Electronic Arts Signs Exclusive Star Wars Game Deal With Disney

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Electronic Arts Signs Exclusive Star Wars Game Deal With Disney

Star Wars screen

DICE and Visceral will join BioWare in developing all-new games for the Star Wars franchise.

You might think that in the wake of the The Old Republic debacle, Electronic Arts would be a bit gun-shy about signing a long-term deal with the Disney behemoth that commits some of its best-known studios to creating even more Star Wars games. But you would be wrong! Because that's exactly what EA has done.

Specifics, as usual, are in short supply but the bottom line is that the companies have signed a "multi-year exclusive licensing agreement" in which EA will develop "core" games "spanning all interactive platforms and the most popular game genres," while Disney retains development rights for mobile, social, tablet and online Star Wars games.

"Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe," EA Labels President Frank Gibeau said in a statement. "Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining the BioWare team which continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise."

The move confirms that Disney's decision to pull the plug on LucasArts did not signal a loss of interest in the videogame scene, but rather a desire to shift responsibility for the development of future Star Wars games into the hands of a company with some actual expertise in the field. But it's decision to team with EA - or actually, EA's willingness to sign on the dotted line - is a little puzzling. In some ways, it's a natural fit; BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic is one of the most well-regarded Star Wars games to come out in the past decade. But BioWare is also the studio responsible for one of the most infamous (and expensive) videogame train wrecks of all time, the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. It's also no secret that movie licenses aren't the gold mine they were once believed to be, as anyone who used to work at THQ can attest.

Even so, and despite everything that's happened post-Jedi, the Star Wars brand carries a powerful cachet and Gibeau said that while some of the games developed by EA "may borrow from films," they will nonetheless "be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay." Neither company commented on the possibility that the deal could resurrect Star Wars 1313, which fell victim to the LucasArts closure, but given how much people were looking forward to it, it probably wouldn't be a bad place to start. Neither would, say, a new TIE Fighter - just something to think about if anyone from EA happens to be reading.

Permalink

Stop! Stop! Star Wars is already dead!

Out of all the publishers/developers, Disney...

"May the force be with you"
Force, in this case, being DRM, cease and desist orders, gagging clauses, review embargos and various other things that keep lawyers in business.

"You're all clear, kid! Now let's blow this thing and go home!"
This is what will need to be said after every launch of a new EA/Disney/Star Wars game.

"Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
This will be entirely dependant on EA's outsourcing policies.

"It's a trap!"
Which is just self explanatory.

So the most beloved company in America moving in with the most hated?
I smell a sit com!

Also Andy, don't ever use that picture again.

Seriously people wait for the flippin games to be released before you put on your drama queen dress.

Isn't everyone always bitching for a new Star Wars Battlefront? And the guys who make Battlefield are gonna be making Star Wars games?

Chrono212:
"May the force be with you"
Force, in this case, being DRM, cease and desist orders, gagging clauses, review embargos and various other things that keep lawyers in business.

"You're all clear, kid! Now let's blow this thing and go home!"
This is what will need to be said after every launch of a new EA/Disney/Star Wars game.

"Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
This will be entirely dependant on EA's outsourcing policies.

"It's a trap!"
Which is just self explanatory.

"What a piece of junk"
Most gamer's reactions to any Star Wars game EA puts out.

Disney is giving Star Wars to Electronic "We kill everything we get our hands on" Arts?

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

You know, as someone whose main experience of the Star Wars universe is through the games (never seen the films), I really couldn't care less if EA "ruins the franchise". But there is potential for greatness there. Visceral good with what I'd call "action stuff", which could make for fantastic lightsaber duels and such, especially with how good they are with the more gory side of things. DICE, well, you've got your destructo-physics sorted, which could really help to show the impact of various abilities have on the environment and Bioware are (usually) a team of good writers.

So what you want is a "DICE! VISCERAL! BIOWARE! WITH OUR POWERS COMBINED WE ARE CAPTAIN AWESOME STAR WARS GAME!" deal. What'll probably happen though is 3 decent games, micro-transactioned out the ass, and me weeping over the continued disappearance of Mirror's Edge 2.

Dice...

So we'll get a crappy battlefield-y game with a star wars theme... I guess you guys will get your Battlefront 3 after all!

[/barely disguised irony]

Oh screw you EA. I defended you all this year and last, I forgave your mistakes and at the very least didn't think you were any worse than a company like Activision.

But this is the last straw. You better be hiring out to independents. If you were the company who destroyed the Obsidian Star Wars RPG, I am not going to forgive you

Andy Chalk:
... just something to think about if anyone from EA happens to be reading.

They're not.

Also, TOR is an awesome game. The problem is that it doesn't have a single-player mode.

As for games EA might make with this agreement, I will put them under the same scrutiny I subject all other games to. And the first step in that process is for the games to be announced.

DVS BSTrD:

Chrono212:
"May the force be with you"
Force, in this case, being DRM, cease and desist orders, gagging clauses, review embargos and various other things that keep lawyers in business.

"You're all clear, kid! Now let's blow this thing and go home!"
This is what will need to be said after every launch of a new EA/Disney/Star Wars game.

"Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
This will be entirely dependant on EA's outsourcing policies.

"It's a trap!"
Which is just self explanatory.

"What a piece of junk"
Most gamer's reactions to any Star Wars game EA puts out.

"That's no moon, it's an EA executive's pay cheque!"

Oh sweet salty Christ no.

This is bad. This is very bad.

That was the first thing to come to my mind when I read this.....

I just thought of something.... If EA does this, what will BF3 stand for? Battlefield 3 or Battlefront 3? Will we need to do SWBF3?

Well there goes any interest I could possibly have for any new Star Wars games. I stopped giving EA money a long time ago.

Chrono212:

DVS BSTrD:

Chrono212:
"May the force be with you"
Force, in this case, being DRM, cease and desist orders, gagging clauses, review embargos and various other things that keep lawyers in business.

"You're all clear, kid! Now let's blow this thing and go home!"
This is what will need to be said after every launch of a new EA/Disney/Star Wars game.

"Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
This will be entirely dependant on EA's outsourcing policies.

"It's a trap!"
Which is just self explanatory.

"What a piece of junk"
Most gamer's reactions to any Star Wars game EA puts out.

"That's no moon, it's an EA executive's pay cheque!"

"Chrono the online will be with you.
Always."

Nurb:
Stop! Stop! Star Wars is already dead!

lol. This is so fitting.

OT: I didn't have that much of a problem with Disney making new movies, but why the fuck do they have to involve EA.

...I was having a glorious day until I saw this. D:
I mean, I had to give a special occasion speech in Com 103 so I decided to do a congratulations speech for EA on winning the golden poo two years in a row, then this happens...T^T

Dammit Disney. Why couldn't you sign this deal with a publisher that doesn't engage in some of the most despicable practices in the industry. While you're at it, why not sign it with a publisher that has actually made a game I give a shit about in the past five years.

Also, I'm guessing this means that that supposedly excellent Star Wars idea that Obsidian had probably isn't going to happen. What a shame.

This is appropriate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWaLxFIVX1s sorry dont know how to put vids in correctly

but seriously this is fucking terrible just when we thought ea might go down in few years or be forced to think differntly they get one of the biggest ip's ever and will probably microtransacrape/milk it to oblivion just great BUT we we might get one really good BattleFront game but afterwards seems like doom and gloom from there track record.

Holy hell no one did this already?

"as if millions of (geek)voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."

ohnoitsabear:
Dammit Disney. Why couldn't you sign this deal with a publisher that doesn't engage in some of the most despicable practices in the industry. While you're at it, why not sign it with a publisher that has actually made a game I give a shit about in the past five years.

Because EA's not the publisher that Disney needs, but the one that it deserves.

You are talking about a company that threatened to sue daycare centers for copyright-infringing murals.
http://www.snopes.com/disney/wdco/daycare.asp

And that's not even getting into Disney's role in how copyright laws got to be as excessive as they are in the first place.

In retrospect, we really should have seen something like this coming. I don't care about Star Wars enough these days to really give a fuck, so I will give EA a chance,one chance.

What a sad day.

Really? I'll wait and see what is released before jumping to conclusions about the deal. Hopefully they'll bury the horrible Force Unleashed stuff and bring back the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series! Alongside the usual requests.

But...I have a bad feeling about this.

Soooo you ignore Obsidian's initiative to make a good KOTOR game for once and now this?
Alright, I get it, as a bunch of people in suits who are not interested in videogames in the slightest, siding with the other guys in suits who bloodyblahblah (EA) kind of makes sense but still... They have to at least read the news from time to time, right? right?

Fucking damn it Disney.

Not going to jump to conclusions, could have potential in the long run. In the meantime,

I'd be more upset by this if there hadn't been a solid Star Wars game since X-Wing and Dark Forces and all of that. The games focused entirely on Jedi/Sith just don't do it for me. There is a lot more to Star Wars than that stuff. I'd kill for a game without a single lightsaber in it.

DVS BSTrD:

Also Andy, don't ever use that picture again.

Am I the only one who didn't mind that edit?

Like the new movies or not, they are part of the canon, and it makes sense for Anakins ghost to...well look like anakin.

OT: Well, those are good devs, but how bad is EA gonna fuck those games up with micro transactions?

In before knee-jerk reactions and overly dramatic sweeping statements and personal opinio-... Aww, too late! :(

It seems the simple act of reserving judgement until you actually have something to comment on is a rare and mysterious gift nowadays. I've enjoyed SWTOR thoroughly, so I'm definitely not going to start blubbing big crocodile tears until there's an actual reason.

Wow, glad to see no one is throwing about any knee-jerk reactions here. Yes, EA has pulled some stupid s*** in the past couple of years, but let's think about the studios that they're handing the franchise off to, and what games will be handled by them.

We have DICE, which is the obvious contender to develop Battlefront 3. As someone who absolutely loved the early BF games, and Battlefield 3, I'm not too concerned about them getting their hands on the Battlefront IP. We're not going to see a super gritty, color drained Battlefront game, as Battlefield is that way simply because it's stylized, and that's the direction they're taking it in. There's a lot to learn from the style and color pallets of Battlefront 1 & 2, and I'm sure that DICE will realize this when/if they begin development. Also, they would be the most likely of the three studios to develop sequels to Republic Commando.

Visceral could easily also pick up Republic Commando, but I really see them picking up StarWars 1313 where it left off. The seedy underbelly vibe of the game fits with the darker themes of the Dead Space franchise, and their experience with 3rd Person shooter mechanics is the strongest of the three teams. What new games would come out of Visceral, I'm not sure. There are a lot of space combat games that are desperately crying out for sequels, but whether they would be picked up by Visceral who, as a studio is still in its infancy and not locked into a specific genre of video games, or by DICE who will have to have some experience under their belt with space combat to make a true sequel to BF2, is uncertain.

Bioware is arguably the most confusing of the three in terms of where their projects will take them. We'll probably see some KoToR-esque sequels to past franchises out of them, alongside continued development of The Old Republic until they run that into the ground. I'm unsure what new IP's will come out of their studios, as all I've ever known them for is Action-RPG's, but they definitely have the talent (at least outside of the writing department), to develop various types of titles.

All in all, we're talking about three well received (for the most part) studios with a bit of a troubled past in some regard, but all more than willing to handle new and old IP's within the Star Wars universe.

TL;DR: Let's put those torches and pitchforks on layaway until we see some actual product.

Well, make new: Rogue Squadren, Jedi Knight, KOTOR, Battlefront and we'll talk EA.

So I assume this means Obsidian's proposed Star Wars game isn't happening.

Damn...

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