Recently we found out what many video game fans had been fearing: Disney was going to close down LucasArts, the branch of Lucasfilm that developed and published games, including many Star Wars game series such as Battlefront, Knights of the Old Republic, and The Force Unleashed.
Though Disney had chosen to shut down the gamemaker, it was clear that they weren’t just going to stop focusing on video games, and that their plan moving forward would be to license out their games to other game companies to to make and publish.
Fans had a wishlist of where their favorite game franchise might land, but Disney instead chose to go in the direction many of you might have expected them to go. Enter Electronic Arts, one of the biggest video game publishers on the planet, who just signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Disney.
The new deal will see EA making many new Star Wars game on all platforms and in various genres, while Disney will continue to hold the rights to make mobile, social, tablet, and online games.
What’s not yet known is what games EA will be making. Many people have been wondering about Star Wars 1313, which made a huge impact at E3 last year but looked to be nothing but a victim of the Disney acquisition. Will EA finally do something that will make fans happy and ensure this one sees the light of day? There’s also been rumors of a Battlefront first-person shooter (that seems like it would be perfect for EA’s Battlefield developer DICE) and Battlefront III as well, so only time will tell.
EA’s coming off their second consecutive “Worst Company In America” win, so obviously everyone who cares about the future of Star Wars video games is either very angry, sad, or nervous right now. It’s worth noting that EA is behind BioWare’s Mass Effect franchise, and, while there were some things that enraged fans over the course of the trilogy, the ME games are some of the best we’ve seen in the past decade. There is still hope that EA could do good things here.
Another thing worthy of note, is that other games from LucasArts are not mentioned here. This appears to be a specifically Star Wars deal, which could mean that Disney is still looking for homes for non-Star Wars franchises they have such as the Monkey Island games or Indiana Jones.