The fate of future Star Wars games seemed uncertain after Disney shut down the LucasArts game development division, in the wake of purchasing Lucasfilm last year. But it seems fans of the popular sci-fi franchise have nothing to fear, as news emerged that Disney gave Electronic Arts exclusive rights to develop games based on the series.
The multi-year deal signed by Disney and EA will allow the video game publisher to design, develop and publish any video games based on and inspired by the Star Wars world. The financial terms of the contract were not revealed.
A joint statement from both companies said EA would be in charge of developing Star Wars games for a core audience and for all interactive gaming platforms. Disney, meanwhile, will retain the rights of developing certain titles for mobile, tablet, social and online gaming.
The president of EA Labels, Frank Gibeau, announced that future Star Wars games would be developed by in-house developers DICE (responsible for Battlefield), Visceral Games (which developed Dead Space) and BioWare (Mass Effect). BioWare has already been in contact with the Star Wars world when it developed massively multiplayer online games such as The Old Republic or Knights of the Old Republic. Gibeau also said that the future titles may be inspired by the classic movies, but will nonetheless have entirely new stories and gameplay.
The EA deal comes one month after Disney shut down LucasArts, announcing plans to license games instead of developing than develop them in-house. The decision brought several projects, including a new Star Wars action title called Star Wars 1313, to a halt. It is unclear whether the project will be resumed one way or another under the Disney-EA arrangement.
The exclusive publishing deal is however unlikely to affect another Star Wars title currently in development. Sony Online Entertainment said the Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures MMO will continue to run without any problems under its current license.
[Image via Popculturegalaxy]