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Electronic Arts Cancels Open-World Star Wars Game

Discussion in 'SWNN News Feed' started by SWNN Probe, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. SWNN Probe

    SWNN Probe Seeker

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    [​IMG]

    Fans feared for the worst when it was announced that Electronic Arts was taking over the Star Wars gaming license from LucasArts, and unfortunately, not even Star Wars is safe from the company's infamous business practices. One long-gestating project has been outright canceled by EA after experiencing an incredibly troubled production.





    According to Kotaku, EA have decided to pull the plug on EA Vancouver's planned open-world Star Wars title, which itself was based on an unfinished project developed by the now-defunct Viscercal Games. It was announced back in October 2017 that the studio would be taking over from Visceral, which was to be shut down effective immediately. Now, fourteen months later, EA has decided that whatever work that their Vancouver studio put into the project didn't make the expenses worth it, and this open-world project will not see the light of day. A later update by the author of the piece suggests that, while the major project may have been cancelled, the resources used to make it could be repurposed into something for a smaller game:



    [​IMG]



    EA Vancouver's game was meant to be a story of a bounty hunter caught between multiple factions, and it seems like the 'smaller-scale' project, which is currently planned to arrive in late 2020, will be a less ambitious version of the concept. The plus side is that nobody lost their jobs over the game's cancellation, and those working on the new game are under the impression that the more ambitious take on the concept could be revived if the game that they are currently working on proves to be successful.



    I won't mince words here: this development is incredibly frustrating to hear about as a fan, but it's sadly not that surprising. To fully understand why EA has dropped the ball with the Star Wars license, one has to put the history of Star Wars games into context. Prior to the Disney purchase, LucasArts was on its way out, becoming increasingly dysfunctional as a publisher at a time when it seemed like Star Wars had an uncertain future and there were concerns that George Lucas would be closing up shop. So even after Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney, it was deemed that it would make more sense for a publisher with a lot of resources to take over the franchise instead of leaving it in the hands of a one-proud but dying venture. So LucasArts shut their doors and the license was handed out to EA. Even with their unpleasant reputation, EA proved that they could handle licenses like this with their involvement in Star Wars: The Old Republic. So Lucasfilm opted to put everything under one roof in a ten-year deal.



    While fans made their displeasure with the lack of content available at the launch of Battlefront known a few years after the partnership was announced, and the microtransaction fiasco over Battlefront II arguably overshadowed the game itself (to the point where Disney had to intervene), EA's problems with Star Wars really took off starting with Visceral's planned project. Visceral's project itself was rife with developmental issues, but the short of it was that it was initially rumored to be a game about Han Solo. Though it was planned to tie in with the Solo film being developed, it was determined that the game was cutting close to covering territory similar to the movie itself, and so an overhaul of the game was put into place with a new lead character. This ultimately led to the project having its initial story scrapped and replaced with a story of an Alderaanian refugee leading a group of smugglers in an operation to stop an insidious Imperial plot, before *that* was scrapped for the current bounty hunter-focused story that the game is now.



    Unless Disney bust out their lawyers, EA's contract with Lucasfilm will continue through 2023. Knowing that the company is already on thin ice with Disney over their handling of Battlefront II's launch, it may be possible to imagine that Disney might try to haggle their way out of the contract's terms. An output of two console games in six years is not something that's likely to be deemed as ideal for a company like Disney, particularly since EA had previously released multiple high-quality Lord of the Rings titles on an annual basis a decade prior to the point when they made the deal with Lucasfilm. However, it's still possible that Lucasfilm will continue the partnership until it finishes, and perhaps lease out the license to multiple developers instead of putting their eggs in one basket. EA still have time to turn this situation around, but they have to put all hands on deck in order to do so.





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    #1 SWNN Probe, Jan 16, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  2. Star Dude

    Star Dude Jedi General

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    What a shame, an Open World SW RPG is all this old nerd wanted. And studios like Ubi Soft (Assassins Creeds), CD Projekt RED (The Witcher) and especially Rockstar Games (RDR2 with a single/multi-player mix) have proven EA all wrong that single player games won’t generate turnover:

    Note that in Red Dead Redemption 2’s first eight days on the market, the company sold more copies of the game than it sold of the original Red Dead Redemption during its first eight years of release. In other words, RDR2 sales topped 15 million copies in eight days. Rockstar announced sell-through of $725 million during the game’s first three days of release!

    So what Star Wars heaven it could have been with e.g. the quality in story you can find with the Witcher 3 and the graphics and love for details from RDR2.

    There goes another dream…

    (emperor) Please let EA loose that license faster!
     
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  3. Pomojema

    Pomojema Ayatollah Of Rock-&-Rolla
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    Here's an informative video about why EA is dropping the ball with a great license, in case you need additional viewing material:



    It also illustrates, to me, how controversial something has to get before Disney think about pulling the plug on something. The Battlefront II microstransaction controversy was pretty ubiquitous, whereas the persistent hate toward certain individuals working on the movies are nowhere close to that level.

    All I can hope for is that Disney find a way to wrap up their initial contract with EA up sooner rather than later (as Bungie just split from Activision before they were supposed to) and that they're able to license the franchise to developers who aren't going to waste the kind of opportunity that they've been given.
     
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  4. Andrew Waples

    Andrew Waples Jedi General

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    It better not be a freaking mobile game...

     
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  5. tm9311

    tm9311 Rebel Trooper

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    You just look at the possibilities Star Wars would offer developers and the huge range of games that could be released and you do just have to shake your head at how mishandled it all is. It is literally a Galaxy full of possibilities and yet they seem desperate to just use the same old tired format. Never mind the fiasco with the Battlefront 1 & 2 the lack of ideas and the changing of plans by EA its the fact that none of us have any hope for Star Wars Gaming while EA are in charge.

    The rights need to go to a company with a track record of innovative designs and story lines. The title 'Star Wars' will always bring in the custom, it needs a company to be bold and to put the time in to the game instead of rushing the release and leaving fans feeling short changed yet again.
     
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  6. deadmanwalkin009

    deadmanwalkin009 Rebel Official

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    That's the problem, there isn't really any developers out there that have the resources handle the full SW IP for full time on top of their established franchises. Activision is just as toxic as EA, Bethesda isn't too popular with the gaming community right now, We'll get 1 SW game every 5 years with Rockstar. I'm not happy with EA on how they are treating the SW titles but there isn't really any good companies out there that have the finances to handle a SW ip. Maybe Ubisoft but even then it be a crap shoot. I honestly think they should go back to the old days and just license out SW so many developers can take on the project.
     
    #7 deadmanwalkin009, Jan 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
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  7. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Jedi Commander

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    I sure hope Disney Lucasfilm gets away from EA once the contract is up (or before, if some miracle makes it possible).

    Battlefront I and II are Star Wars for gamers. I want a game for Star Wars fans. I don't want to join online competitions and grind to unlock stuff. I want to be immersed in the world of Star Wars.
     
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  8. Darth_Nobunaga

    Darth_Nobunaga Rebel Official

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    EA's stock is down 45% as of today, and their stock was already bad due to the abysmally-low sales of their latest Battlefield game.
     
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  9. Grand Master Galen Marek

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    Another game has been given the order 66.
     
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  10. dysfunctionalJedi

    dysfunctionalJedi Clone Trooper

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    A surprise to be sure, but an UNwelcome one. How much longer must we suffer the oppression of the Imperial EA?
     
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