Nov 21 2013 12:00pm

Gaming Roundup: EA Discusses the Future of Star Wars

Star Wars

Earlier this year, we learned that EA, for better or for worse, had assumed control of the Star Wars video game license from Disney, ensuring the franchise’s near future in the gaming-verse. This week, we learned a few more details about one of the largest IP deals in gaming history, including its duration and EA’s intended direction for Star Wars games going forward.

According to EA spokesperson Blake Jorgenson, the licensing deal struck between Disney and EA is in effect for the next 10 years, providing EA with some breathing room and the opportunity to bring the franchise to multiple platforms. Work on the franchise is already well under way, as evidenced at this past E3 via developer DICE’s release of the above Star Wars: Battlefront teaser. Some hope also remains for the resurrection of Star Wars 1313, LucasArts’ ill-fated but promising third-person adventure that was officially kicked to the curb earlier this year with the closing of LucasArts.

Jorgensen went on to note that while EA might borrow elements of J. J. Abrams’ work in film for future games, they will not be developing games based on any upcoming Star Wars movies, preferring instead to focus on original content and fresh stories told within the existing universe.

In other gaming news this week, Assassin’s Creed 4 gives us control of Blackbeard, Black Mesa celebrates Half-Life’s 15th birthday by hitting Steam, and The Last Guardian’s director apologizes for taking so damn long. Read on!

  • A PlayStation 3 trophy listing has tipped off the gaming world about an upcoming Assassin’s 4: Black Flag DLC. Two words: Playable. Blackbeard. There’s currently no word on when the DLC, entitled Blackbeard’s Wrath, will be released, but odds are we won’t have to wait long.
  • Black Mesa, the currently free and fantastic fan-made remake of the original Half-Life, will soon be hitting Steam for a low price. There’s no word yet on what extras the paid version will include, but the free version will remain online. Trust us; if you haven’t yet played it, this fan-made labor of love is well worth a small fee to support the developers of the game, who have voluntarily toiled for years to bring us a quality modernization of one of the greatest games ever made.
  • Fans of Kingdoms of Amalur, take heart! All is not lost due to 38 Studios’ unfortunate financial collapse. The Amalur IP is up for auction in December, and word is nearly two dozen parties are interested.
  • Fumito Ueda, the developer of the frustratingly delayed yet incredibly promising The Last Guardian, apologized for the game’s slow progress this week. Ueda needn’t worry; if the game is anywhere close to the quality of his previous two offerings—Ico and Shadow of the Colossus—all will be forgiven immediately on launch. The Last Guardian has been in development since 2007—that’s 7 years and counting.

  • Diablo 3’s expansion, Reaper of Souls, will be undergoing a closed beta later this year. Invites will be very exclusive, but a handful of diehards from the D3 community will be selected, in addition to Blizzard’s internal family and friends testing.

  • Finally, the gaming roundup will be on hiatus next week, but will return in December. Happy Thanksgiving in advance, everybody!

If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

1. Fuzzy_Dunlop
It's a bit worrying that EA has a monopoly on Star Wars games. On the one hand at least their going to develop their own IP's and not just do movie tie-ins for the new trilogy. But on the other hand it's EA, the Cthulhu of game companies, so I guess it's all up to which studio they hand it off to. Bioware (yay) or another like Tiburon (ugh!).
2. DougL
EA is in the process of moving all of their games to require online access, not to play the game on your drive, but the game you bought that remains on their servers that you can access when you login. Yep, that's where EA is going, prepare to loathe the future of Star Wars gaming.
Walker White
3. Walker
But on the other hand it's EA, the Cthulhu of game companies
I see no evidence that EA is worse than Ubisoft (U-Play does not allow you share DLC between gamer tags on the same physical console, in clear violation of Microsoft policies) or the non-Blizzard portion of Activision.
4. graftonio
Bioware did such an awesomely mediocre job on the Star Wars MMO that I wouldn't hold my breath for them to break any new ground in a future game.

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