EA and Disney’s Star Wars Deal a Decade Long Dynasty
The partnership between video game publisher Electronic Arts and entertainment empire Disney to produce games based in the Star Wars universe is reportedly a ten year deal.
Despite an early scare in which Disney, having freshly plucked the rights to the multi-million dollar franchise from Lucasfilm, stated intentions to move Star Wars away from big budget console titles in favor of the mobile market, EA reinstilled our faith in the force at E3 by announcing it’d be bringing the Battlefront series back to life under DICE’s tutelage. The news was a welcome departure from the grim future Disney preemptively foretold.
Beyond Battlefront, EA’s financial officer Blake Jorgensen said fans should look forward to a wide breadth of games based not just in J.J. Abrams’ new trilogy but titles featuring the whole of the extended Star Wars universe. “The beauty of the Star Wars franchise is it’s so broad and so deep you don’t have to do a movie game,” said Jorgensen, speaking at the UBS Global Tech Conference. “You can do a game that’s very focused on the world that’s been created around Star Wars.”
That’s not to say this new slew of games won’t mine Episode VII and its sequels for inspiration. Future games will indeed use assets introduced in the new trilogy, though Jorgensen was careful to note EA doesn’t plan on rushing movie tie-in games to hit any one film’s theatrical release. “We’ll try to align [new titles] with that marketing power that Disney has, but it won’t necessarily be aligned with the movies.”
In addition to Battlefront aiming its blasters for a Summer 2015 launch, EA confirmed that DICE – you may already be enjoying their work on Battlefield 4 as we speak… which is rude, since you’re only half paying attention to this article – has already laid the early foundations for a number of Star Wars titles, all of which are implied to dip into various genres.
I’d call this a verifiable Star Wars renaissance not seen since Episode I opened the floodgates back in ‘99. Rest assured, even if the new films are as eye-gougingly bad, like then, at least we’re bound to receive a few memorable games.
DICE and EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront ‘Well into Development’
“Troubled” is the kind word thrown around when describing the tumultuous experience LucasArts and multiple third-party devs had getting a sequel to 2005’s Battlefront II off of the ground.
With LucasArts recently disbanded in every capacity save for its name and the Star Wars franchise tucked deep within the confines of Disney’s money lined pocket, this long dormant brand returns to the galaxy as, simply, Star Wars: Battlefront, a DICE production; first in a line of several planned Star Wars games to be published by the EA empire.
How far, far away are we from seeing this licensed shooter on next-gen consoles? Hard to say, but EA Games Label prez, Frank Gibeau, says the title is headlong into development under the same team at DICE that stitched together the Battlefield series. Likewise, expect the new Battlefront to have Frostbite 3 burning at its core.
“We showed 22 seconds of where we’re going with it and the fan response was very positive. The DICE team is well into development on that product already, so we feel very bullish about our shooter rotation over the next several years,” said Gibeau during an earnings call sometime after all 22 seconds of the game’s E3 debut.
There’s no doubt EA’s funding and DICE’s collective of talent can finally bring Battlefront to the homestretch. DICE wouldn’t be my first pick for Star Wars, but that doesn’t make them any less of an inspired choice.
My only concern is whether or not old Battlefront III assets are being used or, barring that, even being kept in mind. Before Free Radical’s attempt on BFIII went tits up, they managed to incorporate some pretty imaginative ideas – and that was on current gen tech. The one-two combo of next-gen hardware and Frostbite 3 means expectations put on Battlefront’s shoulders rest right at “amazing” (as if the Battlefront name hadn’t already forced that precedent).
Preemptive Strike: EA Registers Domains for Battlefield 13 Through 20
Don’t mistake this for news in any way. This isn’t EA jumping the proverbial gun and announcing plans for sixteen-plus years of Battlefield games. EA can be overzealous, hell, yes, but precognitive? No. I don’t even think Activision sees a twenty-year forecast for their own military shooter/money printing machine.
What’s happened here is an interesting case brought to you by none other than the information age. Thanks to an enterprising third-party hoping to trick you into their clutches one day, the domain names for Battlefield 10 through 12 are bought up and out of EA’s hands.
Not used to being pushed around by that bastard internet (unless we’re voting, of course), EA’s legal team went on a shopping spree, buying up domains ranging from Battlefield 13 all the way to Battlefield 20. Battlefield 5 through 9 are already in the company’s pocket.
Think they might be playing it extremely on the cautious side? Tell you what. In the distant future, when you’re amped up about Battlefield 21 and decide to check out the official site for trailers using your brain’s internalized wifi and merely thinking about the link brings you to a website dedicated exclusively to neon-irradiated dongs, their horrific glowing emissions, and the everyday objects those emissions melt…EA will still probably be voted Worst Company of the Year for wholly unrelated reasons.
Back in modern times, where radioactive dongs are simply hypothetical (…but for how long?), Battlefield 4 is expected out for current and next-gen consoles this Fall.
Battlefield 4 Screens Hit the Web and They Are a Beaut
Be it land, air, or sea, Battlefield 4 wants to take the series to uncanny new heights. I’m not a huge supporter of the franchise – yes, I’m terrible at them; thanks for asking – but I do love me those graphics, brought to you by the new Frostbite 3 engine.
While the title is dropping for the Xbox 360 and PS3, it doesn’t take more than a wild glance at these screens to figure we’re looking at either high end PC or perhaps, if I may be so bold, next-gen captures. An official gameplay trailer drops later on today, so expect this spot to be updated with a link because I likes ya.
UPDATED: No, I don’t know why it’s dirt quality, nor could I imagine how tainted one’s soul must be to mix Rhianna and a military shooter together and still be able to convincingly smile at small children without them erupting into tears, but the point is Battlefield 4 has got itself a trailer!
If thirty seconds of footage is not enough for your eyes to munch on, you glutton, then take solace in the seventeen minute gameplay reveal on the official Battlefield site due for tomorrow.