The North American company will continue to develop games in the saga, but it will no longer do so exclusively.
Disney announced the purchase of Lucasfilm in October 2012, an announcement that was accompanied by an internal restructuring. The first victim was LucasArts, the legendary video game studio of George Lucas’ factory. The closure took away all the projects they had underway, among which was the promising Star Wars 1313. At the same time, Mickey Mouse’s company signed an agreement with Electronic Arts, a commitment that has allowed it to work with the saga exclusively. Almost ten years later, the contract has not been renewed. We review EA’s decade at the helm of Star Wars, as well as the future of the brand.
Lucasfilm Games is the new label that will carry all Lucasfilm licensed video games. It is not, therefore, an internal study like LucasArts was. The new division announced a game based on Indiana Jones, coming from Bethesda Softworks and MachineGames (the studio responsible for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus). Ubisoft Massive Entertainment (The Division 2) will handle an open world title, implicitly confirming the end of the exclusivity agreement with Electronic Arts. Given the initial confusion, the North American giant informed that they would continue working on future titles: “We love Star Wars and look forward to continuing our collaboration with Lucasfilm Games. We are making more games, ”they said.
The initial problems
EA’s history with Star Wars began years ago, thanks to BioWare’s MMORPG, The Old Republic. However, it was in 2015 when they published the first project resulting from the exclusivity agreement. We refer to Star Wars: Battlefront, a video game developed by the studio responsible for the Battlefield saga. In that first project, the players missed a bit more content and playable depth.
The sequel, released two years later, introduced many of the elements that the community had asked for, including the single-player campaign with a canon story. Bad luck was primed with Star Wars: Battlefront II, which ended up receiving ravenous criticism due to its monetization and microtransaction system.
As a result of this disaster, EA modified its entire strategy for the future, but the damage to the image had already been done. Despite the undoubted quality and updates that further improved the product, Battlefront II never lifted the dust from controversy. On the other hand, his free-to-play mobile game, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, has tiptoed past without making much noise.