UPDATE (01/13/2021): It has now been confirmed that EA’s exclusivity deal for the Star Wars Read more herelicense has concluded, following the announcement of an upcoming Ubisoft game. .
ORIGINAL STORY: Lucasfilm Games has been unveiled, with the newly titled division set to represent an “exciting new era of storytelling” for Star Wars games. This includes a variety of existing and upcoming games set in the sci-fi universe, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. But the absence of EA from its announcement message has got people wondering if the publisher has lost the license produce games in the galaxy far, far away.
Has EA lost the Star Wars license?
Disney cut a deal with EA in 2013, granting the game publisher exclusivity rights to publish Star Wars games. This ten-year deal expires in 2023, meaning that Disney will be free to explore its options and publish its games elsewhere. EA hasn’t lost the Star Wars license just yet, but this new announcement suggests that Disney will be looking elsewhere when this deal is up.
EA hasn’t had a stellar track record with the license so far. Though Star Wars Battlefront 2 eventually turned it around, it suffered from one of the most controversial launches in video game history, while the publisher has also reportedly canceled three major Star Wars projects during its tenure.
This could mean that Disney is looking elsewhere, with Lucasfilm Games perhaps the first indicator that EA and Star Wars‘ partnership will come to an end. In a statement published to the official Star Wars site, it was revealed that Lucasfilm Games will be “developed in collaboration with the finest studios across the industry.” EA was not mentioned, highlighting that these games will likely be handled by other studios that aren’t under the publisher’s umbrella.
So what could be next for the Star Wars license? With Lucasfilm Games broadening Disney’s horizons in the gaming industry, it could be that a full shift away from EA-published games is planned. However, it’s unclear how this will affect EA’s current contract with Disney, and if Star Wars games published by EA until 2023 will also appear under the Lucasfilm Games banner. This could include the rumored Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2.
Despite this confusion, EA’s Star Wars games were still featured in Lucasfilm Games’ sizzle reel, with the statement saying that this celebrating “the history of games from Lucasfilm.” Could this mean that the future will hold something very different than what we’ve seen over these past 10 years?