It was a semi-sad day when Disney closed Lucasarts recently — the studio was no longer the home of strong adventure games and other creative experiences, but it still seemed unfortunate. But we all knew that it couldn’t mean the end of Star Wars games; the official statement even said that Lucasarts would adopt a licensing model. Now we know where that license is ending up: in Electronic Art’s hands.
The knee-jerk reaction is to decry this, as EA has some pretty despicable practices that have drawn gamers’ ire. However, let’s look on the bright side of things. While Lucasarts’ canceled Star Wars 1313 had promise, so did the studio’s other recent Star Wars games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and they didn’t turn out great. Star Wars games under EA needn’t necessarily be worse; EA games aren’t always innovative, but the core gameplay is usually solid.
Even better would be if some of EA’s more individualistic studios got to work with the license. The most obvious choice would be BioWare, who have previously worked with the license making Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the recent Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. They also have lots of sci-fi experience with the popular Mass Effect series. It would also be interesting to see Visceral Games (Dead Space) or DICE (Battlefield) take a crack at it.