Star Wars as a gaming property has been incredibly hit and miss over the years, with the last number of years being particularly rocky between cancelled games and the debacle that was the launch of Star Wars Battlefront II. That is not to say that there were not some good games in the mix, as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Squadrons, and even the later version of Battlefront II were really good. One of the things that people point at as being one of the reasons for these more recent troubles is the exclusivity deal that was made with EA to be the sole creator of Star Wars games for a period of years, which appears to be over rather abruptly.
This news came today with the reveal that the newly created Lucasfilm Games had partnered with Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment to create a new open world Star Wars game. This comes on the heels of the announcement that Bethesda and MachineGames were working with Lucasfilm Games to develop an Indiana Jones game too.
The exclusivity agreement between Disney and EA was signed back in 2013, only a few months after they had acquired the rights to Star Wars. While EA had by then acquired Bioware who had history with the franchise, this meant a lot of other interesting ideas from developers were scrapped as a result of this deal.
Perhaps the boiling point of this deal that eventually led to this exclusivity deal falling apart was the failure of a release that was Star Wars Battlefront II, which had Disney stepping in to force EA to fix many things. That game thankfully course corrected pretty nicely and has been followed by two games with few to none microtransactions that were well received. However, restricting Star Wars development to only studios within EA felt wrong with all the potential and growth of the franchise.
We are now seeing the Star Wars universe expand rapidly with all of the Disney + series coming, so it looks like Disney really values the property and sees a lot of potential in the gaming space. This exclusivity deal does not meant EA won’t be working on Star Wars anymore, as a sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is already said to be underway at Respawn Entertainment. All this means is that Lucasfilm Games can choose who they want to work with moving forward on an individual basis to find the right developer and publisher for each game. Hopefully this will bring us a lot more Star Wars games than we’ve seen in recent years with a lot less issues moving forward.