On May 6, Electronic Arts and Disney announced an exclusive deal that will see EA and its subsidiaries produce and publish all major mainstream Star Wars titles for the foreseeable future, and of course this evoked a bit of a reaction from the internet. The “Worst Company in America” will be taking control of one of the most beloved franchises in modern culture, and internet trolls everywhere came out in angry droves with torches and pitchforks looking for blood.
Take a deep breath and think about the situation for a minute, there is good reason to be cautiously optimistic about EA taking over this thing we all love. Take a look at the development houses that EA has on hand that will be handling the production of games:
Dice: Makers of the second largest FPS in the world, these guys will have the resources and know how to produce a killer revamp of Battlefront as long as they can get someone who can write a story that does the license justice. Also EA owned Pandemic Games before shuttering the studio in 2009, which means EA has to have the assets and art on hand to use as a base to keep this series going forward.
Bioware: Before Mass Effect and Dragon Age there was Knights of the Old Republic a ground breaking RPG that revolutionized the Star Wars universe. A faceless hero who turned out to be Darth Revan the scourge of the galaxy injected into Star Wars a new life that spawned countless books, stories and the most expensive MMO ever made. With EA taking over hopefully a new single player RPG will see the light of day.
Visceral: While Visceral studios catalog can prove to be hit (Dead Space 1 & 2, LOTR: Return of the King) or miss (Dante’s Inferno, Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel) they can defiantly make interesting games, especially third person action games, and with EA announcing Dead Space 3 to be a sales “failure”, the currently defunct Star Wars 1313 could be resurrected and have a top tier team show off their creative force. The Force Unleashed could also be a title that might be worth breathing new life into.
Other possible ideas:
-EA has been responsible for the Command and Conquer series and Star Wars with its two large military factions constantly at war would be prime real estate for an RTS.
- Criterion creative director Alex Ward said his studio is taking a break from racing games, but what if they stay in the business of vehicle based game play and try their hand at a new space combat, a New X-Wing/Tie Fighter or Rogue Squadron.
I for one am excited to see EA take over Star Wars and to see what can be done with a rich and intricate universe. As long as we don’t see another Masters of Teras Kasi, EA could be the company to make Star Wars games worth playing and actually recognized as legitimately good games, not just good licensed games.