EA's management of the Star Wars game license has been a matter of great controversy since they acquired it shortly after Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm. Despite many years passing since the publisher earned the rights to make games in the Star Wars universe back in 2012, very few titles have spawned out of the deal.
Two divisive new installments in the classic multiplayer shooter series, Star Wars: Battlefront, have been developed by Battlefield team, DICE. While, Titanfall developer, Respawn, created a critically-acclaimed single-player experience in 2019 with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. But most recently, fans of space-combat simulators were treated to Star Wars: Squadrons, offering fans the opportunity to pilot the many ships of Star Wars in both single-player and multiplayer.
EA will continue to hold the Star Wars license until 2023, however, another studio is set to play in the Star Wars sandbox in the coming years. Alongside future projects from EA, Ubisoft is working on an open-world title in the Star Wars universe, with the project being headed up by The Division developer, Massive Entertainment. Little is currently known about the project but further teases of the title were revealed during Ubisoft's recent third-quarter earnings call.
A LONG WHILE TO GO FOR THE GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY
Naturally, investors were keen to hear details of the highly-anticipated title, as reported by VGC. Questions were asked regarding the planned launch window, to which CFO Fredrick Duguet refused to give any specific estimates for the title:
“We didn’t mention any specific dates. The game is at an early stage of development so we will have to wait a bit before telling you more about timing.”
Additionally, Guillemot confirmed the game will run the Massive's Snowdrop engine, used in The Division, saying:
“The project will be headed by our Massive studio, who will make the most of their cutting-edge technology, including the Snowdrop engine, to deliver a groundbreaking Star Wars adventure.”
The teams at Massive and Ubisoft seems to be extremely excited to get their hands on the world of Star Wars as CEO Yves Guillemot said:
“The Star Wars galaxy is an amazing source of motivation for our teams to innovate and push the boundaries of our medium.”
Regarding the implications of the Star Wars title on the future of The Division, the CEO confirmed Massive will continue to move forward with their other projects:
“The implication on The Division, you have to know that the Massive studio is a large studio and they are also collaborating with lots of studios over the world—lots of inside studios—so you are going to see more on The Division in this year and the year after.”
THE FUTURE OF STAR WARS IS MASSIVE
With Disney and EA clearly willing to give more studios a shot at the Star Wars IP, it's clear fans can expect a big ramp up in the number of games releasing over the coming years. Obviously, EA's most successful titles will continue to receive sequels and support with sequels likely in the works to Fallen Order and Battlefront 2.
Of all the projects known so far, Ubisoft's open-world title is by far the most mysterious as virtually nothing is known about the title. It's unclear if the title will focus on a single main protagonist such as a Jedi or Bounty Hunter, or if the title will allow players to create their own character to explore an expansive world.
Massive Entertainment certainly has a lot on their plate at the moment as they continue to push forward with their successful Tom Clancy's The Division looter-shooter franchise. The team is also in development on a project in the world of James Cameron's Avatar, currently planned to release by March 2023.
Given the minimal progress made so far on this Star Wars title — as the team is just now hiring for the project — it's clear release is still a long time away, likely after the Avatar title releases in the 2022/23 financial year.
For now, fans will have to settle for a classic Lego adventure for their Star Wars fix as LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga hits shelves later this year.