So, this was a bit of a surprise. Imagine waking up this morning with little to no hints that something was going to happen to the fate of Star Wars video games, and here we are. Today, The Walt Disney Corporation and Electronic Arts have announced a multi-year partnership in which EA will be making and producing Star Wars games. Well, more than the one they currently already make.
As far as specifics – EA will be making games for what they define as a “core audience”, or the console/PC crowd, effectively. Disney, however, retains the rights to make Star Wars games for mobile/tablet/web and online audiences. And already EA have announced that two of their studios are working on Star Wars projects; as Visceral Games and DICE will be joining Bioware in this regard.
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” says current EA head Frank Gibeau. “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay”. Disney is equally chuffed – “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”, says John Pleasants, Co-President of Disney Interactive.
Personally? I’m kinda intrigued to see just what Visceral, DICE and, if they’re making something non-TOR related, Bioware are upto. Whether they continue (and finish) what products Lucasarts were planning to ship before getting shuttered, or be completely new projects, I’ve no idea. But it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.