Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun-Duh-Duh: EA Gets Star Wars Exclusivity

By Nathan Grayson on May 7th, 2013 at 3:05 am.

I was actually John Madden all along.

The more disenfranchised portions of the peanut gallery have spent years calling EA an evil empire and claiming that it’s done every horrific act short of blowing up Alderaan with a Death Star, so this feels oddly fitting. It’s probably not the headline you were looking for, but it does not lie: EA has officially snapped up rights for all things Star Wars and videogame-y. DICE, Visceral, and BioWare will be doing development honors on various offshoots, apparently. So then, Battlefield: Star Wars – Old Knights Dying In Space (On Ice!) in 3… 2… 1…

Here’s the word from publisher itself:

“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe. Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining the BioWare team which continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”

As of now, EA’s not saying whether or not it’ll unfreeze LucasArts titles like Star Wars 1313 and Battlefront 3 pseudo-precursor Star Wars: First Assault from the agonizing carbonite that is studio closure. We can hope, of course, but I don’t plan on getting my hopes up.

Meanwhile, I’ve contacted Obsidian about its prospects with that Star Wars pitch I’m never gonna shut up about, so we’ll see. Again, fingers crossed, but EA already has The Old Republic to worry about on the role-playing front, and its EA Partners program is widely rumored to have been gobbled up by the layoff monster. So, perhaps not the best prognosis.

Still though, this is something, and things could certainly be far, far worse. At least Disney’s not putting all its chips on mobile/social like it once suggested it might. Now we just have to hope both the new movies and games are, you know, good, because – whether we like it or not – we’re going to be getting a whole, whole, whole lot more of them.

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229 Comments »

  1. bleeters says:

    Well, shit.

  2. pupsikaso says:

    Never a dull moment.

    • Chalky says:

      Company incapable of producing anything besides bad sequels to tired old IP acquires tired old IP. Pundits watch with baited breath for their next move.

      • Guvornator says:

        This. I think it’s slightly disingenuous to say that EA are going to ruin Star Wars games, given the state the last few have been in. Personally, I’m looking forward to FIFA 15 – Death Star Edition…

        • BTAxis says:

          Perhaps it would be more reasonable to say we expect EA to maintain the quality of Star Wars games then?

      • jkz says:

        I find your lack of faith disturbing.

      • Lemming says:

        I think it’s more the injection of micro-transactions and Origin exclusivity to an IP with much potential that’s got us all worried.

        • basilisk says:

          Remind me, what’s so bad about Origin?

          • Panda Powered says:

            It isn’t Steam.

          • Nick says:

            everything.

          • tormos says:

            it’s Steam but with more DRM, a worse client, fewer deals, (even) less indie support, (even) more draconian policies on banning users, and occasionally it goes mad with an axe in your savegame folder. Basically it’s what all those snide assholes in the comments every time a game gets released on Steam imagine Steam to be.

          • Chalky says:

            I’m more than happy to change over to using Origin instead of Steam as soon as Origin provides me with a better service. That’s how these sort of things are meant to work, I’ll change who I shop with when the customer experience offered elsewhere is better.

            EA’s current strategy for getting people to use Origin over Steam is to abuse their market position to give us no alternative if we want to play their games. Quite frankly, they can fuck right off.

          • Lemming says:

            First you tell me why you need to reminded that Origin exclusivity is bad.

          • basilisk says:

            Lemming: Certainly, exclusivity isn’t in the best interests of customers, but what makes Origin exclusivity different from Steam exclusivity, a rather widespread and by now mostly accepted phenomenon?

            (And if you’re against Steam exclusivity as well, then I don’t see why should EA be singled out as a particularly bad publisher – cf. 2K or indeed Valve itself.)

          • blackmyron says:

            Considering a spokesperson for Origin was bragging about how Origin wouldn’t have sales? I’m not sure what’s actually “good” about it…

          • Grygus says:

            The differences between Origin and Steam can be summed up as the differences between Electronic Arts and Valve Software. Neither are flawless, but one of them tries to give the impression that they care about their customers and the hobby in general, while the other has made it clear that they’re just in it for the money.

            It should not be hard to figure out which is which, and why many gamers would prefer one over the other even if the services were equal (and Origin isn’t yet up to Steam’s standard, which is fairly astounding given the resources at EA’s disposal and the fact that they had an example of what to do.)

    • lijenstina says:

      Jar Jar is the key to all of this….

  3. 1Life0Continues says:

    Possibly the worst news I’ve had all week.

    The last company I wanted to have the Star Wars license was EA. They could buck the recent trend and make something truly engaging and interesting, but I highly doubt it, and believe we’ll simply have yet another shooter with a vague Star Wars tie in and micro-transactions up the wazoo.

    I cannot envision EA making anything of quality out of the license anymore. I really can’t. I hope they prove me wrong, but even if they do, I won’t buy it. I refuse to reward EA for their constant shitty business practices and customer screwing policies.

    Sad news for me.

    • abandonhope says:

      I find your lack of faith completely justified.

    • Liudeius says:

      Wasn’t Bioware behind KOTOR?
      They make good games, even if they have been tending towards more simplified mechanics.

      I definitely agree though, I would prefer someone other than EA, especially considering EA’s DRM practices.

      • Thurgret says:

        They were also behind The Old Republic, which was bad.

        Not to mention Dragon Age 2. While not a bad game in its own right, it had fallen far from the heights of Origins.

        Then there’s Mass Effect 3. It had some great sections, intermingled with brazen fanservice, and that damned Star Child thing.

        I certainly doubt they’ll turn out anything that’s even close to on a level with KotOR (not to mention that KotOR 2 was an Obsidian game, and, unfinished ending excluded, the better game). They might turn out something passably enjoyable, but EA-owned BioWare seems content to wallow in mediocrity; I don’t anticipate anything brilliant.

        • Liudeius says:

          Well that was my point, DA, ME, and TOR are all considered very good series, yet the most recent game of each has received quite a bit of criticism.

          I suppose it depends on whether EA will learn from criticism by the gaming community, or decide to continue trying to maximize profits.

          Edit: I noticed that similar problems are in other EA recent games (Sim City 5, Dead Space 3), so it really depends on EA’s greedy investors.

          • tormos says:

            you do realize we live on the glorious capitalist utopia, right? It’s literally illegal for EA execs to not attempt to maximize investor (and therefore company) profits, so making a false dichotomy like that obscures the real problem with their business model, which is that making gamers hate you (may, we hope, eventually) causes them to not buy your games.

        • Cinek says:

          “While not a bad game in its own right,” – it WAS a bad game on it’s own right.

      • mondomau says:

        That was before EA had fully finished hollowing them out with a rusty spoon and started operating the studio like a disappointing-sequel-churning, micro-transaction gargling sock puppet.

        I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about EA.

      • Lemming says:

        KOTOR Bioware is not the Bioware/EA hybrid of today that brought you Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3 and SWTOR.

        • Liudeius says:

          They also brought you DA:O and ME2.
          They can be good, I’m not going to claim all their future games are bad based on two games which have still been well received, but each had their controversies.

          I would absolutely discourage preordering any Bioware Star Wars game, but they are capable of making it good.

          • SwENSkE says:

            Development of at least DA:O started before EA took over Bioware. And Mass Effect 2 was dumbed down in many aspects. You could already see EA’s handwriting there. Since then Bioware just put out crap – or at least partially crap.

            EA as a publisher is a no-no for me since a long, long time. They took over gems like ‘Origin’ and subsequently killed them. And then have the nerve to name their DRM-platform ‘Origin’.

    • wengart says:

      I prefer EA over Activision.

      In the last two or so years we’ve gotten a good sequel to the original Dead Space, a sequel to Dead Space that turned it into an alright action game, a craptastic attempt at rebooting SimCity, a decent end to the Mass Effect series, a middling sequel to Dragon Age, shit Medal of Honor, and quality Battlefield 3.

      Point is EA isn’t all bad. They release games that on average I would rate as above average.

      • Flammablezeus says:

        Quality Battlefield 3? That’s an interesting take on it.

        • Screamer says:

          Hipster hating on BF3 gonna hate.

          I’ll see you in BF4 end of the year ;-)

          • Grey Poupon says:

            There’s plenty of us who didn’t like how it turned out. Granted, there’s also plenty who do. For me Arma 3 is a good enough substitute though, so I don’t really complain about BF3. We do still sometimes play BF2 though.

            Still, there’s a lot more to it than “being hipster” or whatever.

          • mondomau says:

            Yes, disliking a game that, while very pretty, failed to live up to the reputation of it’s predecessors (or even bad company 2) makes you a hipster and a hater. You certainly don’t sound like a simpleton for misusing either of those terms.

          • Nick says:

            I liked BF3, it just needed some better shooty mechanics, as a whole it was pretty good fun and nice to go back to larger maps again. Still wish they’d do something even more like BF2 again though.

          • Machinations says:

            not a consensus opinion

            BF3 was great..EA’s only non-fuck up of late, other than the lack of proper VOIP on PC

          • wengart says:

            I don’t think it is wrong or hipsterish to dislike Battlefield 3. It was a definite step away from what Battlefield 2 and Bad Company 2 did. However, I don’t think that you can say that Battlefield 3 wasn’t a well made game that many people enjoyed.

        • wengart says:

          Battlefield 3 left behind commander, it also had worse destruction than Bad Company 2. Now how far either of these get you differs from person to person. I didn’t care much for commander and don’t care that is gone. I feel very strongly that Bad Company 2 did destruction much better, but I think that the increased scale of Battlefield 3 covers for it.

          All that being said, Battlefield 3 was a good game. It fell short in some areas, but you can’t really say it isn’t a well made product.

      • Squirly says:

        I prefer Herpes over Syphilis. Doesn’t mean I want either.

      • Lemming says:

        I’d prefer that Disney handed out licenses based on individual pitches from different development companies known for their strengths in specific genres, rather than,”oh you bid the most money? HAVE IT ALL AND BE DAMNED!”

        Give Relic the license for an RTS Star Wars title. Give 2k the license for an FPS Star Wars title..etc.

        • tormos says:

          And I’d rather they resurrected Walt Disney and had him shoot bees out of his nipples at investor meetings. Doesn’t change the fact that EA presumably gave them more money than they could ever possibly make out of a piecemeal deal like that.

  4. ackro says:

    Nooooooo!

  5. shutter says:

    “EA has officially snapped up rights for all things Star Wars and videogame-y.”

    That’s not really accurate. They’ve got the rights for all the ‘core’ games, Disney Interactive is still doing the casual titles.

  6. Sardukar says:

    Supercilious opening remarks for this article aside, EA has a long history of developing good games..that has turned for the worst in the last few years. Furthermore, the ever-mighty Wikipedia gives you a nice eyeful of the many criticisms of them: Sexism, ageism, DRM, employee treatment, anti-trust lawsuits and so on.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Arts#Criticism

    “The Worst Company in America”? I dunno. But one of the worst, that I’d agree with.

    So, yeah, this time the “peanut gallery” might just have a point.

    • Nick says:

      long history of buying good studios and then slowly destroying them you mean.

      • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

        This.

      • Darth_Pingu says:

        ‘Would be insane, fun, ridiculous and actually nice if they did that to Disney!

      • SwENSkE says:

        Definitely this.
        First studio I remember was ‘Origin’. Well, they revived ‘Origin’ at least. Somehow. Aaaaaaaaaaaargh.

    • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

      They’re not even close to being one of the worst when one honestly considers the competition. They publish games of variable quality and merit, tending towards the mediocre locked to some exploitative business practises but they’re not remotely as exploitative as say, predatory loans, they don’t monopolise government contracts, they don’t repossess houses they don’t even have a claim to, they’ve never killed anyone, they’ve never denied obligated healthcare, they’ve never use their influence to create pernicious legislation and they haven’t done anything to warrant criminal negligence in the deaths of employees or their customers. They certainly didn’t crash the global economy nor operate in the prison or military industrial complexes which are inherent wrongs.

      “When we live in an era marked by massive oil spills, faulty foreclosures by bad banks, and rampant consolidation in the airline and telecom industry, what does it say about EA’s business practices that so many people have — for the second year in a row — come out to hand it the title of Worst Company in America?

      It says some people have no perspective or interest in affairs outside of themselves and even in that narrow self-interest they fail to see any structural aspects incomparably more odious. To say that they’re even ‘one of the worst’ is to lose any connection to reality.

      Indeed when challenged, people invariably defend the results of this poll suggesting it’s meaningless, implicitly conceding it’s a ludicrous proposition that in a world were corporations have literally gotten away with murder.

      • breaklock190 says:

        Is that you, Peter Moore? Do you have more comments about how everybody sucks, therefore EA is doing fantastic? You almost got me Mr. Moore. I’ll see you when you fuck up the next big title and you’re “voluntarily stepping down.”

        http://www.ea.com/news/we-can-do-better

        • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

          Right, I’m to be marginalised for thinking companies that have been responsible for the literal deaths of people are orders of magnitude worse than one which at worst, sells an unplayable computer game that cause consumers to not maximally enjoy their leisure time and lose $50. Can you please grow the fuck up? Nothing in my comment is exculpatory to EA but it’s a plea for some perspective and the fact you have no rebuttal than to resort to this juvenile charade is more telling of you than any point you’ve tried to present.

          • Convolvulus says:

            Have you considered the irony in telling someone to “grow the fuck up”? It doesn’t really strike a mature tone. Anyway, as has been said, “Worst Company in America” is a hyperbolically titled customer satisfaction poll intended to give voters a platform to voice grievances. It’s run by a small consumer advocate website, and the award depicts a pile of shit. The results aren’t meaningless; you’ve just completely misjudged their intent. Let’s please stop treating this web survey as a commentary on “kids these days” and gamer culture.

          • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

            I felt a good fuck for emphasis was in order, you can be tiresomely milquetoast if you wish. My chief response was on the narrow ground premise that EA is somehow amongst the worst companies of America, you also suggest the poll is nearly-meaningless on issues of presentation and context but that also isn’t meaningless. I mean goodness, apologies for parsing ‘Worst Company in America’ as flatly dictated by the phrase but it’s an indefensible proposition, even in the narrower-scope of consumer satisfaction (that you claim is the primary source of determination but isn’t suggested by either the website nor it’s previous winners, among them Haliburton and BP, one a truly sickening war-profiteer and the other for literally poisoning the entire Gulf of Mexico).

          • cjlr says:

            Sure, but have a little perspective, man. Other companies might have killed people and raped the environment, but that happened in far away places to people I don’t know. EA slightly inconvenienced me directly. Clearly no contest.

            Er, but actually, I totally agree with you there, Tyrone.

          • Herbert says:

            EA did cause this, though;
            http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/loxfb/truth_about_ea_from_former_support_rep/
            “Mythic had a huge billing issue a while ago. Anyone who played Dark Age of Camelot or Warhammer will know this. Pretty much every subscriber was charge 5-20 times in one sitting. One person had their electricity shut off because their auto-pay couldn’t fulfill the transaction, since we emptied their account. Someone in that house was on a breathing apparatus. The people hadn’t properly informed the electricity company of the situation. The person on the apparatus died. I talked to the person who was taking care of them.. It wasn’t a good day. I cried when I got home. I cried a lot.”

      • Brun says:

        The poll is poorly named. It is conducted by the Consumerist, which obviously caters to consumers, and thus that’s who gets surveyed for the poll. Most of the other “nominees” that people put forth don’t directly serve consumers – they serve other businesses or industries – or they don’t produce “consumer” products (i.e. shit you buy in a Wal-Mart). Thus, given the group that was actually surveyed to produce that result the choice of EA isn’t THAT surprising. The poll should be renamed “The Worst Consumer Product Company in America”, because that’s what it’s really determining, but I suppose it’s not quite as catchy.

        Every EA post has someone claiming that the poll is stupid because Bank of America didn’t win for fucking up the financial system. Please read what I just wrote above and realize that the poll wasn’t about that.

        P.S. Kind of grumpy. It’s late here in the states.

        P.P.S. There’s nothing wrong with feeling strongly about something you believe in, no matter how trivial it may seem to others. People will “fight” for what they care about – they will not, however, fight for everything in the world that was and is right and just and moral in the history of the human race for ever and ever, even if they happen to agree that it is right and just and moral. Why? Because doing so would be mentally and physically exhausting and well beyond the capacity of a single human being to handle. Most people won’t stand in the way of others wishing to fight for those things, and they might throw in a bit of support if they feel up to it. But you cannot reasonably expect EVERYONE IN THE WORLD to share the same convictions – and more importantly, the same zeal and enthusiasm for those convictions – as you do. Who exactly, are you – we, even – to judge them?

        P.P.P.S. Apparently being tired makes me philosophical. Neat.

        • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

          Your entire argument is contradicted by the 2006 win of Haliburton, an actually genuinely appropriate choice. And I have as much right to offer my comment on the actions and opinions of others as you do on mine.

          • Brun says:

            And I have as much right to offer my comment on the actions and opinions of others as you do on mine.

            Quite right. The right to judge them as “children” (i.e. inferior)? Less clear.

          • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

            I said that specific person needed to grow up, I said people who would view EA as worse than Haliburton, Exxon-Mobil, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, Blackwater or Koch Industries lack perspective. It’s telling that two people have had to read ‘childishness’ into that utterly moderate, how-the-fuck-could-this-be-even-controversial critique in my original comment.

          • Brun says:

            My point was that different things are important to different people, and also that some things may be more important to some than to others. This does not make them childish – they don’t (necessarily) lack perspective, but simply view the world from a different one.

            how-the-fuck-could-this-be-even-controversial

            Just because something isn’t controversial doesn’t mean LITERALLY EVERYONE is going to grab their pitchforks and storm the Bastille. Put another way – stop assuming people are criminals just because they aren’t cops.

            Also, you implied “childish” when you used the phrase “grow the fuck up.” I don’t know how you could more explicitly denote immaturity.

            Ah I see, my apologies on that note.

          • unimural says:

            A sad read. I do understand that hyperbole is exceedingly common these days and literally waters down (yeah, see what I just did) most attempts at serious conversation. I’m rather guilty of it myself. However, not everything can be defended by saying that this is my subjective view, so any concerns at large don’t apply. At times people do have it right when they call us up on our rants. Like in this thread here. Any attempts to attack the larger view here is indeed lacking in perspective, and probably overly self-important.

            The fact that I’m also too lazy to contribute to something meaningful because its hard or exhausting is not defensible. It is perfectly understandble. It’s human. It’s also unfortunate and it isn’t defensible for you either, if the same applies to you.

      • wengart says:

        No one is really taking it that seriously. If any person who voted for EA in that poll had the ability to end some bad practice by corporations it would not be EA destroying development studios. That being said there is a reason that EA was chosen.

        They pick up quality development studios and run them into the ground, and attach some nasty DRM to games.

        More people have emotional connections with one game than they do with one person, or any group of persons. If, right now, I hear about some famine in the far off reaches of the world it won’t affect me. It can’t. If I let that affect I would be paralyzed by my despair for the bad shit that is going on in the world. On top of that no one expects a loan sharking bank not to loan shark. It is expected activity on their part.

        On the other hand if a game I am looking forward to is shit I feel bad. I was excited about something, I was invested in something, I possibly spent money on something that ended up being bad. It is a let down and hurts me more than those thousands of deaths in a far off land.

        A reminder, this was on online poll where there was no negative cost to picking EA. Furthermore, getting people to pick EA was as simple as dropping a link in some forum.

        • Brun says:

          getting people to pick EA was as simple as dropping a link in some forum

          This too.

      • GSGregory says:

        1. Your argument simply revolves around the idea that because you view things as worse than what ea has done[which has been some pretty bad stuff through time] therefore anyone that views ea’s actions as terrible is a child. So why don’t you try opening your field a view of bit and think rather than waste time calling people idiots or maybe you know do something and stop crying about it.

        2. Ea has done some pretty awesome crap including employee mistreatment multiple times[ and that is simply the ones we know about] and you want to talk about death well ea has cost a good many people their jobs and by now might have the largest lay off list of any us company but the point is that getting fired can pretty much fuck you and your family over.

        3. No they aren’t the worst, they haven’t directly murdered people[at least that we know] but I can at least do something against them and not give them my money.

      • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

        Your argument simply revolves around the idea that because you view things as worse than what ea has done[which has been some pretty bad stuff through time] therefore anyone that views ea’s actions as terrible is a child.

        That strawman argument is particularly flammable, I said anyone who views EA‘s actions as worse than criminal negligence leading to the deaths of consumers and employees, environmental destruction or war-profiteering has no perspective. The fact you have to entirely adumbrate my comment does not bode well.

        Ea has done some pretty awesome crap including employee mistreatment multiple times[ and that is simply the ones we know about] and you want to talk about death well ea has cost a good many people their jobs and by now might have the largest lay off list of any us company but the point is that getting fired can pretty much fuck you and your family over.

        All companies lay-off and fire people, not all companies literally poison their employees, lie about the consequences and bankrupt the dying plaintiffs with years of appealing litigation. Further, the fact you think their lay-offs are remotely the ‘largest lay off list of any us company‘ not suggests but proves your ignorance. EA laid off 10% of it’s 9000 person workforce this year (let’s be unfortunately generous and round up to 1000) whereas in individual instances, companies have laid off between 26,000 to 60,000 people at a time in this incomplete and outdated list from the last two decades.

        3. No they aren’t the worst, they haven’t directly murdered people[at least that we know] but I can at least do something against them and not give them my money.

        Well at least you concede the point but you can also do something about those other companies but heavens forbid it requires you to get off your ass and stop complaining on the internet about companies that make your computer games. I donate time and money to an NGO, you could start there than throw-up your hands and plead impotence.

        • JamesTheNumberless says:

          EA are far from being the world’s worst organization and they won (lost?) that poll mainly because it’s very easy to mobilize a lot of hatred towards them on the internet. No matter how much you despise EA you can’t really disagree with either of those points without being unreasonable. It doesn’t change the fact that EA are a terrible company but we shouldn’t lose faith in the industry because of that. For every established studio like Bioware that sells out to the corporate machine (and let’s face it, that’s what happened) there are a hundred indies and a small army of creative people coming up with fresh IP and new ideas.

    • GSGregory says:

      Do the research. Many of the good games were created before ea owned the studio or directly after aka it was a game already in the making at the studio while after ea has had time to affect the studio you notice a decline it game quality and then a shutdown of the studio.

      • zakihashi says:

        So basically, what are you saying is, the second the game get a lot more ressorses at it’s disposal, they screw up. Kinda makes sense, they become lazy as f.
        Issue is, that these companies feel more secure I guess. I don’t think we can blame EA for the studios becoming bad alone, a big blame is probably on them self as well.

        • Grey Poupon says:

          You don’t seem to realise how much influence a publisher has on a studio. They make all the rules most of the time. If they don’t like something, they tell the studio to change it. Don’t think there’s a publisher around today that gives the devs free hands on their project. Apart from crowdsourcing.

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            He’s probably one of the people who swear at developers (or more usually “programmers” – damn the programmers, they can’t even program good graphics) on Steam forums for releasing rushed buggy games and taking all their money. Because it’s totally the studios that do that.

  7. Revolving Ocelot says:

    This is a late posting even for you, Nathan. Stop keeping us nasty Brits awake. (It’s obviously ENTIRELY your fault, and not me getting sucked into XCOM by mistake for 4 hours. Nope.)

    Also, obligatory image: http://i.imgur.com/wqZLRFk.jpg

  8. Merus says:

    What people wanted from the Star Wars license were something along the lines of Battlefield 3, a new KOTOR and maybe some kind of third-person action game, and here we are with DICE, BioWare and Visceral all announcing they’re working on something. But add EA into the mix and ohhhh suddenly it’s a problem.

    • pakoito says:

      That Bioware is gone, now we will have poorly written “you were the hero all along” slashfic, slapped on a terribly generic game.

      The Dice one based off Battlefield we will see, but they’re not known for pushing boundaries. Battlefront 3 alpha videos have been leaking all week on reddit and it already looked special, but I wonder if EA would take that approach.

      I see the three studios and all I can think of is management-imposed chest-high walls.

      • Upper Class Twit says:

        “you were the hero all along”

        Hasn’t that always been Bioware’s thing though? I never played KOTOR, but I thought Baldur’s Gate and its sequel had a pretty standard epic fantasy type “you are the one” thing going for it. For me, Bioware has never been about the larger story anyway. It was always the characters that I found interesting.

        • Tagiri says:

          KOTOR was like that too, and it had hugely telegraphed plot twists. It’s kind of fun to play now because you can see the genesis of so many things that are Bioware game staples now, but it has that Half Life problem of not being as “good” as when it came out because they’ve improved narratively so much since then.

          Also, I would assume that since pakoito said “slashfic” above, he’s really more angry that things aren’t catering specifically to what he prefers than talking about actual game quality.

          • pakoito says:

            I’m gonna turn the argument around and say that it’s them who are more worried about putting slashfic in than in making a good game. I don’t mind pansexuality if it’s justified, but never in detriment to the gameplay experience.

            I would have said just fanfic if they weren’t so rubbing it in our faces all the time.

          • Tagiri says:

            So . . . you’ve hated every Bioware game since Jade Empire? Or even earlier, there was a cat-girl lesbian in KOTOR.

          • pakoito says:

            You’re trying to slap me a tag based on what 12yo american kids say on Bioware forums. Please stop.

            I tried to point the amateurish sexualized fiction they wrote and slashfic is the name for that. If it wasn’t sexualized it would be called just fanfic. But the sex is there and it’s unreal, teenagerish and hardly justifiable.

          • Tagiri says:

            Fine, then, name one Bioware game with a non-optional sex scene. That’s the only way that I can imagine romance being detrimental to gameplay.

            (Also, apologies for misunderstanding you. In my corner of the internet, “slashfic” is used to refer solely to gay romantic pairings and I thought you were one of those dudes who got mad about Anders)

          • pakoito says:

            >Fine, then, name one Bioware game with a non-optional sex scene. That’s the only way that I can imagine romance being detrimental to gameplay.

            Romance (hetero, homo, bi, pre, post, pan and bestiality) included in a game come from design at early stages. Characters have to be striped from part of their personality so each one of them can be seduced by the main character in whatever way. The “choose your own romance” doesn’t work in real life and romance is not…goddamn that. It’s just tugged in pandering and fanservice, and serves no final purpose in the plot.

            Those filler resources could be put towards the actual plot and well…you know, quests. Game time. The character can romance someone, why not, but that’s not the game pilar.

            As you said, it was optional, woohoo, but I’d rather spend more time with the steak than the fries.

          • Tagiri says:

            I just don’t understand why you are so worked up over a thing that you don’t even have to do. It’s in there for people that like it, and it’s getting increasingly easy to avoid for people that don’t. In all kinds of games (most adventure games, many FPS and TPS, even some RPGs) you have a pre-scripted love interest who has a similarly terrible (or worse) plotline that is unavoidable.

            Also, not to simplify your argument, but resources aren’t just blocks you can stick into any spot in the game. Say, for example, that Tali was not a romanceable character in Mass Effect 2. Is the writer in charge of her dialogue going to have a huge effect on the rest of the game development? Also, characters in the pre-design stage don’t have personalities to be “stripped away” because they have not been fully realized yet. (And if we’re talking about characters changing personality due to romantic eligibility then we need to talk about Baldur’s Gate 2 because let me tell you was I ever shocked at Aerie’s personality the first time I played the game as a male protagonist)

            I can’t think of a single Bioware game where romance would be considered the “pillar” of the game. There’s all the actual gameplay and, as you said, quests that have nothing to do with that. What changes is a few lines of dialogue, an embarrassing cutscene and maybe a change in character skin. I don’t understand how that is enough to run a company into the ground for you.

            Maybe we’ll just have to agree to disagree, but this still smells an awful lot like “stop writing what I don’t like” to me.

        • Nick says:

          Buh.. the whole point of the story in BG1 and 2 was that you were one of many. How can people not see that? Of course it focused on you because, well, playing a game where you just hear about the other ones isn’t that interesting.

          • Upper Class Twit says:

            Yeah, I remember that too…vaguely. I haven’t played the games in awhile, but wasn’t that kind of just fluff? As in, they mentioned it in the opening narration, but they never really expanded upon it throughout the story. Regardless of whether or not you were actually “the one” according to the fiction, the story still played out that way. You and your party did quests, killed monsters, defeated the big baddie, and saved the world.

            Were there even any other “children of the gods” as characters? I remember Saverok or whatever the dude’s name was being one, but other than that, were there more? Were there any as parts of quests or party members?

      • mouton says:

        Bioware games were always hit and miss. For example Baldur’s Gate 1 was mediocre, BG2 was good, BG2:Throne of Bhall was bad. Kotor was really good, if not stellar.

        Of course, people love them nostalgia glasses and the illusion that “back then all was great and now all is shit”.

        • kodjeff1 says:

          I go back and play the BG series every year or so. Just finished another complete run. I assure you nostalgia glasses have nothing to do with the fact that those games still stand up to the test of time.

          Ofc, it’s just my opinion, but I really do prefer the BG series over most games released in the past ten years.

        • pakoito says:

          That Bioware is long gone, split between Obsidian and InXile. What’s left has only made Mass Effect and Dragon Age and they are judged based on them.

          • Nick says:

            Well, apart from Gaider, but what’s he done lately..

          • mouton says:

            Well, I enjoyed Mass Effects and Dragon Age (never played DAII) and, while sometimes considerably flawed, I found them really good to excellent at times. Which is what I think about all their older games, with the possible exception of BG2 which I recall being excellent and rich in content.

            Anyway, I always found games made by both Black Isle and its descendants to be better. Not gameplay-wise – they simply me made care more about them.

    • GSGregory says:

      Ea’s history goes like this. 99 studios on the wall, grabbed by Ea and thrown, into the wall. 98 studios on the wall, kidnapped by EA, and buried in a ditch. On and on we go, no more studios on the wall.

      Also It will probably become two games a year that have 4 months of effort and 1 month of advertising how great it is and another of dlcing or micro transactioning it to shit along with some form of drm on pcs that makes it completely broken to play.

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        Yep. Buy a studio that made a great game, install EA project managers and marketing and brand people in between the creativity and the development. Watch the best employees leave that studio and replace them with underpaird, overworked graduates, and more management. Then churn out a lucklustre sequel to that great game they made, to a ridiculous deadline. Watch it not do anywhere near as well as the original (what a surprise) declare the IP and the studio to have run its course and quietly shut it down and amalgamate anything of value into other parts of EA – let the IP rot until there’s an opportunity to use it to milk a new platform. Move on and repeat. Resistance is futile.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      I don’t know about the others, because I don’t care about Battlefield or whatever, but have you seen the crap that Bioware has been crapping out since they got bought by EA?

  9. gritz says:

    Every property EA gets its hands on either turns into a yearly iterative franchize or mothballed and forgotten forever. It would be amazing to see EA be the final blow that kills Star Wars once and for all.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Not sure if you’re being sarcastic or what…

      • gritz says:

        100% serious. We would all be better off if Star Wars went away for a decade or so.

        • Panda Powered says:

          Last time Star Wars took a decade-long break it came back so strong. ;)

  10. pakoito says:

    This is my opinion so far: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYlLY5UJfKI

    I wonder if Han Solo knows how to squeal.

  11. zenomp5 says:

    :( Sad news for me. I made a vow not to purchase anything more from EA until they get their s%$t straight.

  12. Upper Class Twit says:

    So, uhhhh, anyone else here have even a tinge of excitement? Anyone? No?

    Honestly, I kind of want to see what DICE do with this. Not sure about Visceral, and Mass Effect is already Bioware’s big riff on Star Wars/Star Trek themes and tropes, but if you all want to see an “Imperial Commando” released, I’d bet on DICE before anyone else. They’ve already got the whole “we are military hardmen” thing down, not much of a stretch for them to stick on some Star Wars and a little squad tactics lite. Destructible environments never hurt either.

    • Thurgret says:

      Nope. Not really. I can’t argue that DICE might turn out something enjoyable. I found Battlefield 3 far too arcadey for my tastes, when I tried it out against my own better judgement (I went in expecting the multiplayer to be a sorta mil-sim. Yeeeeeeah, no.), but that works fine for Star Wars– we’ll see what they do.

    • Panda Powered says:

      Mirror’s Edge: Nar Shaddaa.

      • Prime says:

        I’d actually kill to play that, or any game set on the Smuggler’s Moon. It was always my favourite level of the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight games.

    • tormos says:

      Just FYI mate, KOTOR was bioware’s “big riff at these themes”. then ToR was “bioware wasting a bunch of money making a shit starwars mmo

  13. sinister agent says:

    “Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe.”

    I very much doubt that.

  14. Daniel Klein says:

    Can we get X-Wing vs Tie Fighter 2? I wouldn’t even care which EA studio makes it.

  15. Siamese Almeida says:

    Good thing nobody gives half a fuck about Star Wars anymore.

    No seriously, enough is enough. It’s not like the universe was anything mindblowing in the first place. No love lost.

    • Psyke says:

      “Stop liking what I don’t like”

      • mouton says:

        To each their own, obviously, but Star Wars has been 80% nostalgia for a long time now.

        • basilisk says:

          I’m not sure I’d call it nostalgia; lots of people who are into Star Wars are considerably younger than the first film (which is 36 years old; even episode three was 8 years ago!). That’s where George’s brilliance was – he never let Star Wars slide into the past; it has always been in the general consciousness, always being pushed forward no matter what it took, including butchering the original trilogy which honestly never was that great in the first place.

          It’s more of a carefully maintained cult than nostalgia.

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            George Lucas’ only “brilliance” was not directing the 2nd film ;)

            I saw Empire and Jedi when I was very, very young, back to back at the cinema. The nostalgia period for me was in the 90s when games like Tie fighter and Dark Forces were around. Then the spinoff games from the new movies – pod racer, etc kind of killed the thought of good Star Wars games for me. So much so that I actually avoided playing KOTOR until I realised that it wasn’t based on the “Episode 1″ era stuff and that it was made by guys whose other games I liked. That was the redemption of Star Wars for me – and provided the interesting new angle on the Star Wars universe than the prequels failed to do for me. I also vaguely remember a Star Wars RTS which I liked mainly because the space battles reminded me of Tie Fighter.

        • Prime says:

          It’s not nostagia if things were genuinely better pre-Phantom Menace, which they most definitely were.

      • JohnnyMaverik says:

        He’s not saying people shouldn’t like Star Wars he’s saying a lot of people don’t really care about Star Wars any more. I don’t know if he’s right but I know I don’t.

        • Prime says:

          I’d agree with that. The damage that the new trilogy and Lucas’ endless revisionism did to Star Wars is quite incredible to contemplate. What it gained in technical presentation it lost in terms of soul. We call this the Android Effect. Personally, I spent years hoping the soul would re-emerge somewhere but apart from a few faint glimmers it never really did. The shambling zombie of what Star Wars once was simply became too horrible to love.

  16. sinbad269 says:

    What would have been better is Disney not shutdown Lucasarts at all, and let them handle ALL Star Wars games from then on.

    Or shut them down, then transfer all staff to EA, making a new Star Wars-centric studio.

    At the end of the day, I sincerely hope they remain true to the Star Wars Universe.

    • pmh says:

      I disagree that Lucasarts should have the license. They’ve not done anything good with the license in almost a decade and little good otherwise (I haven’t played Lucidity). The Lucasarts of yore is quite dead.

  17. Rooster306 says:

    It will be interesting to see what EA does with Star Wars. I have not been very impressed by any of the Star Wars games in the past. Maybe EA can do a better job on their on.

    • Cinek says:

      I haven’t been impressed by any “fully-EA” made game since… early 2000s? Lucas Arts got better record than EA. Don’t have high hopes.

  18. uh20 says:

    and the dark side finally gets to rule the galaxy.

    truely the only thing we might see them do half decently is a threequel to star wars: battlefront

    otherwise, were screwed.

  19. Sardukar says:

    I have enjoyed, from EA or produced by a studio under EA, Archon, Bard’s Tale, Wing Commander, System Shock 2, Ultima Online, Dungeon Keeper, parts of the Battlefield series, Warhammer Online, Crysis 1, ( 2 was okay), Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge, Dragon Age 1, much of Mass Effect and, yes, much of The Old Republic.

    So, they don’t just make shite. They also make or oversee the making of good games. Not to say this is good news for Star Wars, but it’s not an automatic fail, hysteria aside.

    And to whomever accused me of having lost touch with reality because I find it believeable EA might be one of the worst companies in America? That’s a) not very nice and b) compared to the many, many companies that do better than EA, in terms of employee issues or DRM for example, yes, it’s well within belief that EA is in that unlovely strata of corporations that just aren’t very nice.

    A well-populated strata, to be sure, and filled with even worse denizens, but EA is in it.

    As for those who say a corporations or business’ job is to make money, well, no. That’s not an excuse for criminal, unethical or immoral behaviour. Money can be made in many ways – you don’t actually have to be a scumbag to do it.

    • GreatGreyBeast says:

      That list doesn’t give me a lot of comfort. Aside from including a lot of older titles that don’t represent current business models, most of those titles were developed externally, not by EA or subsidiaries. And most of the rest are the DICE and Bioware titles – both companies who built their reputation (and their most important franchises) outside EA and both widely considered to be losing that reputation rapidly as EA’s grip tightens. But I’ll give you Dead Space and Warhammer Online I guess. Both of which are over four years old now and not aging well.

    • Cinek says:

      Most of these games were made before EA really overtook the studio.

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        Exactly. EA usually starts off as a friendly publisher but the buyout offers soon follow the successful games and it seems they’re usually the kind of offer than one cannot refuse. Interpret that how you will :) I think EA decided a long time ago that the most important thing to them was being the #1 household name in the industry, anybody else being able to grow their own brand is useful to them up to a point because it helps sales but ultimately cannot be allowed to get so big it becomes a threat to them… Think of an independent studio as Alderaan, and EA’s chequebook as the Death Star.

    • Nick says:

      Oh look, a bunch of games made by studios that EA fucked over and/or destroyed, what a compelling argument.

  20. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I’ve always thought the Empire would be a better setting for the bombastic Battlefield and Call of Duty style single-player than the un-self-aware bombastic presentation the US is given that makes Team America: World Police look like an exercise in subtlety and taste.

    I don’t mind jingoistic military regimes grinding over everything in their path with excessive firepower amounting to overkill, a callous disregard for collateral damage, and a flimsy pretext. I’d just find it a little easier to swallow if I’m not also expected to believe these are the actions of “the good guys”.

    Just put me in a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet and point me at the Bothans.

    • stahlwerk says:

      “Can you hold a blaster? Can you shoot? Can you aim?” Rising in the ranks has never been easier.

      • Panda Powered says:

        If you could aim as a member of the imperial military you would make Grand Moff in a week.

      • tormos says:

        Trick question! If you answer yes to the third one you are executed immediately as a suspected rogue Jedi, no true imperial could ever master these “aim” magics

  21. aliksy says:

    Well, I don’t really like Star Wars[1], and I rather dislike EA. So I guess this makes it easier to avoid things I dislike.

    [1] For the love of all that is holy, can people stop trying to shoehorn Star Wars into a “balanced” combat rpg? It doesn’t work! You just end up nerfing light sabers to hell, and probably force powers, too.

    • tormos says:

      hence one of the many great innovations of KOTOR2: saying “fuck it” and just making lightsabers as obnoxiously powerful as they are in the films.

  22. ChrisMidget says:

    Well we can look forward to core game mechanics being sold as DLC or some pay to win stuff in game. Well there goes my hope of there being a good star wars game in the near future.

  23. wakham says:

    There goes out of the air lock any changee of getting new X-Wing or TIE fighter games.

  24. SuperTim says:

    EA makes B-Quality games and Star Wars games are B-Quality so they do fit each other quite well.

    I’m more interested in Disney here. If this is the only thing they can do with the Games then I doubt the Movies part will get better. Oh well.

  25. Incision says:

    So basically, any Star Wars games for the next 10 years will be utter pieces of shite.

    EA – Fucking up games since 1984.

  26. Ross Angus says:

    I’m finding this new thread “Rock Paper Shotgun: Nights” strangely exciting.

  27. brulleks says:

    I have a really bad feeling about this.

  28. Brun says:

    Damn you reply fails.

  29. RedViv says:

    There are certainly a huge load of worse studios than Bioware, DICE, and Visceral to hand this to.

    • Ein0r says:

      It is not the studios who will cause trouble with license but the publisher behind it :/

  30. JohnnyMaverik says:

    In before DRM puts me off buying 3, in the end not as good as expected, Star Wars themed games in the next 2-5 years.

  31. tehsorrow says:

    I’m pretty torn. On the one hand, all of those devs can and have made great games, but all 3 also have had the grubby finger-print’s of EA’s mismanagement all over them.

  32. Ein0r says:

    Oh you have a really nice pink lightsaber there. If you want to have the official red/blue or some of the other various shiny colours just go the micro transactions store for tons of variations and other goodies you might need while saving/destroying the people. For example several interesting powers like Mind Trick or Push? or the extreme useful force grip you cant find nowhere in the game? Go get it!

  33. MacTheGeek says:

    “At least Disney’s not putting all its chips on mobile/social like it once suggested it might.”

    Instead, they’re outsourcing the IP to a publisher whose most profitable game is “mobile”, and who insists that the always-online requirement for SimCity is “social”.

    Oy vey. I can’t wait until Star Wars: Episode VII: The Game, when you can choose to be either a human Corellian or a Vulcan Wookiee, and you get to meet shoot all kinds of bad guys who will be kind enough to give you plenty of chest-high walls to hide behind. And in a stunning plot twist, you can use a tricorder Force powers to open doors and switch off video cameras!

    Of course, I kid. I’m sure that EA will have all kinds of games in the works to take full advantage of the Star Wars universe. There will be a third-person shooter, a first-person shooter, another third-person shooter (exclusive to one console), yet another third-person shooter (exclusive to the other console), and a plethora of casual mobile games for everybody’s smartphones! Who says EA can’t satisfy gamers of all stripes anymore?

  34. Leramar says:

    Oh dear god, NO!!

  35. savagenick says:

    It’s a trap!

  36. Prime says:

    PREDICTION: EA announce a sequel/reboot of a beloved Star Wars title that people actually want, with a good developer behind it, that turns out to be pretty good, flummoxing everyone here and forcing the biggest humble pie binge seen in a generation.

    Thoughts?

    • mondomau says:

      In the highly unlikely event of that coming to pass, I don’t think it would be a humble pie situation; when people are basically just saying – “Oh no, EA have a well-documented track record of ruining beloved franchises and then cramming DRM and DLC into their lifeless corpses, I fear for the next star wars game.” that’s not a baseless assertion or an assumption.

    • DrScuttles says:

      If that happened, I’d be first in line for my slice of humble pie. Well maybe not first. Third, perhaps. I believe that everyone has a chance to redeem themselves; Adam Sandler was in Punch Drunk Love, Sean William Scott was surprisingly good in the otherwise quite poor Southland Tales and I even enjoyed Cosmopolis.
      If EA accepted that Obsidian pitch, for example, that would generate such a huge well of goodwill on my part that I’d have to bake a gargantuan amount of humble pies and fill RPS Towers with them until the whole place stunk of rotting pastry and the hive mind began to prolapse.

    • bleeters says:

      If that actually happened, I wouldn’t call that grounds for humble pie. I’d call that a victory.

    • Nick says:

      I would love that to happen =(

  37. Arglebargle says:

    Disney doesn’t want to deal with small fry. EA is their natural bedfellow.

  38. stahlwerk says:

    Can’t wait for Sim City: Coruscant and The Sims: Hutt Life

    Zoon zoon, na choobah Solo ka wonga.

  39. Low Life says:

    DICE working on a Star Wars project? Where’s my Mirror’s Edge 2? :(

  40. Trudel says:

    It’s a trap! :(

  41. SanguineAngel says:

    I would love DICE to produce a new Dark Forces game, with all the vertiginous glory that entails.

    • -Spooky- says:

      My AZZ. Dark Force with Frostbite 3 engine? I´m not amused. Pseudo “full destroyable enviroment”? Get the freck out here!

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I was thinking more Mirrors Edge school of design. The engine itself doesn’t mean a game will end up being a destructible environment Battlefield rip-off

  42. -Spooky- says:

    Well done, Disney! Well done! How much does it cost, to sell the soul to the devil .. erm .. dark side .. erm .. wait. What´s wrong here?

  43. TreuloseTomate says:

    It’s going to be a third-person cover-based shooter with lasers, microtransactions and always-on. To celebrate this event I’m going to play some Jedi Knight.

  44. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Frostbite 3 engine is good news & not being Activision is marginally better than EA…!!!

  45. RagePoon says:

    This is not the publisher you are looking for… *waves hand*

  46. Arithon says:

    “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. “

    Ironic that Disney buys a franchise then sells the gaming rights to the evil empire that destroys gaming franchises!

    “EA Games, charge for everything!”

  47. paddymaxson says:

    Perhaps we’ll see a terrific return to form as Bioware makes KOTOR 3?

    • Spoon Of Doom says:

      A beautiful dream. An unlikely one, but still beautiful.

    • SwENSkE says:

      I too believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy!

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Or maybe EA will have one of their rare moments of brilliance and sign up Obsidian to do the honors. And get Totally Games! to make a new X-Wing game.

  48. aircool says:

    Star Wars is now fucked!

  49. bstard says:

    About time these few movies that where not that great get their silent spot in history. Gathering dust on a For Sale shelf on some obscure digital distribution platform.

  50. Jason Moyer says:

    Quick count – how many good Star Wars games did Lucasarts develop? I can’t think of any besides Republic Commando and Dark Forces 1/2.