to be the one putting out most of these re-releases some more effort needs to be given or their keys to the Star Wars universe should honestly be taken away because much like Electronic Arts and their rather shameful efforts with the Battlefront franchise it’s doing more harm than good to keep these efforts going as is.

That’s all for today, I may do a check-in of sorts with the Star Wars: Battlefront Collection later down the line to at least see if things are functional after more patches and online servers are added but in the meantime, I’ll certainly have something not Star Wars-related coming your way next week so see ya real soon!



Main Street Electrical Arcade

All about Disney games, past present and future. Mix of reviews, opinion pieces and anything else that fits here.