EA, Disney Sign Exclusive Star Wars Game Deal
We may have just passed International Star Wars day (May the 4th, in case you've been living inside a Wampa) but there's still news emerging about the biggest franchise in the Galaxy- and this time it's game related. Following the aquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney last year, there has been plenty of speculation about what the deal would mean for gamers. Many fan's worst fears seemed to be confirmed when the Mouse House shuttered the Lucasfilm's gaming division, LucasArts- and millions of nerd voices cried out in terror. Speculation then turned to who Disney might turn to produce Star Wars games going forward- would they be in-house, or would they be farmed out to outside developers? Well, it seems we have our answer, as Disney has signed a deal with none other than EA.
The deal gives EA the license to produce multiple games based on the multi-billion-dollar franchise for all platforms. Disney hasn't signed over everything however as, they will hang on to the right to produce mobile and social games based on the franchise themselves. Whether this means no more of the likes of Lego Star Wars or Angry Birds Star Wars remains to be seen.
A New Hope?
This license is a big win for EA, and they look set to bring out their big guns to do the universe justice. Three studios have so far been named who will be working on Star Wars Games. Bioware is probably a no-brainer, having already worked on the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic- still, it's good news for fans of quality games. They will be joined by Dead Space's Visceral and Battlefield's DICE. Although it's too early to know what form their games will take, it's at least encouraging to suggest that EA is giving it to some of their best teams.
The deal specifically covers only Star Wars and not any other LucasArts properties. This means that presumably the rights to Indiana Jones,- and most excitingly of all- Howard The Duck, are still up for grabs.
No doubt there are corners of the Interwebs that will be up in arms about this deal- saying that Star Wars is now in the hands of the Evil Empire. Although the shutting of LucasArts was sad (very much the end of an era) it's worth remembering they were not the force once they once were. Who would be better custodians of the Star Wars Legacy- the makers of Mass Effect, or the makers of Star Wars Kinect? I rest my case.