As reported earlier this week, EA has managed to get the rights to handle the Star Wars franchise’s presence on home consoles after LucasArts was shuttered. While many lamented over LucasArts’ closure—which in all honestly, LucasArts hadn’t done a decent game in some time—there was a good deal of annoyance and disdain when Electronic Arts go their hands on publishing and developmental rights.
EA holding the rights isn’t a totally bad thing. For one thing, Star Wars will actually see some games and be actively on the shelves. There will be regular news about the games being developed and there will be a variety of games developed. Sure, there will probably be that nasty Origin nonsense and DLC out the wazoo, but Star Wars will still be in play.
Meanwhile, the deal stated that Disney would still handle Star Wars titles on smartphones, tablets, online and so on. In any case everyone on the Disney and EA sides were elated about this team up.
Does this mean the anticipated Star Wars 1313 that LucasArts was working on could be revived? Could there be more in the Knights of the Old Republic series? It’s always a possibility. The main thing here is what it means for Nintendo and Wii U.
There no question at this point that the relationship between Nintendo and EA is very salty. Nintendo hasn’t commented on their relationship with EA—aside from Iwata vaguely mentioning that there are companies that don’t seem to want to support the Wii U—while EA has assured Nintendo fans that there is still a working relationship between the two. The amount and quality of titles released don’t say much to that and releasing sports games on a system isn’t a show of a good relationship since they’re sports games but alright, EA.
As recent as late last week, EA technical director Johan Andersson mentioned that there would be no Star Wars titles on the Wii U because of game engine incompatibility. This is “developer-who-doesn’t-wish-to-do-anything-on-a-Nintendo-console” go to reason number one—the others being “no installed base” and “poor sales”. This led to numerous Nintendo fans to comment on how different engines that had more juice than the Frostbite 3 engine—which will be used for the Star Wars games—can run on the Wii U and smoothly.
In something that could be a bright light for Wii U owners, earlier this week EA released a statement saying that Star Wars games would be on all major consoles. That raises the question of what EA considers a major console. Sure the Wii U is there, it has sold millions slowly, but it’s a major console from a major company.
Despite this there are developers that don’t consider the next generation console a next generation console. In short it all comes down to what EA interprets the Wii U as and if Disney is going to allow for EA to continue their grudge with Nintendo. It’s unlikely to happen since Disney has an interest in getting more games on Nintendo consoles anyway. Sure Disney games could go on other consoles, but games based on Disney series and movies tend to be so out of place on an Xbox or PlayStation. This doesn’t particularly matter as business is business, but deep down you’d think they’re aware that the Mouse shouldn’t be in the company of first person shooters.
On the flipside, Disney movies do share movie billings with R-rated films, so it’s a toss-up.
What are your thoughts on this development? Will EA end up or have to make Star Wars games for the Wii U and 3DS?