Taking top prize of a consumer poll two years in a row is something most companies would dream of … unless you are EA, and the poll is ‘Worst Company in America’. That’s right, EA made history by capturing the title an unprecedented two years in a row. How? Trashing beloved franchises, over-enthusiastic nickel-and-diming via DLC, and psychologist and analyst enhanced extortion through freemium games (yes, they actually have behavior-analyst teams designing games to get you to spend $100 over time on something you wouldn’t pay $5 for upfront!). So imagine the excitement of the gaming community when the most hated game company got exclusive rights to one of the most beloved franchises – Star Wars. Yeah, yippee.
Here is the overview:
EA has announced that it has signed an exclusive multi-year publishing deal with The Walt Disney Company for the Star Wars franchise, with games to come from BioWare, DICE and Visceral.
The deal will allow Electronic Arts to develop and publish brand new Star Wars videogames for multiple interactive platforms.
Under the agreement, EA will develop and publish new Star Wars titles for a core gaming audience, spanning all interactive platforms and the most popular game genres, while Disney will retain certain rights to develop new titles within the mobile, social, tablet and online game categories.
You can read the entire press release.
So … if you are a gamer who plays on XBOX, Playstation, Wii, PC, Mac, PS Vita or 3DS, you will get your Star Wars gaming from EA. And if you are on iOS or Android smartphones or tablets or on Facebook, Disney will retain the rights.
EA has a history going back at least 25 years of destroying franchises in the relentless pursuit of cash, and I expect this to be no different. I have two hopes: that they manage an online-centric game in the Call of Duty / Battlefield style that takes the solid Battlefront series into the next generation. I can picture having a blast playing something like that with my teen boys. I fully expect them to subsequently iterate yearly until the franchise folds, but I can hope for ONE good game, right?
More importantly I hope that they see value in at least one Jedi-centric game that hearkens back to the Jedi Outcast / Knights of the Old Republic era, rather than the bland Force Unleashed games. I would love a RPG, but know that EA doesn’t have that sort of patience … so at least a story-based shooter with some amount of choice would be good.
What are your hopes and fears with EA getting the Star Wars core gaming license?