After Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment took heaps of praise for being given the keys to their own Star Wars game, many wondered what it meant for EA's exclusivity deal. An EA executive has now cleared the air.
When Ubisoft Massive revealed the studio's untitled Star Wars project, reactions were mixed. Many seemed excited, some wondered what the game may look like from the team that has spent more than half a decade working on The Division franchise. Many others questioned what it meant for Electronic Arts, given that the company had a very public exclusivity deal with Disney to develop all console and PC Star Wars games through 2023. According to reporting, that deal is actually still in place, but because Ubisoft Massive's game is still in the early stages and is not planned for launch before that EA-Disney deal expires, the team is permitted to make such a deal of its own.
If that sounds like EA is, as the kids say, taking the L, after a decade of up and down games in George Lucas' universe, it maybe isn't as bad as you'd guess. For one, much of the EA brass present today arrived after that deal was made, so it's sort of like getting to GM a football team but not getting to pick your head coach. More importantly, this does not spell the end of EA's Star Wars efforts, as noted by the company's Chief Studios Officer, Laura Miele.
Miele notes that there remain several Star Wars games in the works under the EA umbrella, though does not pick a LinkedIn post to officially announce them, as you can expect.
Exciting news from our friends at Lucasfilm. The impact that Lucasfilm has had on gaming goes way back in our history with many excellent Star Wars games along with some memorable original IP - one of my favorites being Grim Fandango. Games have also expanded the Star Wars universe. I’m incredibly proud of the memorable Star Wars stories and characters we’ve created together over the past eight years based on the passion, expertise and vision of our talented studio teams. We continue to see millions of players enjoying a wide range of Star Wars experiences. While we aren't ready to share details at the moment, we also have multiple new projects underway in partnership with the talented teams at Lucasfilm Games. ‘Always in motion is the future.’ -Yoda #videogames #entertainment
Alongside the Star Wars news, Lucasfilm Games also recently revealed an Indiana Jones game is in production at Machinegames (Wolfenstein) with Todd Howard producing. It seems Disney, or at least Lucasfilm, is all the way back into games again.