Star Wars and EA…The Saga Begins?
Mark Gonzales / May 17th, 2013 2 Comments
Star Wars and Electronic Arts. A beloved franchise and a publisher in turmoil. It is an unlikely union to say the least. As it happens they will both need each other in the coming years. Star Wars is going to be revived and reinvigorated in a way never before seen. Memories of fan favorite Jar Jar Binks and the prequel trilogy will be a distant memory now that Disney has picked up Lucasfilm and plan to release new movies in the saga. EA, on the other hand, is going through a round of lay offs and putting titles on hiatus (I.E. Deadspace), along with a disastrous public relations mess in SimCity. With regards to all the recent events, it is surprising that EA was able to make the power play to acquire a potentially lucrative deal in Star Wars. Lucky for them though. How this next round of Star Wars film business goes will define their ability to cash in on the license.
The Movies Have to be Good
This can be looked as a positive or a negative. With Disney allowing EA to control the core game experience of the Star Wars games, the idea of how a Star Wars game will be played or anticipated will all be on EA. This is good since other than the casual games being produced from Disney’s own studio, gamers will (hopefully) not be inundated with a relentless stream of Star Wars titles just because it has the Star Wars logo. If there is one thing that EA does well, it is that their current star line up of titles are well known and anticipated. Battlefield and Crysis are solid games that command a presence in the community. If EA is able to shape and mold the new Star Wars games in the same way, the new games will definitely receive the attention and polish they deserve while being a hotly anticipated title for the foreseeable future.
What Can We Expect?
It goes without saying that the developer and game studio that picks up the Star Wars games will determine the outcome of the game style and type. EA Labels President Frank Gibeau stated that Visceral Games, DICE and BioWare will be responsible for all Star Wars games moving forward. While many gamers may drool at the thought of a continuation of the Knights Of The Old Republic saga, that may not be the case as BioWare is already entrenched in their current MMO, The Old Republic, and key characters in the story exist there. However, they have a lot of experience with story telling and dialogue in Star Wars and should be the studio when it comes to determining how those pieces should fit together.
With DICE and Visceral Games in the mix, there can be little doubt that the game will utilize the newest Frostbite engine from the Battlefield franchise and the game will be absolutely gorgeous. If EA decides to use Visceral Games to determine the gameplay, Dead Space will obviously not be the desired pace for a Star Wars game. Rather, looking at the action game Dante’s Inferno (read God of War) released in 2010 might be the direction that Visceral can be take to better capture the feel of the universe. There is no real negative with this type of game. Lightsabers are visioned as baddie eviscerating tools and defeating loads of henchmen in style with a Lightsaber can be immensely satisfying. Hopefully, Visceral Games improves upon that by providing rewarding gameplay mixed with customization and variety as well.
The Abridged Wish List
There will long wait until details of the next Star Wars games come to fruition. And even longer before an actual release. Rumors even alluded that there will be no 2014 titles at all. Now this is a good thing, for starters, there will be no rushed games just to cash in on their new IP. Taking everything into account, the Frankenstein Star Wars game that will come out of EA will take the storytelling from BioWare, the beauty from DICE and possibly hack and slash gameplay from Visceral Games. Of course, one of those studios might decide to shoulder the entire burden of the Star Wars games, but this pseudo hybrid doesn’t look so bad at this point. If that doesn’t jive, feel free to create another Star Wars: Battlefront. That will satisfy everyone.
Star Wars holds a special place in many gamers’ hearts. So much so, that despite the prequels, the never ending list of characters and downright questionable titles. Every time the roar of the Lightsaber is unleashed or the sight of a Jedi in his robes is teased, it’s impossible not to stand at attention and unleash that childish glee in anticipation for some good ole’ Star Wars action. EA has the prize winning horse in their stables since acquiring the game rights, and with Disney rumored to have yearly releases of Star Wars movies there will be unlimited potential for EA to cash in. There is a tremendous amount of pressure and expectation. Not just from Star Wars fans, but also from themselves. Make it happen EA, prove you can do better.
tags: bioware , DICE , Disney , ea , opinion , star wars , star wars games , Visceral Games