The Star Wars universe expanded yet again in January when French publisher Ubisoft revealed that it entered a deal with Disney’s Lucasfilm Games to create a brand-new open-world game. Details are scarce, and production is very much in the early stages.
In recent years, Electronic Arts was the sole license holder for Star Wars games, producing hits like Battlefront, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Squadrons. On the official Star Wars website, Lucasfilm Games VP Douglas Reilly stressed that EA will continue to work on Star Wars titles and that the relationship with EA “has never been stronger,” but it’s clear that Lucasfilm felt that it needed to diversify.
As noted by GamesBeat, it’s likely that Lucasfilm felt that Ubisoft would be better suited to creating the type of open-world game they’re seeking to add to the portfolio. Massive Entertainment, which is renowned for its work on persistent online, open-world style games like The Division, appears to be a great fit for tackling this brand-new project. The strategy also makes perfect sense when you consider that Lucasfilm Games is now approaching the games business as a publishing label – it also recently partnered with Bethesda’s Machine Games to release a new Indiana Jones game in the future.
An open-world Star Wars game is something that many fans have been clamoring for ever since BioWare released Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic nearly two decades ago. Interpret’s New Media Measure® highlights just how much potential there is for a Star Wars open-world game, as the genre is tied for second-most played among Star Wars fans, just behind first-person shooters. EA’s success delivering a compelling Star Wars shooter experience with its Battlefront franchise (the games have combined to sell over 33 million copies), reinforces the potential opportunity available to another smart publisher delivering a popular genre in the Star Wars universe.
With the curtain lifted on the Ubisoft relationship, a revived and reinvigorated Lucasfilm Games is now promising to “make a lot of great games.” The Force has been re-awakened.