As most Star Wars fans are aware, 2015 is shaping up to be the year their favorite franchise comes back in a big way. Not to say that Star Wars hasn’t always been popular, but it isn’t every year that you get a release like Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens.
Star Wars’ rejuvenation isn’t just relegated to movies and TV either, but Star Wars video games are on the rise as well. Like with the movie franchises, 2015 is the tip of the iceberg and the future looks brighter than it’s ever been.
So, what does the future of Star Wars video games look like? Let’s take a look at what we know.
Star Wars Battlefront
No question, Star Wars Battlefront is one of the biggest releases of the year. Yes, it’s from the same guys who do Battlefield and it’s published by Electronic Arts (like most all future Star Wars games), but the property is strong enough on its own merits that enthusiasm is still high.
At E3 2013, when EA confirmed that DICE was working on Star Wars Battlefront it almost seemed like a no-brainer. Of course the people who do Battlefield would take on Battlefront.
Then, Electronic Arts talked more about the game and some of that enthusiasm waned. The lack of space battles has been a particularly strong sticking point for Star Wars Battlefront criticism, along with the limited map selection. However, from a visuals standpoint, DICE seems to have a strong understanding of what makes Battlefront unique. Or rather, we’re assuming that because we haven’t technically seen any gameplay.
But, as we mention, Star Wars Battlefront is only the first known quantity in an exciting future video game slate.
Visceral Games & Amy Hennig
Although we know practically nothing about Visceral Games’ Star Wars game, we do know it’s in development. And chances are it is the next in line for release after Star Wars Battlefront hits on November 17th. We’d be inclined to say the game is tabbed for a 2016 release, but since nothing has been shown it’s hard to imagine the game being ready in time.
However, even though we know very little, Visceral’s project is already generating a ton of buzz because of its staff. With Uncharted Creative Director Amy Hennig on-board as director, Visceral’s untitled Star Wars game should weave a compelling story mixed with incredible action set pieces. Basically, we wouldn’t be surprised to see something like Star Wars 1313 from the developer, as that game was basically Star Wars Uncharted.
At the same time, it’s worth looking at the 2016 Star Wars film release, Star Wars Rogue One, as another possible branching point. Fans have been clamoring for years for a new Star Wars Rogue Squadron and Tie-Fighter, to the point it almost seems like EA has to acquiesce. Could that be what Visceral is working on?
It would be interesting to see how a writer as talented as Hennig takes to the idea of a Rebel pilot (or maybe even a Tie-Fighter pilot) but that’s mostly wishful thinking. Visceral’s project is arguably the most uncertain of the bunch, but there’s no question it has the strongest talent behind it.
BioWare’s Star Wars Game
Knights of the Old Republic 3. That’s all fans want to hear when they think of BioWare working on a Star Wars game. But, as the developer has said previously, The Old Republic was intended to fill that void and essentially act as KOTOR 3-9.
Still, most would argue that The Old Republic was a far cry from Knights of the Old Republic and they still want to see KOTOR 3. And if Electronic Arts were smart they’d try their best to push BioWare in that direction.
Even if they don’t deliver Knights of the Old Republic 3, though, BioWare is definitely working on something for Star Wars. Out of the three major Electronic Arts publishers they are one with the most prior connection to Star Wars, but because they are jam-packed with current projects (Mass Effect 4, the untitled IP Casey Hudson was working on) this one is probably the furthest off.
Still, with BioWare working behind the scenes there’s no way Star Wars fans can’t at least keep a casual eye on the developer. But seriously, make Knights of the Old Republic 3.
The Star Wars Unknown
Star Wars Battlefront, Visceral’s game, and BioWare’s game are seemingly only just the tip of the iceberg. Electronic Arts was a little overly ambitious when they first acquired the Star Wars license announcing developers and projects that were barely off the ground, but now they have had time to get everything situated. Chances are there are more than just these three games in development, but right now EA wants to keep the focus on the known quantities.
We also know that Disney retained the rights to develop certain Star Wars games, including those for mobile platforms. We doubt they’d release anything to compete with EA’s products, but more family-friendly far seems pretty likely. There’s also no doubt in our mind that Disney Infinity Star Wars is in development; it’s just the next logical step after Disney Infinity 2.0.
In other words, there’s a lot to look forward to on the Star Wars video game horizon. Some more tangible stuff is coming soon, while other, more mysterious projects are likely planning out their marketing schedules. Perhaps at Electronic Arts’ E3 2015 press conference we will hear more about those new Star Wars games.
What upcoming Star Wars game are you most excited for?