The gaming giant behind everything from Madden to Battlefield to Need for Speed is now the gaming giant behind Star Wars too.
EA has secured an exclusive license to publish and develop Star Wars games, the company announced today. EA studios DICE (Battlefield) and Visceral (Dead Space) will both make new games in the popular sci-fi franchise, and BioWare (Star Wars: The Old Republic) will "continue" to work on Star Wars games.
EA will handle all games for the "core gaming audience," while Disney will continue milking the mobile, social, tablet, and online cash cow.
Last month, Disney shut down LucasArts, the development studio that had been working on "core" Star Wars games like Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault. Disney said they would license out the property to external developers and publishers.
Rumors swirling around LucasArts last month were that EA was buying the studio, along with the Star Wars IP. Those negotiations may have eventually led to this exclusive deal.
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come,” said Disney co-president John Pleasants in a statement. “Collaborating with one of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to our fans around the world.”
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” said EA Labels president Frank Gibeau in a statement. “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining the BioWare team which continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”
The EA-owned BioWare is the studio behind both the online game Star Wars: The Old Republic and what many consider to be the best Star Wars game ever, the RPG Knights of the Old Republic.
No word yet on whether EA will do anything with the two games LucasArts was developing before the shutdown, the Boba Fett-helmed action-adventure Star Wars 1313 and the multiplayer shooter Star Wars: First Assault. We asked EA about both games. The response: "We are not announcing any specific titles at this time."
If you're wondering about Indiana Jones or any other LucasFilm properties, by the way, wonder no more: according to an EA spokesperson, this agreement is for Star Wars only.
LucasFilm confirmed that. "Regarding the other titles, no titles are being announced at this time but we are considering all of our options," a LucasFilm spokesperson told Kotaku. "The deal with EA is for the Star Wars franchise only."