Just weeks after shutting down LucasArts, the company behind such games as Grim Fandango and the developers who were in the process of creating the exciting new title Star Wars 1313, for good, Walt Disney have now agreed on a “multi-year” deal that will see all major Star Wars games be developed under the EA games label.
Today, at 1.00 PM PDT, a press release was published that confirmed the home of the major titles from the Star Wars franchise. The press release states that EA games have the rights to “develop and publish globally new games based on Star Wars characters and storylines.” This means that any and all characters are at EA’s fingertips. EA currently creates some of the world’s biggest gaming brands from sports franchises to horror games such as Dead Space and shooters like Battlefield and Medal of Honor, but now their portfolio will be significantly increased and this will surely be worrying for rival publishers. Keep in mind however, that EA have already had a partnership in the past with LucasArts before the sale of the Star Wars owner to Disney, helping them to publish the massively multiplayer online game, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
One interesting part of the press release says that “Disney will retain certain rights to develop new titles within the mobile, social, tablet and online game categories.” This means that while EA will handle the franchise’s video game future full of (hopefully) AAA games, Walt Disney will churn out their own brand of Star Wars related digital products on Android, iOS and Facebook (to name a few).
There is a disappointment in the fact that there was no mention of the future of games such as Star Wars: Battlefront 3 and Star Wars 1313. These were both highly anticipated games and, in Battlefront’s case, well loved. There is light in spite of this though as, mentioned in the press release, BioWare, the developers of brilliant Star Wars games in the past including Knights of the Old Republic, and other top studios will be tasked with developing the future of the Star Wars video games.