Earlier this year, Electronic Arts hit pay dirt when the signed a deal with Disney to publish and develop games based around the Star Wars franchise. It was an unexpected licensing deal – not unlike the same one Disney signed to acquire LucasFilm – but one that made sense if Disney wanted to keep the franchise under one house.
At the same time, there were questions as to how Electronic Arts planned to use the Star Wars license – what types of games they might develop, how they might tie-in to the pre-existing universe? We know now a little more about Electronic Arts’ plans, but a recent Q&A session with EA’s Blake Jorgensen has revealed more.
According to Jorgensen, when EA inked the deal with Disney it was only a 10-year agreement. After that, EA presumably has first dibs at re-upping, but Disney will also be able to shop the Star Wars license around.
“We struck what we believe is a fantastic deal which allows us to be able to build games in many different genres across multiple types of platforms over 10 years.”
Additionally, Jorgensen revealed that Electronic Arts doesn’t plan on creating games that will directly tie-in with Star Wars: Episode 7, the forthcoming JJ Abrams blockbuster. And if that film is a success (if?!), EA won’t be interested in tie-ins for those future films either.
That being said, Electronic Arts is not averse to borrowing some elements from previously released and upcoming Star Wars films if it fits the needs of a game. So, if Episode 7 introduces some planet, character, idea that Electronic Arts likes, they might use it in a future game. Thankfully, they will not be making tie-in games.
“The beauty of the Star Wars franchise is that it’s so broad and so deep, you don’t have to do a movie game, you can do a game that’s very focused on the world that’s been created around Star Wars.”
The fact that EA hit the ground running with the Star Wars franchise in tow makes much more sense now that we know the licensing deal is for 10 years. The publisher put several studios (DICE, Visceral Games, BioWare) to work even before the deal was finalized presumably in the hopes of getting product onto store shelves in 2015 (when Episode 7 hits theaters) and in 2016.
As far as what each studio is working on, we only know that DICE is busy with Star Wars: Battlefront, but everything else is a mystery. The good news, though, is that whatever BioWare and Visceral Games are working on is not a tie-in game.
How do you feel about Electronic Arts taking over Star Wars game development knowing now that it’s only for 10 years? If they deliver quality games would you like to see them continue?
Source: Seeking Alpha