The Walt Disney Company and Electronic Arts have just announced a huge, multi-year exclusivity deal for new games based on Star Wars characters and storylines. Barring certain social, mobile, tablet and online game projects which Disney retains the rights to, EA will be the sole licensee of the Star Wars franchise with respect to video games going forward. No financial details, nor the length of the exclusivity agreement, were revealed.
Electronic Arts' Label President Frank Gibeau offered the following statement:
"Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe. Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining the BioWare team which continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay."
According to that statement, it appears that Electronic Arts' license is exclusive to their own first party studios. To hear that DICE, Visceral and specifically BioWare are now working on Star Wars properties is, well, to be quite honest -- awesome. To hear that no other Star Wars games will be made other than by EA is, well, to be quite honest -- disappointing.
We already know that BioWare's focus is currently on Star Wars: The Old Republic and its continued development. In the past they also developed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, though I consider it highly doubtful the original RPG franchise will return while the MMO is still running. What DICE and Visceral might be working on is anyone's guess.
There it is, Disney and Electronic Arts have agreed to a multi-year exclusivity deal for all new games based on the Star Wars property, barring a few smaller titles Disney has retained the rights to. If anyone needs me, I'll be in my bunker.