The world always needs new videogames, and while so many come out every month, there are some franchises that have been lacking. For instance: Star Wars. There just might be hope on the horizon for those of us mourning the losses of a few recently cancelled Star Wars titles such as the open-world project EA Vancouver had been working on, as it appears Disney is looking for game developers. Let the rumor mill commence!
Earlier this March, folks started noticing job openings popping up at Disney, and not just any job openings. No, these are specific to one entity many gamers have missed for a long time now, Lucasarts. For those of us who remember, this game company brought us all the best Star Wars titles back in the day. Games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and my favourite, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, you know, the classics. It was back in 2013, less than a year after Star Wars was acquired by Disney, when EA stepped into the ring along with DICE, Visceral, and BioWare who were already in the game, announced they would head up the next Star Wars videogames. As a result, we all had to bid adu to Lucasarts and their wonderful work.
So what did we get out of that 2013 announcement? Two major games and a lot of disappointment. Yes, Battlefront and Battlefront 2, we're looking at you. Granted, the games by themselves aren't terrible, it was more how EA handled some things that got fans up in arms. With no real single-player story in the first game, and then the horrific pay to win strategy in the second, it's safe to say Star Wars gamers have been burned a few times in this new arrangement. So why are we talking about Disney Hiring for Lucasarts, especially if EA still owns the rights? Well because if there's one thing we've learned about Disney over the years and especially recently, it's that they like to do everything in-house.
Recently the deal between 21st Century Fox and Disney has been pretty much finalized, it appears. With that acquisition, Disney will officially reunite the X-Men, Spider-Man, and even Deadpool with their fellow Marvel Studios heroes. Once this deal is officially done, perhaps Disney will look toward where the Star Wars properties that aren't fully under their umbrella are. That means Lucasarts may be returning to the table to make great new games in the Star Wars universe. Of course, statements to the otherwise have come out since the job postings were discovered, but we can still speculate and hope, now can't we? I mean, what else might we derive from this, really? And if it turns out to be the truth, then the videogame world shall rejoice!
On top of this, we can speculate a bit further even. Seeing as they're hiring not just for Lucasarts but also for Marvel, perhaps they're looking to make a game studio as well as a store. We've seen them do this before in the sense of their film properties and Disney Now, their streaming platform. They have been recollecting all Marvel and Star Wars properties specifically to bring people to Disney Now. Seeing as Epic Games has stepped into the online game store ring to face off against Steam and Valve, it isn't a farfetched thought that Disney may step into the game as well. And if that's the case, they'll need some games to draw people in.
While writing this article, it came out that EA laid off 350 employees, approximately 4% of their workforce according to Polygon. While this may be entirely unrelated, it could also be a sign of things changing. Most of these large companies do their best to keep deals close to their chest, but when a property is the size of Star Wars, legendary, it's hard to keep things quiet. Considering speculation regarding Episode IX ramped up simply off of a poster and now the short teaser as well as the title of the episode, the franchise can't make a move without someone noticing. With the release of the last title in the three-part trilogy drawing closer, everyone will be watching Disney's moves closely. We'll have to see what this ends up being, but in the meantime, we can hope it means something great in the future.