The Evil Empire is Taking on…The Evil Empire; EA Inks Multi-year Deal with Star Wars Franchise

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.

Please dont screw it up EA…

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?

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4 comments

  1. prins of death · · Reply

    So does this mean we will get Darth Vader and the Seven Dwarfs featuring 3,5 dwarfs? As a Star Wars fan itself i’m doubting Disney will make something good out of it. I fear for Deathstars with mikey mouse ears and Darth Duck and that kind of stuff. With how EA operates lately…. I fear it’s gonna be R.I.P for Star Wars. Unless we find a Force miracle.

  2. darkaeonll · · Reply

    i have my doubts, even with “EA’s best team” best in what?

    that what EA is now?

    With EA’s actions and games they made, i am one for waiting till the bitter end. first see then let people test it, and if bugs are fixed and the gameplay and looks are good.

    then i will get it

  3. Atrayo · · Reply

    With any major IP deals reached by the Content holders that own the rights to the entertainment IP. When they ink a deal with a game publisher for instance. It’s EA’s chance to either sink or swim. If EA hits it out of the park with “Star Wars” game titles across several gaming platforms. With Transmedia mega trend taking hold than a partnership to a degree with Disney is a match made in Heaven.

    If EA makes gaga magic with Star Wars game titles learning from the mistake of the SWTOR business model bait and switch that occurred. Expect Disney to attempt buying out Electronic Arts as a wholly owned subsidiary. If EA does only lukewarm or worse with the Star Wars franchise than EA will doggy paddle for awhile market condition wise. Either selling itself off as a whole or in pieces not unlike THQ. Still that leaves Disney buying portions of EA, but at a less attractive offering in property holdings.

    My gut feeling is that EA will recover after now going on a diet. Dreadfully pink slipping 900 of its employees and closing down a few studios. They’ll show a profit next year from cost cutting measures but not from growth of the game publisher itself.

    1. Great comment. Very interesting take. I could definitely see a buyout opportunity if EA is successful with the franchise. It just makes sense. And yes, I also agree that EA will begin to recover after the bitter pill they had to swallow. The Star Wars deal has to go well though….Thanks for posting Atreyo!

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