Looks like Star Wars Angry Birds is getting a prequel…
The game is being developed by DICE and will use the Frostbite 3 engine. Platform details and release date are TBA.
(Video embed timing out on you? Here’s the direct link.)
Start your theories, people who care that Lucasfilm registered a bunch of domain names! Fusible was first to notice.
The domains include starwarsrebels.com, starwarsalliance.com, order67.net, wookieehunters.com, starwarswolfpack.com, and wolfpackadventures.net. (Wolfpack, if anyone is wondering, is a clone trooper squad that gained a good bit of traction among Clone Wars fans.)
An extraordinary amount of comment seems to focus on gunganfrontier2.com, gunganfrontier3.com and gunganfrontier4.com, which could mean sequels to a 1999 learning game or just someone at LFL being a hilarious troll.
In any case, the tendency with these domain things is to assume they’re video games, so consider the speculation floor open.
StarWars.com just announced that Electronic Arts has locked up a multiyear licensing agreement with Lucasfilm and Disney Interactive to be the exclusive developer of Star Wars titles for the main gaming markets: console, PC, tablet & mobile. While not stating exactly how long the license will last, EA (which includes Bioware, producer of the popular Knights of the Old Republic game and The Old Republic MMO, as well as other EA studios like DICE and Visceral) will pretty much be the only game in town for Star Wars titles, with the exception for some casual games from Disney Interactive.
“Our number one objective was to find a developer who could consistently deliver our fans great Star Wars games for years to come,” said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm. “When we looked at the talent of the teams that EA was committing to our games and the quality of their vision for Star Wars, the choice was clear.”
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come,” said John Pleasants, co-president of Disney Interactive. “Collaborating with one of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to fans around the world.”
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” said EA Labels President Frank Gibeau. “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”
Or check out the full press release on EA’s site. With LucasArts downgraded from a game development company into a game licensing company last month, it looks like all eyes will be on EA’s stable of development studios for keeping Star Wars alive in the video game industry.
Over the past couple weeks, we’ve said goodbye to a few, mocked more, and, well, went a tiny bit overboard with the dramatics. Just another week in Star Wars fandom…
With the official word that Lucasfilm’s video game division, LucasArts, was being effectively shut down this week, there’s been a lot of reminiscing of the great titles that LucasArts had developed and some investigation for why the closing happened, and the search for a silver lining.
With the company’s re-alignment to solely focus on licensing Lucasfilm’s intellectual property to outside game developers, in-house game development has been shut down, finally cancelling Star Wars: 1313 and First Assault games. (See our guest column from Paul Ens suggesting that Dark Horse could turn these game projects into graphic novels.) I’ve rounded up some of the views on the closure, with a look at LucasArts’ recent history, and some tributes to the game company that started in 1982 and the people who worked there, as well as my own nostalgic look at some of the games that were part of my life.
Wednesday, it was announced that Disney is closing down LucasArts, the video game division of Lucasfilm. This news did not come as a surprise to me, nor likely to many who follow the storied company closely. In the process, an estimated 150 employees have been laid off, including friends and former colleagues of mine. To they who worked very hard everyday to bring interactive Star Wars entertainment to the fans, we wish the best of luck.
Like every aspect of Star Wars fandom, the pros and cons of this move will be hotly discussed and contested among fans, and perhaps I will join you when the wound has healed somewhat.
Meanwhile, for those who lament that they will never see cancelled LucasArts projects Star Wars: 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault, might I suggest that you may one day have a rescuer in Dark Horse Comics?
Kotaku reported and GameInformer confirmed with Lucasfilm that the company is in the process of shutting down LucasArts. Kotaku says that 150 have been laid off and both Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 have been canceled. Variety is reporting that the layoffs are spilling over to Industrial Light & Magic as well.
Here’s part of the official statement:
“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”
This has expected for a while, and there was plenty of speculation that LucasArts was headed for the bin even before Disney was in the picture.
Ron Gilbert, creator and co-creater of several of the company’s most iconic games, says goodbye to Lucasfilm Games.
Unlike the ending of Clone Wars, reports of a possible LucasArts shutdown in the works are anything but surprising. While Kotaku’s report on the future of 1313 was mostly based on sources, the absence of the game – perhaps LucasArt’s hottest upcoming property – from any recent industry events is rather telling.
This week, another report from GamesIndustry International has been making the rounds. LucasArts told them that the speculation of a shutdown is “one hundred percent not true” and that “everything is moving ahead.”
Ex-employees are less optimistic, echoing much of what you’ll hear from gamers themselves these days:
The studio’s performance in recent years has not impressed former LucasArts employees. One ex-LucasArts employee had this to say: “The ‘business’ has been on life-support since the Star Wars license and subsequent development for their best title went to Bioware/EA. I’m frankly amazed that they’ve stayed in business this long. No stomach for truly original product, and slender means to produce their previous cash cows – Indy and Star Wars.”
More info has been leaking out about Star Wars: First Assault, a multiplayer shooter that was likely a predecessor to Battlefront III, but is now in possible limbo, much like 1313.
First spotted last October, though never officially announced, the game was meant to prove there was a market for a new Star Wars shooter, and be the engine for a potential Battlefront III according to Kotaku earlier this week, though the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm seems to have put its release into question.
Now Kotaku has some additional screenshots of Cloud City and Tatooine, and also some video, including some gameplay footage and a promo teaser, made back in last part of 2012.
Are these leaks intentional to gauge potential interest in such a product? Or is this another glimpse at stuff that could have been…