Believe me when I tell you that the words “Ubisoft is exactly what Star Wars needs right now” are basically the last ones I ever expected to utter out loud. And yet, it’s 2021 and here we are. For the better part of the last decade, EA has had a stranglehold on the Star Wars video game license. The results have been exactly what you would expect.
As death and taxes relate to life, so too do questionable microtransactions and the Frostbite engine applies to EA titles. Ubisoft is no saint, and they have a list of gaming sins a mile long. Anyone who knows me knows I love Star Wars, so let’s explore why Ubisoft is exactly what Star Wars needs right now.
Electronic Arts have held the license on Star Wars games for a while now. Despite recent releases including Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order and Star Wars Squadrons, most people will remember this era for Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2. More accurately, they will be remembered for the loot box scandal that brought the US government back into the gaming industry.
The history of Star Wars games has been a rich one, with titles like Rogue Squadron and Knights of the Old Republic. I’m sad to say I think EA’s monopoly of the license as a dark time for the franchise. But, much like the Rebellion celebrating the destruction of the Death Star, so too do we celebrate the fall of the EA Star Wars Empire.
With all of that said, EA will continue to develop games for the franchise. In spite of everything I just said, I think this will be a good thing. We need Star Wars games coming from many different sources. Competition breeds creativity, and creativity breeds interesting new experiences!
Massive Entertainment Hits The Scene
Massive Entertainment, a developer under the Ubisoft umbrella, will be working in collaboration with Lucasfilm Games to create this new title. They’re best known for their work on The Division. I’m not a huge fan of The Division franchise. It’s a competent series, but it doesn’t do much to move the denim for me.
That said, The Division would lend itself to a bounty-hunter, scum, and villainy style Star Wars game. Coming off games like Jedi Fallen Order, an open-world Star Wars game is exactly what the franchise needs right now. A game that allows us to explore not only the various planets of the galaxy far, far away, but the space surrounding them is what I have been craving.
This is a massive undertaking to be certain, and an Ubisoft Star Wars title is certainly going to have a lot to live up to. When we hear Ubisoft, we tend to think of Assassin’s Creed, but I would be shocked if the game was in that same style. The main points I would expect to see are character creation, shooting mechanics, flying mechanics, and probably some stealth mechanics. I don’t think we’re going to play as a Jedi.
The Start Of Something Great For Lucasfilm Games
Of course, it’s not just Star Wars we’re looking ahead to. This week also saw the announcement that Bethesda will be working on an Indiana Jones game. This looks like it could be the beginning of a bright new era for a brand that many of us grew up with. Although, it was admittedly LucasArts when I grew up.
In an interview with WIRED, EA said quote: “We are proud of our long-standing collaboration with Lucasfilm Games, which will continue for years to come. Our talented teams have created some of the most successful games in the history of the Star Wars franchise, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Battlefront and Battlefront II, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, and Star Wars: Squadrons. We love Star Wars, and we look forward to creating more exciting experiences for players to enjoy.”
They’re not wrong. EA will continue to be a big part of the Star Wars galaxy going forward. But what’s important is that they’ll no longer be the only part.
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Image courtesy of EA and Respawn Entertainment