A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Disney bought the rights to the Star Wars franchise. Gone were the days of there only being one bad Star Wars movie. But a terrible trilogy of films wasn’t the only thing Disney did. When Disney acquired Star Wars, they obtained the rights to everything. They owned the film, tv, comic book, and video game rights as well. They canceled tv shows, comic books, and some games that were in development. On January 13th, LucasFilm unveiled its newly formed LucasFilm Games division. Along with the announcement of LucasFilm Games, Bethesda would be developing an Indiana Jones game. The next day, LucasFilm Games then announced a collaboration with Ubisoft on an open-world Star Wars game.
Why Is LucasFilm Games a Big Deal?
While all avenues of Star Wars entertainment took a hit when Disney bought the property, video games got the worst deal. LucasFilm had a video game subsidiary called LucasArts. LucasArts was responsible for all Star Wars games released between 1993 and 2013. Disney decided to shut down LucasArts and let Electronic Arts (EA) make Star Wars games. LucasFilm Games will allow fans to get games from not only EA but from other developers. The creation of LucasFilm Games paves the way for more variety in our Star Wars games. Similarly, when LucasArts was still open, fans would get multiple Star Wars games a year from different developers. Maybe we’ll be able to get some new perspectives within the Star Wars universe now.
EA’s History of Star Wars
Disney made a deal with EA to make Star Wars games exclusively until 2023. When this deal was announced, it caused concerns due to EA’s business practices, but it was not until the release of Star Wars Battlefront, were gamers able to see how bad this deal was. The game didn’t feature a single-player campaign and lacked the game modes the original Star Wars Battlefront games included. Upon release, gamers were greeted with a slew of microtransactions and the addition of a season pass. While not all games with season passes are bad, Star Wars Battlefront made the season pass a must-have item to enjoy the game. It wouldn’t have been a problem if gamers hadn’t already bought a brand-new $60 game. Nevertheless, Star Wars Battlefront was a financial success, and EA decided to make a sequel.
When Star Wars Battlefront II was announced, gamers thought that EA had learned their lessons from the mistakes made in the first game. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Classic Star Wars characters such as Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia, were locked behind in-game credits. While unlocking characters through gameplay wasn’t a new concept, EA made these characters take an obscene amount of time to unlock. This led gamers to believe this was a way for EA to encourage microtransactions. Over time, EA fixed some of the issues Battlefront II had upon release. They listened to some of the criticisms and fixed the issues fans had about the game.
A New Hope from EA
EA’s time with Star Wars is not all bad. In November 2019, EA released their first single-player Star Wars title, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It was released to universal acclaim and was a commercial success. Fallen Order gave fans hope that EA may have gotten a handle on the Star Wars franchise, and there may be more successes to come. Fallen Order was not their only success either. In October of 2020, EA released Star Wars: Squadrons. It is a first-person space combat game and was also received very well. As of right now, three out of four EA Star Wars games are considered undeniable successes. But a series as large as Star Wars, deserves more than one developer to be making games within the universe.
Bethesda Presents… Indiana Jones?
The day same day as the announcement that LucasFilm had formed a game division, Bethesda announced their collaboration with them. They released a short teaser trailer that featured the iconic theme song, Jones’ hat, and the coveted whip. It is being developed by MachineGames. With the Wolfenstein series being under their belt, Indiana Jones is sure to be a game to watch out for.
Ubisoft Takes A Shot at Star Wars
The day after the Indiana Jones news, LucasFilm Games had another announcement. Massive Entertainment, the developer of Ubisoft’s The Division series, announced that they were making an open-world Star Wars game. They said it would be story-driven and bring a groundbreaking adventure. Ubisoft is well-known for what is now considered the “open-world” standard in video games. This partnership between LucasFilm Games and Ubisoft is sure to be a success as well.
What Does This All Mean?
Honestly, it doesn’t mean much more than players will be getting much more Star Wars games in the coming decade. EA had their alone time with Star Wars, but now is the time to give other developers a chance at making some great games. Only time will tell if these games will be great additions to the Star Wars universe or unnecessary cash grabs like the movie sequels.