EA forging ahead with Star Wars titles despite end of exclusivity deal
A few weeks ago we heard that after a long, long period of Star Wars games being made exclusively by EA, Ubisoft studio Massive Entertainment is working on an open-world Star Wars title, signalling that EA’s 10-year exclusivity deal with Disney will not be extended. Despite this, it seems EA still has a number of Star Wars projects in the pipeline – and has no intention of slowing down.
In an earnings call last night, CEO Andrew Wilson said EA’s Star Wars titles had made “over $3bn (£2.2bn) in net bookings” and had sold a total of 52m copies. Mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is a franchise worth $1bn (£733m) alone, and Wilson highlighted that EA had created a portfolio of other successful Star Wars titles including “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [sic]… Battlefront, Jedi: Fallen Order and most recently, Squadrons.
“As we’ve established the very strong part of that franchise, you should expect that we will continue to invest in those as well as some new experiences across platforms for the future,” Wilson said. “…I don’t think you should imagine that the fact that some other people will build some Star Wars games is going to change our commitment to that IP or our ability to build the appropriate number of games.”
“You should expect us to continue to invest in our Star Wars relationship. It’s been very profitable… and we’re excited by what we’ll be able to do in the future. But you shouldn’t read this as necessarily us building the less titles.”
Of course, while EA’s Star Wars deal has been a profitable one for the company, it hasn’t been without its fair share of controversies. The drama surrounding loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront 2 was enough to push multiple governments into investigating the mechanics, while several promising Star Wars games (such as Visceral’s Project Ragtag) were shut down before ever seeing the light of day. More recently, however, Star Wars Battlefront 2 appears to have redeemed itself, while both Fallen Order and Squadrons have received a much warmer reception from players. With EA strongly hinting that a Fallen Order sequel is in the works, perhaps EA’s Star Wars future does look bright after all.
In other Star Wars news, a non-EA studio is reportedly developing a new Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic title – although apparently we’ll “never guess” which studio is making it.