A long, long time ago in a–actually, no, we can’t do that, it’s played out. Last year Star Wars was sold to Disney, and the house of mouse recently up and closed the company’s gaming division. After months of uncertainty, we finally know what the future of the Star Wars brand’s gaming arm looks like: Electronic Arts. EA signed an exclusive deal with Disney, securing the rights to make future Star Wars games.
Alright, put down your lightsabers and pitchforks, we know you’re upset. But you shouldn’t be! EA isn’t sticking C-level studios on Star Wars projects, it’s pulling out the big guns. BioWare, Visceral, and DICE are already working on Star Wars games. We have ideas for what developers we want on what, to help show that the Force might be strong in this one.
DICE – Star Wars: Battlefront
Few developers have as impressive a pedigree in the shooter space as DICE, especially when it comes to massive, vehicle-based multiplayer battles. You know, like the kind that made the Star Wars: Battlefront games so popular. Shame, then, that there doesn’t appear to be a Battlefront game in development. If only there was a way to solve this problem…
In other words, just let DICE make the next Battlefront already! While the past few years have been bad to the last-gen franchise, the time is right to put a AAA developer on the project to make it happen. DICE’s attention is on Battlefield 4 right now, but in a few months that game will be sent out the door, giving the developer all the time it needs to bring the large-scale battles of the Star Wars universe to life.
BioWare – Star Wars Episode VII-era RPG
Hey, here’s a thought: LucasArts should ask BioWare to make a Star Wars game! A bold and shocking prediction–you don’t need to tell us. We kid, we kid. It’s highly likely that BioWare’s history with the Star Wars franchise is what brought Disney and EA to this deal. After all, EA’s RPG magnate has put in extensive work on the franchise already, what with the inimitable Knights of the Old Republic and its kind-of-just-there MMO follow-up, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The implications here are almost too obvious to speak aloud. Following on from the fine work its done on the Mass Effect franchise, BioWare Edmonton (Edmonton!, mind you) should staff up for a gaming space opera to match the upcoming Star Wars movies, the first of which is due for release in 2015. Sure, they could just go back to the KotOR well, but we think a Western-style RPG set in the same era as the new movies would be a much better use of the studio’s time. Space… Wookies… this game writes itself.
Visceral – Star Wars 1313
Star Wars fans the world over were saddened to hear about the closure of LucasArts, especially because Star Wars 1313 looked like the M-rated Boba Fett adventure fans had wanted since 1980. When the company closed, many scoffed at any company resuming development on the game, but the fast turnaround of EA’s exclusive deal changes a lot of things. EA could continue the project by passing it on to the internal team that knows how deadly space can be, Visceral.
Visceral is known for violence and mature storytelling within the sci-fi genre–all the qualities 1313 needs to succeed. Additionally, Visceral has some of the best dismemberment effects in the business, and Star Wars is hardly a stranger to hacking off limbs. Lastly, imagine Visceral’s expert sound design meshed with John Williams beautiful score.
Criterion – Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Star Wars has a long history of impressive vehicular combat, from the original TIE Fighter to the (relatively) more recent Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader. Since then, though, the genre has been otherwise unoccupied. Let’s bring it back, and let’s put the developer of Burnout on the project.
Criterion has already proved itself wholly capable of handling vehicular combat with some of the more aggressive modes in its past games, and we’d like that same physical approach to vehicles in a new Rogue Squadron game. Sure, we’d want the ability to shoot foes out of the sky, but smashing them into pieces with brute force would be cool, too!
Danger Close – Star Wars: Republic Commando
Danger Close has made some mistakes. The first Medal of Honor was an earnest attempt at merging the fun of a Call of Duty game with the “authenticity” of the actual armed forces. The sequel? Not so much. It fell short, and proved that Danger Close isn’t really ready to go toe-to-toe with Activision’s Call of Duty games.
Screw it–kill Medal of Honor, and move Danger Close onto a franchise that desperately needs a new game: Republic Commando. The first was a fun, solid shooter, and we find the lack of a sequel disturbing. Taking the world of Star Wars and applying the same focus on authenticity that Danger Close is known for could be an absolute triumph–and even if it isn’t, we’d still get to play as Clone Troopers killing Wookies, so, you know, whatever.
Maxis – Sim Deathstar
The Sims is the most engrossing dollhouse of the modern era, and if there’s one thing Star Wars fans enjoy, it’s playing with their action figures. But why observe your characters in something as limiting as a moisture farm on Tatooine or some Wookie’s tree house on Kashyyyk when you could build the ultimate hidden fortress? That’s right: We want a living, breathing Death Star.
You would play as one of a dozen types of imperial officers, working your way up to Admiral; or a Dewback-riding Storm Trooper; or even the guy that repairs those little car droids. You’d continue to work in famous Death Star locales and observe your crew members while they built up their personal living quarters. The only difference with The Sims is that there’d be an endgame. Once the Death Star was fully armed and operational, you’d have to choose between doing your job or taking the next Star Destroyer out of town.
EA Victory Games – Star Wars: Empire at War
What, you haven’t heard of EA Victory Games? Have you been living under a rock? HA! Just kidding, they haven’t actually shipped a game yet, so we don’t blame you for your ignorance. Founded in 2010 as BioWare Victory (before being given their own name), the studio is currently working on the upcoming reboot of Command & Conquer. Once that’s done we know what their next project should be: Star Wars: Empire at War.
Star Wars’ many vehicles and unit types makes it work perfectly as an RTS, and if C&C doesn’t suck, Victory would be the perfect studio for the job. We’d love to see Empire at War blown out to be a massive, StarCraft II-sized RTS, with a story that sheds more light on the new Star Wars universe.
EA Tiburon – Star Wars fighting game
We apologize in advance, because we’re about to undo years of therapy when we say that fateful name–Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi. Yes, the 1997 one-on-one fighter was atrocious, positing that lightsabers could, in fact, be blocked by someone’s bare hands. To call this a Soul Calibur rip-off or a Star Wars cash-in does a disservice to both franchises, and after being slammed by critics, the concept faded into nothingness like a vision of Ben Kenobi during a snowstorm.
But as with all Jedi, there is the possibility for life after death. EA Tiburon knows a thing or two about fighting games that exist outside the hardcore community, having worked on titles like EA Sports MMA and… that’s pretty much it. On second thought, better to leave this one dead, guys. Trying to adapt a fist-fighting engine to accommodate blaster and lightsaber combat is just asking for another trip to the most horrid recesses of the Dark Side.
Do or do not, there is no DLC
And, honestly, nothing EA does to Star Wars could be worse than Super Bombad Racing. Remember that hunk of junk? Look at that image above. Seriously. Just look at it. What games do you want to see out of this deal?
And if you’re looking for more, check out 9 Disney/LucasArts crossovers that need to happen and Star Wars games we want to see.
Original story: DICE and Visceral will create new Star Wars games as part of a deal between Electronic Arts and Disney. The two companies today announced a multi-year arrangement for the exclusive license to make Star Wars games for a “core gaming audience.”
The projects will span platforms and genres, with Disney retaining rights to mobile, social, and certain online categories. Star Wars: The Old Republic is already an active collaboration between the two companies, and EA Labels President Frank Gibeau said gamers can expect plenty more.
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” Gibeau said in a press release. “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 news follows a month after Disney shuttered LucasArts, when it made clear its intentions to contract out game development for the beloved sci-fi series.
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come,” Disney Interactive co-president John Pleasants said. “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.”