We reported early last month that Disney shut down LucasArts and canceled all the games that the developer was working on. At the time, it was suggested that Disney would farm out future Star Wars games to outside publishers and developers. As it turns out, those Star Wars games will be going through only one publisher.
EA announced today that it has signed an exclusive deal with Disney to be the sole publisher of Star Wars games for the foreseeable future. The exclusivity deal only covers games targeting a core gamer audience with Disney’s own mobile division overseeing all casual and mobile titles.
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” said EA Labels president Frank Gibeau 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 new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”
The three above mentioned studios should make Star Wars fans giddy with glee. All three are respected developers with a proven track record so any Star Wars games out of them should be good. DICE may even finally finish Battlefront III – a game many have been requesting for years now.
As for BioWare, a Star Wars game made by the core team could potentially be exciting as the studio also made Knights of the Old Republic – a title many consider to be the best Star Wars game ever made. Some may be hesitant of such a title, however, especially after BioWare’s The Old Republic failed to live up to the hype. The MMO was made by BioWare Austin, though, so some may be willing to give the main BioWare studio a chance, especially if its Star Wars game is similar to its recent Mass Effect trilogy.