With EA’s Star Wars exclusivity deal about to expire next year, the publisher has finally announced a barrage of new games inspired by a galaxy far, far away. In addition to confirming that Respawn Entertainment has a sequel to 2019's excellent Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in the works, EA announced today the Apex Legends-maker has two other Star Wars projects in development.
In addition to Jedi: Fallen Order 2, these new games include a first-person shooter led by Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond director Peter Hirschmann, and a strategy game led by former XCOM art director Greg Foertsch, whose new studio Bit Reactor will be collaborating with Respawn. EA notes that Hirschmann was a producer on the original Battlefront series, but it sounds like the upcoming FPS will be a new Star Wars game, rather than a successor to the latest incarnation of the series made by Battlefield studio DICE.
The post announcing the new games doubles as a hiring pitch during a time of unprecedented competition for development talent, but it sounds like Jedi: Fallen Order 2 is nearly done, with former Kotaku editor Jason Schreier reporting it could be out by as soon as the end of the year.
The new projects arrive as EA’s previous 10-year exclusivity deal with Lucasfilm is set to expire in 2023. In the meantime, competitors Ubisoft and Quantic Dream have announced their own ambitious new Star Wars games.
It was a troubled decade of licensed games for the Madden publisher to say the least, with almost as many games cancelled as were released. Meanwhile, those that did come out weren’t without controversy. Star Wars: Battlefront II infamously became ground zero for the debate over pay-to-win loot boxes, even drawing scrutiny from Congress, and eventually pushing the entire industry away from the exploitative mechanic.
One of the bright spots, however, was Jedi: Fallen Order, a straight-forward action adventure with Metroidvania elements and Dark Souls-lite combat. It’s not surprising, then, that following the game’s critical and financial success, EA has decided to dump all of its Star Wars eggs into the Respawn basket.
Hopefully, the basket doesn’t burst. Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella, who will be overseeing EA’s Star Wars projects, was also recently made the defacto head of Battlefield following the disastrous launch of last year’s Battlefield 2042.