Good news if you’re a fan of gaming studio EA: The company’s deal with LucasFilms/Disney will see them producing Star Wars games for the next decade. We already know that a new edition of Star Wars: Battlefront is set to release in 2015, but rumors that the game was releasing late in order to include content from Episode VII have been quashed. The company stated that they won’t actually be creating games directly based on Abrams’ film. They may “borrow some assets”, according to IGN, but their titles will largely stand on their own.
That’s actually not bad news, really. Movie-based games are almost always terrible (Not saying that EA couldn’t reverse that trend), and having the company focus on other areas of the Star Wars universe may mean that beloved Expanded Universe titles could see representation in video game form – Hypothetically speaking, of course. If this happens, then worries that Episode VII won’t respect the EU canon could at least be addressed in video game form – a medium that’s finally growing into its own as the equal of movies and television, and sometimes their superior.
EA has I have supreme confidence that EA will handle the Star Wars universe with care. The studio has made some of my very favorite games, including the Battlefield franchise, the Medal of Honor series (Sorry critics, but I loved MOH: Warfighter), The Sims, the Mass Effect series, and of course, Dragon Age. While they’ve had their clunkers and also-rans, like any video game producer, there really haven’t been that many over all. They’ve got a good record, over all.
Casual gamers may be wondering where this leaves titles like Star Wars: Angry Birds and similar mobile device user targeted games. EA will not be creating these. Disney will handle these themselves, and I’m sure they’ll farm the work out as needed elsewhere. In any case, it’s not EA’s responsibility.I think it’s a good arrangement, personally. I can’t see EA moving in this direction in a significant fashion, and I can’t see Disney producing a hardcore shoot ‘em up like Star Wars: Battlefront.
One of the things that has most impressed me about Disney’s management of the Star Wars franchise has been the company’s intelligence in determining when something isn’t in their wheelhouse and needs to be farmed out. While the LucasArts game studio produced a fine slew of classics during its time, I think that handing over video game responsibilities to a company that knows the business is a good decision.
Now, if someone will revive Star Wars: 1313...