You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney Plans New ‘Star Wars’ Games Through Electronic Arts

Licensing deal will split new games among developers DICE, Visceral and BioWare.

The Force is now with Electronic Arts.

The second largest videogame publisher has locked down an exclusive multi-year deal to produce “Star Warsgames for all platforms.

Deal comes a month after Lucasfilm laid off much of its development and production staff at LucasArts, which oversaw “Star Wars” and other games.

While Disney has said it will focus much of its interactive business on games for mobile apps and social networks like Facebook, “Star Wars” is being treated as an entirely different animal.

New games will be based on “Star Wars” characters and storylines for what the companies call “a core gaming audience” — which, in this case, means mostly men in their 30s.

Disney will retain certain rights to develop new titles for the mobile, social, tablet and online game categories aimed at younger auds. First games will likely be ready sometime in 2015, around the release of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise for years to come,” said John Pleasants, co-president of Disney Interactive. “Collaborating with one of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new ‘Star Wars’ titles to our fans around the world.”

EA isn’t new to the “Star Wars” franchise.

It published BioWare’s “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It was the most expensive game produced when it launched in 2011, with a $150 million pricetag, but has struggled to generate a large fanbase. It has since embraced a free-to-play model rather than rely on monthly subscriptions.

Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Disney clearly found a gamemaker eager to shell out a hefty licensing fee to secure the “Star Wars” franchise and help grow a business that’s struggled in recent years.

LucasArts earned just $55 million mostly from its “Star Wars” titles, according to NPD. Last month, LucasArts pulled the plug on “Star Wars 1313,” while “Star Wars: First Assault” was canceled before that. Deal enables Disney’s interactive team to focus on other internally developed tentpole titles like the upcoming “Disney Infinity,” which mixes toys with traditional videogame-play.

DICE and Visceral will produce new games, while BioWare will continue to focus on “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” said EA Labels president Frank Gibeau. EA’s website already is asking “Star Wars” fans to suggest ideas for new games. “We have lots of ideas, but we want to hear from you,” it said.

DICE is best known for its work on EA’s “Battlefield” franchise, which competes with Activision’s “Call of Duty” games, while Visceral is behind the sci-fi horror series “Dead Space.”

“Every developer dreams of creating games for the ‘Star Wars’ universe,” Gibeau said. “The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”

More Biz

  • FILE - In this Jan. 12,

    How to Watch the Patriots vs. Chiefs - AFC Championship

    The conference championships are set to take place Sunday, Jan. 20 ahead of Feb. 3’s Super Bowl LIII, with the top two teams in each the AFC and NFC conferences going head to head. The second game, the New England Patriots against the Kansas City Chiefs, is set to begin at 6:40 p.m. ET at [...]

  • The line of scrimmage between the

    How to Watch Rams vs. Saints Online - NFC Championship

    The conference championships are set to take place Sunday, Jan. 20 ahead of Feb. 3’s Super Bowl LIII, with the top two teams in each the AFC and NFC conferences going head to head. The first game, the Los Angeles Rams against the New Orleans Saints, is set to begin at 3:05 p.m. ET at [...]

  • MAGA Teens Taunting Native American Elder

    MAGA Hat-Wearing Teens Harassing Native American Elder Spark Condemnation From Hollywood

    The Internet erupted in outrage Saturday after a video of young men wearing MAGA hats and attempting to intimidate a Native American man at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington D.C. went viral. The march is taking place amid the government shutdown, which is nearing the one-month mark and has interfered with many Native Americans’ [...]

  • Leonard Klady Dead: Film Journalist Was

    Leonard Klady, Veteran Film Journalist, Dies at 67

    Leonard “Len” Klady, a former Variety reporter and critic who most recently worked for Movie City News and Screen International, has died. His wife, Beverly Walker, said he had been diagnosed with cancer in November.  Klady was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and graduated from the University of Manitoba. He was a founding member of the [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Roc Nation Seeks $11 Million From Insurer in Jordan Feldstein's Death

    Roc Nation filed a federal lawsuit Friday seeking $11 million from its insurance carrier following the death of Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein. Roc Nation, a joint venture of Jay-Z and Live Nation Entertainment, partnered with Feldstein’s Career Artist Management in 2016. At the time, Roc Nation says it took out a “key man” life [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content