At this year’s E3, we’ve seen that the industry at large is taking notice of the enormous success Blizzard has enjoyed thanks to its collectible card battler Hearthstone. Following the announcement of The Elder Scrolls Legends on Sunday, now EA has joined the party with Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.
While Battlefront was the most attention grabbing piece of Star Wars content on show at EA’s conference, Galaxy of Heroes offers plenty to pique the interest of fans. The mobile title was described as a collectible card game RPG, which has prompted some speculation as to just how its gameplay will work.
We know that characters, items and spacecraft from the movies will all be represented as cards, which could well play into a structure very similar to that of Hearthstone. However, it remains to be seen whether EA Capital Games will produce something with as much depth as Blizzard’s hugely popular title.
In 2013, the studio released Heroes of Dragon Age, a party-based strategy game for smartphones and tablets. That game used wargaming-inspired digital miniatures to represent characters rather than cards, but otherwise it might give us a good preview of how Galaxy of Heroes will play.
It would be easy to write off a mobile card game as a mere cash-in, but Heroes of Dragon Age proved that EA Capital Games can adapt an existing property with the proper care and consideration. Moreover, it demonstrated that the team can use pre-existing characters and settings to complement satisfying gameplay.
Of course, the Star Wars universe offers all anyone could ever ask for in terms of characters and settings. Galaxy of Heroes will take advantage of the full breadth of this content, as we’ve already seen characters from both the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy featured in promotional materials.
Hooking players alongside the release of The Force Awakens later this year makes complete sense, as it will allow for the game to continually be updated with new content as new movies are released. Disney has plans to release one Star Wars movie a year for the foreseeable future, so there will be plenty of fresh ground for the game to cover.
However, the secret to a title like this becoming a hit relies on that all-important gameplay. There needs to be a reason for players to keep coming back, and that’s what EA Capital Games are likely hard at work perfecting. That being said, it’s difficult to imagine any game with the Star Wars license struggling to find an audience.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is expected to release later this year on mobile platforms.