In May 2013, Disney licensed the rights to make Star Wars video games to Electronic Arts, and the company immediately assigned projects based on the franchise to some of its top studios. However, rumors are circulating that Disney is not happy with how Electronic Arts has handled the Star Wars license, and may license the brand out to some of the company’s competitors, particularly Activision and Ubisoft.
This rumor stems from Cinelinx, which cites sources close to the matter. According to Cinelinx, Disney held a meeting with EA executives to discuss what is going wrong with Star Wars video games, and also reached out to Activision and Ubisoft to see if they would be interested in the license. Apparently there is a clause in the licensing agreement between Disney and EA that would allow Disney to back out of the deal if it fails to meet certain standards.
Disgruntled Star Wars fans that are angry with the way Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been handled may be excited to see Disney potentially pull the Star Wars license from EA, but it’s worth pointing out that Cinelinx hasn’t provided any evidence to back up its claims. Until they hear something official from Disney or EA, fans should take this news with a massive grain of salt.
If Disney did pull the Star Wars license from EA, it could be very problematic for the games publisher. After all, EA has already invested significant time and money into a Star Wars game project that was in development at the now-defunct Visceral Games before it was sent to EA Vancouver. Disney pulling the Star Wars license could potentially result in that project being canceled long before it even has a chance to finish development, in turn costing EA a lot of money.
Disney pulling the Star Wars license from EA could be devastating, but it would be hard to fault Disney for making such a move. Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s ongoing loot box controversy has painted the Star Wars video game brand in a negative light, and has even resulted in anti-loot box legislation being introduced in various governments around the world. Furthermore, there were even rumblings that Disney is the one who pushed EA to remove microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront 2 in the first place, so there is already some evidence that Disney is unhappy with EA.
Of course, it’s possible that Disney is satisfied with how EA has handled the Star Wars video game license, and may have no plans to pull the license any time soon. Ultimately, fans should take this news as nothing more than a rumor until EA or Disney make an announcement.