Jan 25, 2022 - Technology

EA developing 3 new Star Wars games

Image of an animated video game scene showing a redheaded Jedi wielding a lightsaber and carrying a small robot on their back

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Screenshot: EA

Three major Star Wars games in development at EA underscore how big Disney is going with video games — without committing to making any big games of its own.

The big picture: Despite Disney’s struggles to make its own hit games and its divestment of internal development studios, it's been able to create a new era by connecting the industry’s top teams with its globally popular franchises.

Driving the news: EA confirmed Tuesday morning that a sequel to its 2019 hit, action-adventure game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, is deep in development at its Respawn studio, alongside two previously unknown titles.

  • Respawn is also developing a first-person shooter overseen by Star Wars game veteran Peter Hirschmann, who most recently led the development of the studio's virtual reality World War II game.
  • And it's producing an unnamed strategy game from Bit Reactor, a new independent studio composed of developers from Firaxis, the Civilization and XCOM studio owned by EA rival Take-Two Interactive.
  • Those are in addition to Star Wars games coming in 2022 from WB Games and Zynga, and later from Ubisoft and Quantic Dream.

Not just Star Wars: Disney has also been busy seeding the development of major Marvel games at Sony PlayStation (Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine), Skydance, Firaxis and more, from what we’ve heard.

  • Plus: Avatar, which Disney owns through Fox, has big games coming from Ubisoft and Tencent.
  • This is all hot off a year that included Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy from Square Enix’s Eidos Montréal studio and a Pirates of the Caribbean expansion to Microsoft’s Sea of Thieves.

Between the lines: The caliber of studios involved augurs well for the games’ quality, though Disney-backed Marvel’s Avengers shows how pairing with a top studio can still produce a flop.

  • Game publishers that agree to these deals are balancing the need to pay Disney for a license against the safer selling points of famous characters.
  • Yes, but: New or even existing video game intellectual property may be squeezed out as studios work on Disney’s Jedis and super-heroes instead.
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