Star Wars‘ universe is ruled by an all-powerful elderly man who’s known for controlling the masses with unspeakable technological horrors and shooting lightning out of his fingertips. I’m talking, of course, about George Lucas. However, in the most exciting twist the franchise has seen since “I am your father,” he’s now mostly out of the picture. Disney has officially purchased Lucasfilm – all technologies, IPs, and rights to every property – for $4.05 billion. We now live in a world where Pixar or Joss Whedon heading up a new Star Wars film is a very real possibility. But what does this mean for videogames? Could we finally get that Ewok tractor-driving simulator everyone’s been clamoring for? Or Grim Fandango 2 developed by the team that made Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure? We can only hope. So far, though, here’s what we know for sure.
For LucasArts – who’s currently developing Star Wars 1313, among others – things seem to be moving full steam ahead. At least, for now. A rep explained the situation to Polygon: “For the time being all projects are business as usual. We are excited about all the possibilities that Disney brings.”
The gaming future for the likes of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and their kin, however, isn’t looking so bright. Don’t get me wrong: Until Disney converts its media empire into a regular Empire and blows up the Earth with a Mickey-Mouse-shaped Death Star, there will always be Star Wars games. But you know how there’s only, like, one big-budget semi-interesting Disney game and a billion mobile/social franchise tie-ins? Well, that.
“We’re likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console,” said Disney CEO Robert Iger during a conference call. “We’ll look opportunistically at console, most likely in licensing rather than publishing, but we think that given the nature of these characters and how well known they are, and the storytelling, that they lend themselves quite nicely, as they’ve already demonstrated to the other platforms.”
Granted, that does leave the door open for third-parties to get involved, but I can’t imagine licensing Star Wars will be cheap. Old-school LucasArts adventures, though? That might be another story. Hmmmmmmmmm.
Also worth considering: the case of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Depending on the terms of the deal, it could be affected in any number of ways, so I’ve sent a mail to EA and BioWare about it. I’ll update this post as soon as I hear back.