Updated Tue, May 07, 2013 by Martuk
The empire is about to strike back. EA has suffered its share of setbacks in recent months by capturing the not-so-illustrious "Worst Company in America" award from the Consumerist for the second straight year, a failure to meet expected financial results led to the resignation of CEO John Riccitiello as well as a number of layoffs. But things may be turning around for EA as a new generation of console hardware is finally about to move in and replace the very outdated and tired gaming systems that are screaming for retirement. And while Sony and Microsoft are still being secretive about the release dates of those consoles, EA has already positioned itself for their release through a new deal with Walt Disney that grants the publisher an exclusive licensing agreement with to develop and globally publish new games based on the epic Star Wars IP.
“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 our fans around the world.”
Under the new agreement, EA will develop and publish new Star Wars games for core gaming audiences spanning all gaming platforms and in multiple genres. EA stated in its press release that three of its studios will be working on new Star Wars games. Battlefield 3 developer DICE and Dead Space series developer Visceral will develop new games with original storylines while BioWare will continue development on new content for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“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. 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.”
While the deal is inked as exclusive for EA, Disney will retain the rights to develop certain games in the mobile, social, tablet and online gaming spaces. Unfortunately, there was no news about the fate of Star Wars 1313 in today's release. For now the game remains in limbo since Disney shelved game development at LucasArts. But the new deal with EA could provide a new hope (see what I did there) for fans still hoping to see the game make it to release. It would be a shame for all the previous work on the title to go to waste.
What do you think of the new licensing alliance of EA and Disney? Tell us what you think in the comments below.