Although the sale of Star Wars development rights from Disney to Electronic Arts was a landmark happening in the entertainment world, it was also only the first step in what will surely be a long process. First, there is the acquisition of the property, then the development of products that leverage the property, and then finally said products make their way to the people.
But, while we are still likely a ways off from actually playing these Star Wars games, Electronic Arts has once again taken to teasing what gamers might see out of these forthcoming titles. Granted, they aren’t revealing anything too specific, but rather what approaches gamers should expect from the various Star Wars developers.
Speaking with Fortune, EA CEO Andrew Wilson reveals that the teams responsible for Star Wars games – that is DICE, Visceral Games, and BioWare – are not trying to emulate, recreate, or expand on any storylines in the Star Wars films, novels, or comic books. Rather, they hope to deliver entirely new experiences that leverage the Star Wars universe in ways that fit the video game space.
Although Wilson wouldn’t explain how exactly these various EA studios might achieve such a feat, he did cite one recent video game adaptation as a prime example: Batman.
More specifically, Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham games. See, what Rocksteady Studios was able to do with that all-important DC Comics property has struck a chord with EA, and they think that’s how best to approach Star Wars. EA wants to create Star Wars games that feel a part of the universe, but are uniquely there own.
“What Warner Bros. did with Batman was take the core roots of that IP and manifest that inside the walls of Gotham City and delivered an interactive experience that had real ties to what you would see in the films and what you had read in the comics, while having its own life because it could provide such deep and more immersive storylines. When we look at the Star Wars properties that’s how we’re looking at it. We’re not trying to build a game that replicates the storyline of any particular film.”
Considering Rocksteady’s Arkham games, especially Batman: Arkham City, are some of the best adaptations around, it’s a smart move on EA’s part to cite them as an influence. In fact, the idea of exploring the Star Wars universe free of pre-existing source material is an equally exciting idea, and calls to mind Star Wars 1313. But unfortunately that title was lost during the licensing deal.
Since we have yet to see a single live frame from any of these games, it’s hard to actually understand what EA means when they say “Arkham-ing” the Star Wars property. Aside from DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront we have no clue as to what the other studios are working on for that matter. However, with E3 2014 right around the corner that could soon change.
Do you think an Arkham-like approach to Star Wars is the right way to go for Electronic Arts? Were you hoping there might be some tie-in games for existing storylines?