In a blockbuster announcement today, EA & Disney have signed a deal giving EA the exclusive publishing rights to Star Wars games for the foreseeable future. No financial terms were disclosed but in the press release that accompanied this announcement the companies stated “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”
The announcement continued saying three EA studios would be developing Star Wars titles: DICE (Developers of the Battlefield Franchise), Visceral studios (Developers of the Dead Space Franchise) and Bioware (Developers of The Old Republic, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and KoToR) who will “continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise” (They currently work on The Old Republic MMO).
Photo: Star Wars: The Old Republic (taken from gamestop.com)
As of now, their is now word on whether or not DICE or Visceral will continue to work on the two cancelled projects from LucasArts: the long anticipated Battlefront 3 and the Uncharted-esc 1313. All of this news comes after last months closure of LucasArts, and many fans fears of Star Wars games for the core audience being a thing of the past.
This reporters take: This is massive news for the gaming world. Many people like myself grew up on Star Wars titles like Knights of the Old Republic, Rouge Squadron and Battlefront, it is comforting to know three great studios will continue to carry on this legacy. My prediction for this deal is that we will see some type of shooter from DICE in the vain of Battlefront, Visceral will develop a third person action title that may be something like 1313, and Bioware will continue to work on The Old Republic and (hopefully) develop a new single player RPG like Kotor. My pipe dream hope would be for another Pod Racing title, and have it be developed by either Criterion or Black Box. Going into the next console generation EA has just secured itself a major tool for their business, that will likely give them huge growth.
Update: EA recently posted a blog on their recent “team up” with Disney. Here are the big points from the blog
- Frank Gibeau, EA’s President of Labels, is a life long Star Wars fan so this is a dream come true for him
- EA’s deal is for games on consoles, PCs, Tablets, Mobile phones and other platforms (Safe money is their will be some type of Facebook game)
- The teams at Bioware, Visceral and DICE do not currently have projects chosen, but they are “brimming with ideas”
- All of the titles will run on DICE’s Frostbite 3 Engine.
By, Bobby Marquardt
Source: Press release.