For nearly a decade, every major “Star Wars” game has come from EA thanks to a long-term deal between it and Disney. That’s now changing (much to the delight of loyal fans). On Wednesday, Lucasfilm Games told Wired that Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment team will develop an open-world “Star Wars” game.
That’s a lot to take in. As the first non-EA “Star Wars” title in a long time, players are already thrilled about the possibilities. The fact that the upcoming game is going to be open-world is exciting enough. Gamers will need to treat this news like an exercise in patience, however, since the title won’t be arriving for some time.
In fact, Massive Entertainment is still in the processing of hiring developers to make it. One detail about the team revealed on Wednesday is that “The Division 2” director Julian Gerighty will be on board as the creative director.
Fans of Harrison Ford in particular likely know that this isn’t the first big announcement from Lucasfilm in recent days. The company also announced that it plans to release an “Indiana Jones” game in tandem with Bethesda’s MachineGames—the team behind recent “Wolfenstein” titles.
In an interview with Wired, Disney senior vice president Sean Shoptaw expanded on why the “Star Wars” gaming universe is branching out from EA. While he noted that EA will continue to be a “very strategic and important partner,” he also said, “We did feel like there’s room for others.”
Although we don’t know much about the upcoming title, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said, “We are excited to have our Ubisoft Massive studio working closely with Lucasfilm Games to create an original ‘Star Wars’ adventure that is different from anything that has been done before.”
Players will undoubtedly have plenty of things to look forward to when the game releases. If nothing else, it will be refreshing to have a title produced by a different studio that can breathe new life into the franchise’s video game segment.
Gamers and “Star Wars” fans alike have had plenty of criticism for EA over the years. The company earned most of it thanks to questionable choices with its game rollouts. Of course, that doesn’t even account for the fact that it has canceled several titles before they even reached players.
Those that did hit consoles, like “Battlefront II,” were riddled with loot boxes and pay-to-win mechanics at launch. That sparked a huge debate within the gaming industry regarding the ethics and legality of loot boxes. It also left a bad taste in the mouths of countless “Star Wars” fans.
EA’s two most recent “Star Wars” titles—“Jedi: Fallen Order” and “Squadrons”—have partially made up for the studio’s past mistakes. However, no one is mad that another developer is now getting a chance to show what it is capable of.
As “The Mandalorian” proved on Disney+, the “Star Wars” universe is a treasure trove of untapped lore and storytelling. The Ubisoft team will have plenty of material to work with while developing its new title. Hopefully, it will be worth the wait.