EA Gets the Star Wars Games Licence, Fans Worry

ea-star-wars-logo“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

When they closed LucasArts, Disney said that they would license out Star Wars to other developers to make games. Well, they’ve gone ahead with that plan just one month after closing down LucasFilm’s in-house game developer and publisher.

Yesterday, Disney announced that EA was awarded a “multi-year exclusive licensing agreement” to develop and publish Star Wars games.

The official announcement said that these games would cover all platforms, with the exception of mobile and online which Disney will retain publishing rights to, as well as a number of genres. It was also revealed that the developers over at DICE (Battlefield) and Visceral Games (Dead Space) would be making new Star Wars games. Naturally, BioWare would continue making Star Wars games having made its name with Knights of the Old Republic and the in-part Star Wars inspired Mass Effect trilogy, in addition to The Old Republic MMORPG.

No word as to what will happen with games that had been under development when LucasArts was closed including First Assault and 1313. However, an action third-person shooter like 1313 seems up Visceral’s alley. Similarly, first-person shooters and DICE go hand in hand.

star-wars-the-old-republic-wallpaper-02I’m a little concerned about this announcement but not because of the developers involved. BioWare has had a bad run of late but are justifiably considered one of the better developers in the world, especially when it comes to writing a great game with great audio. DICE’s Battlefield series might not sell as CoD but many critics like it just as much. And Visceral… Well, wasn’t Dead Space 1 pretty damn cool?

No, my concern is about the publisher. EA has this bad habit of everything it touching turning to shit. Ask longtime BioWare fans about that. Dead Space was a great series until EA decreed that it must become a generic third-person shooter rather than a horror TPS. If EA interferes with the creative process at the dev level to make the games more “marketable” or to make them more money. EA bosses sticking their noses into places they don’t belong worked great for Dead Space 3.

Here’s the joint press release from Disney and Electronic Arts. May the force be with us.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced a new multi-year exclusive licensing agreement to develop and publish globally new games based on Star Wars characters and storylines.

Under the agreement, EA will develop and publish new Star Wars titles for a core gaming audience, spanning all interactive platforms and the most popular game genres, while Disney will retain certain rights to develop new titles within the mobile, social, tablet and online game categories.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come,” said John Pleasants, Co-President of Disney Interactive. “Collaborating with one of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to our fans around the world.”

“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” said EA Labels President Frank Gibeau. “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining the BioWare team which continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Source: EA Press Room


About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on May 7, 2013, in Games and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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