EA has secured an exclusive licence 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 making mobile, social, tablet and online Star Wars games.
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 it would license out the property to external developers and publishers.
We reported that EA had tried to make a deal to purchase LucasArts, which 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.”
“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 fulfil 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.