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EA Acquires Exclusive Rights to Star Wars - Shuts Down Visceral Games

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http://kotaku.com/ea-snags-exclusive-deal-to-make-star-wars-games-493178983

The gaming giant behind everything from Madden to Battlefield to Need for Speed is now the gaming giant behind Star Wars too.

EA has secured an exclusive license to publish and develop Star Wars games, the company announced today. EA studios DICE (Battlefield) and Visceral (Dead Space) will both make new games in the popular sci-fi franchise, and BioWare (Star Wars: The Old Republic) will "continue" to work on Star Wars games.

EA will handle all games for the "core gaming audience," while Disney will continue milking the mobile, social, tablet, and online cash cow.

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Disney has laid off the staff of LucasArts and cancelled all current projects.Read…

Last month, Disney shut down LucasArts, the development studio that had been working on "core" Star Wars games like Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault. Disney said they would license out the property to external developers and publishers.

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In November, just after purchasing LucasFilm, Disney CEO Bob Iger held a company-wide meeting.Read…

Rumors swirling around LucasArts last month were that EA was buying the studio, along with the Star Wars IP. Those negotiations may have eventually led to this exclusive deal.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come,” said Disney co-president John Pleasants in a statement. “Collaborating with one of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to our fans around the world.”

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“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” said EA Labels president Frank Gibeau in a statement. “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining the BioWare team which continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”

The EA-owned BioWare is the studio behind both the online game Star Wars: The Old Republic and what many consider to be the best Star Wars game ever, the RPG Knights of the Old Republic.

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We've learned a great deal about Star Wars 1313 over the past few months, and today we've … Read…

No word yet on whether EA will do anything with the two games LucasArts was developing before the shutdown, the Boba Fett-helmed action-adventure Star Wars 1313 and the multiplayer shooter Star Wars: First Assault. We asked EA about both games. The response: "We are not announcing any specific titles at this time."

If you're wondering about Indiana Jones or any other LucasFilm properties, by the way, wonder no more: according to an EA spokesperson, this agreement is for Star Wars only.

LucasFilm confirmed that. "Regarding the other titles, no titles are being announced at this time but we are considering all of our options," a LucasFilm spokesperson told Kotaku. "The deal with EA is for the Star Wars franchise only."

I get the feeling this is gonna piss people of for some reason.

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I wonder if this will be the EA / MS 'deal' megaton, exclusive Star Wars on the 720, which no-one will actually care about anymore because we haven't had a good Star Wars games for donkeys.

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I wonder if this will be the EA / MS 'deal' megaton, exclusive Star Wars on the 720, which no-one will actually care about anymore because we haven't had a good Star Wars games for donkeys.

Company I don't like gets exclusive licence to make games I have no interest in on a console I don't intend to buy. Excuse me if I don't lose too much sleep over this one.
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Company I don't like gets exclusive licence to make games I have no interest in on a console I don't intend to buy. Excuse me if I don't lose too much sleep over this one.

still posted though. Mmm? Afraid you are, fear leads to anger, anger leads to suffering...

  • Upvote 8

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I'm sure there are still people who buy consoles for Star Wars games, but I'd bet there's a lot less than there were ten years ago...

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I'm sure there are still people who buy consoles for Star Wars games, but I'd bet there's a lot less than there were ten years ago...

People will lose their shit when the new films come out though. Mental as it sounds, there is a generation of people in their early twenties right now who grew up thinking that the second trilogy was actually okay.

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Thinking back to license EA games of old... nothing stands out, bond, Lord of the rings, Harry potter no memorable games. I hear one of the gba lotr games is a half decent diablo clone mind you :P

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Balls, not buying EA games is going to be a struggle now. I assume we'll get PC versions even if they are Xbox exclusive.

Lots of Old Republic games, please.

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Or perhaps they'll leverage the ME 3 engine and throw money at a big VII movie tie in. I can't believe I'm defending EA, but "it'll be shit and you know it" gets tiring.

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First thing EA will do is get all the old X-wing vs Tie Fighter stuff out there for everyone to play again, then they'll commission a new Dark Forces game and- er then I woke up.

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Lucasarts were doing zilch with Star Wars. Say what you will about EA, but they do actually ship and release games. That already makes them a more interesting and hopeful dev to be in the driving seat than lucasarts have been for the past 5 years. Disney were hinting that there would be no Star Wars games outside of casual crap AT ALL until now, so this news is good for that reason as well.

It's also pretty cool cos, like it or not, EA actually has some decent pedigree within their studios. Not to mention, money. Wouldn't be surprised if they resurected 1313 and did something with that. They have the means. Plus...surely with the BF3 developers under their saddle, we gotta get a Dice developed Battlefront game at some point too?

Finally, we also now have the first genuine opportunity at a proper bioware created single player kotor 3. Maybe swtor complicates that...but at the same time, they could actually compliment each other too.

Again, I think this is pretty cool news really. As a SW fan the more worrying questions for me would be how much say are Disney getting on setting/characters etc. Would stink if this is all for games just set around the new trilogy.

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Sadly common sense and sound ideas have no place in big business. With SWTOR not ruling the world as they'd like EA aren't going to plough money into any AAA games in the near future. Expect some Facebook microtransaction shite.

I am in my 40s, forgive my cynicism.

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