EA gets exclusive multiyear Lucasfilm license for Star Wars gaming

EA-LogoStarWars.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.

11 thoughts on “EA gets exclusive multiyear Lucasfilm license for Star Wars gaming

  1. MattDoc

    I’m actually most excited about mobile here. The lack of good Star Wars games for tablets has been frustrating (and no, Angry Birds doesn’t count).

    Reply
  2. Lane

    Visceral, Dice, and Bioware. Okay folks, you can’t question Disney and LFL’s commitment to AAA hardcore Star Wars games now.

    Reply
  3. Lane

    There really are only two publishing houses that have enough financial and creative firepower to handle the Star Wars IP: Eelectronic Arts and Activision. Gamers tend to irrationally hate both publishers, so pick your poison.

    For my money, of the two feasible options, Electronic Arts has DICE, Visceral, and Bioware. So for me it’s a no-brainer who I’d prefer.

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  4. jawajames Post author

    with the talk of ‘exclusive’ – i wonder how this affects the existing licenses for Star Wars branded games that aren’t set in-universe:
    *Zen Studios’ Star Wars Pinball
    *Rovio’s Star Wars Angry Birds
    *TT Games, maker of the LEGO Star Wars games.

    Reply
  5. Jason Ward

    I wondered the same. Zen Pinball is my favorite right now.

    I have to imagine those with standing deals will get to finish their contracts. Zen is supposed to make 11 pinball tables total. At the same time, it makes sense that Zen would do the Pinball games because no one does it better and no one really competes with them in their league. It would almost be like someone copying Angry Birds, it just won’t be as solid.

    All in all, if there are no bad ramifications from this deal, I feel ambivalent. EA makes good games and bad games. That will be the future of Star Wars games, same as it always way. Good games and bad games.

    I would imagine the deal is fairly favorable to Lucasarts as a licensing division now and that will hopefully motivate EA to not make clunkers and operate at a loss.

    I have to imagine this deal will pertain to “next gen” games for the most part. It seems like most games they would start making now will not be ready until that point, unless they pick up what was already started with stuff like Battlefront 3 (which I doubt).

    SWTOR was actually really good as a game for the most part. I did not like their writers that much. I also found that while they gave us a exorbitant amount of content, story-wise, it ended up being repetitious rather fast. The first acts were awesome. The second acts were weaker. The third acts were almost a joke. It isn’t cool when you play 60 hours in a game only to have your characters naked for the final cinema, especially after the last part of the story was clearly not developed because of a release date and it being end game content which they hoped to fix before too many people got to that point.

    I’m not really that into “cinematic” games because they just don’t end up being good cinema. Hopefully they go for a more straight RPG or action approach on these new titles they will develop.

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  6. Dom

    I worry anytime a company gets an “exclusive contract.” Monopolies tend to discourage innovation and competition. I’m particularly worried because now this seems to mean Oblivion won’t get a shot at making another SW game. I hope Disney knows what it’s doing.

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  7. SarahK

    Too bad Square-Enix didn’t get it. They’re so much more admirable than EA for the character and lack of hubris in their leadership, their concern for the customer and not just the stockholder, and they make some awesome, beautiful games. As for Evil Arts…I guess, I’ll be on a a SW game fast for the foreseeable future. :\

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  8. Lane

    Given the financial trouble Square-Enix is having these days and the issues they’ve had getting games out the door in remotely acceptable timeframes, I’m happy they didn’t get it. The only studio they own I’d trust Star Wars with is Edios, and I don’t think they’ve got enough firepower to handle it.

    It was always going to come down to an exclusive agreement with Lucasfilm and Disney, so it was going to have to go to a studio with a lot of resources. Only two of those exist, and only one of them has development subsidiaries like Bioware, DICE, and Visceral Games. EA was a no-brainer.

    Reply
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