The Star Wars video game brand has been in a state of limbo ever since Disney decided to buy Lucasfilm and shutter internal developer LucasArts. Today we have finally received word on the fate of the Star Wars game franchise with the announcement that Electronic Arts has inked a multi-year, multi-title licensing deal with Disney.
According to the press release, this licensing agreement will allow for the “creation of new high quality Star Wars games spanning multiple genres for console, PC, mobile and tablets. So, rather than worrying that we will be seeing much less Star Wars-themed games over the next few years, we may actually see more than expected.
As part of the agreement, EA studio teams DICE and Visceral will join Bioware in the development of all-new Star Wars games.
Co-President of Disney Interactive, John Pleasents, said that this agreement “demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come. Collaborating with some of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to 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. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”
This news will surely become a hot button issue among gamers, who are not too happy with Electronic Arts at the moment, considering they were just voted Worst Company in America for the second straight year.
Even so, at least they have made sure to bring in their A-team for the development of these games, which makes the announcement a bit easier to take from a fan perspective.
We know that Bioware has the chops to make great games, having created Knights of the Old Republic, one of the better Star Wars titles ever made. But it will be interesting to see what Visceral and DICE can do with the franchise. Let’s hope that EA has learned from their mistakes over the past few years and allow developers the creative freedom necessary to make the best games possible.
What are your thoughts on this huge announcement? Do you think the Star Wars brand is safe in the hands of EA?