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Disney Says Now Is The Time For An Open-World Star Wars Game

Electronic Arts | Lucasfilm Games

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

22nd Jun 2021 12:52

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Do feel a rumbling in the Force? Like Sheev Palpatine himself, Lucasfilm Games is back from the dead and ready to hop behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon for a new generation of Star Wars games. Aside from our hopes of a sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and a Knights of the Old Republic remake, the most exciting piece of news is confirmation Ubisoft is working on an open-world Star Wars game.

For almost as long as there have been Star Wars movies, there have been Star Wars games. The honour of being the first-ever Star Wars video game actually debuted five years after A New Hope with Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1982. Since then, it's been a galaxy of arcade games, racers, shooters, and even brawlers.

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Why is now the right time for an open-world Star Wars game?

While George Lucas handled the original trilogy and the divisive prequels, the Star Wars name jumped into hyperspace in 2012 when the rights to Lucasfilm were sold to Disney. From there, we've had a new trilogy, an evolving slate of Disney+ shows, and more games than you can wave a lightsaber at. With an open-world gaming having the potential to blast the competition out of the sky, Disney bosses have explained why now is the right time. 

Speaking to IGN, SVP of Walt Disney Games Sean Shoptaw explained how his team met with Ubisoft Massive to discuss an open-world Star Wars. "That first meeting we had with Massive around the Avatar game after we acquired Fox was really the jumping off point for the Star Wars game," said Shoptaw.

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Following Disney's buyout of 20th Century Fox and development of Ubisoft's open-world Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Shoptaw decided it was time to make the move on another major franchise: "There was such alignment and such creative passion around the Star Wars IP from that team that it just was a natural evolution to the relationship, and really led to the Star Wars game we announced not too long ago". 

The announcement of an open-world Star Wars game comes after years of requests from fans. Massive is set to tackle this Death Star-sized challenge after Avatar, however, Shoptaw confirmed whether the chicken or the egg came first. "We've wanted to do it with the right partner at the right time," he continued. "I think it's easy for us to want to jump quickly, especially when we know there's demand, but we need to be disciplined as well on when we do these things and who we do them with.

"So as much as there's been an ambition internally as much as externally to have an experience like this made, we really wanted it to come at the right time with the right partner", said Shoptaw. "The worst thing we could do is do it wrong, and do it in a way that doesn't resonate with fans or doesn't meet that bar. And so we certainly feel like the wait will be worth it. We're super, super excited about where this game is going. I was just on a call actually this morning with the Massive team about it, and could not be more excited about where they're taking this game and the opportunity we have with this experience". 

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Why is the first open-world Star Wars game?

It's true that Star Wars games have dabbled with some open-world elements in previous titles. 2019's Fallen Jedi saw Respawn Entertainment add some exploration to the main narrative, but still, Cal Kestis was locked onto a pretty linear path. Of course, you can't mention open-world Star Wars without giving the nod to Star Wars 1313

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Back in the day, Lucasfilm Games had been working on an ambitious title that would've taken us into the depths of Coruscant's crime-riddled Level 1313. The game would've opened with an unnamed bounty hunter, who was going to be killed off in Game of Thrones style, only to hand over player control to the legendary Boba Fett.

The idea of 1313 has long since faded into obscurity, but with Star Wars overlord Kathleen Kennedy saying ideas could appear further down the line, we're hoping elements could return for Ubisoft's game or in The Mandalorian. Speaking of which, Santa Monica Studio's Cory Barlog recently teased his own Mandalorian video game. The God of War director has often pleaded for someone to make an open-world game following those beskar-wearing bounty hunters. 

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Whatever the future hold for the franchise, rest assured that a glorious union between Disney and Ubisoft could deliver one of the greatest video games of all time - let alone in George Lucas' not-so-little world. There's no release date for Ubisoft's open-world Star Wars game, but safe to say, there's some Darth Vader-inspired heavy breathing right now.

 

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Star Wars Battlefront 3' Cancelled' Because Of Battlefield

EA | DICE

Written by 

Katey Roberts

Posted 

22nd Nov 2021 18:30

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