Part of the 10-year license deal that grants Electronic Arts the exclusive rights to create Star Wars games also allows EA to create titles that are considered “their own franchises,” according to Variety. In theory, that means EA could create a completely original game, or even delve into the Star Wars Extended Universe as it did with Star Wars: The Old Republic, which was inspired by Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars universe.
It also means that gamers are going to be spared the traditionally horrible movie tie-in games that have typically accompanied big-budget genre films like Star Wars.
“We’ve done movie games over the years and we wanted to make sure that we weren’t doing a movie game, i.e., game based on the movie,” EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen said. “The beauty of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise is that it’s so broad and so deep, you don’t have to do a movie game, you can do a game that’s very focused on the world that’s been created around ‘Star Wars.’”
While speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference, Jorgensen also stated that despite a rocky launch, Star Wars: The Old Republic is now a “profitable business” for EA, and it plans to continue to support it for the foreseeable future.
“We think as the ‘Star Wars’ franchises start to grow with Disney’s investment, we’ll continue to see more excitement around [The Old Republic] as well as the other games that we’ll start to produce,” he said.
One of the big questions Star Wars fans have had since Disney purchased Lucasfilms is what would happen to the massive Extended Universe that has been created in the wake of Star Wars. EA’s The Old Republic is heavily influenced by the Dark Horse Comics universe, much of which was set thousands of years before the events of the films. With Dark Horse’s contract with Lucasfilms expiring this year, the rights to the comics will belong to the Disney-owned Marvel and the Dark Horse history will likely be rebooted. With this announcement though, EA may continue to keep a small corner of that Extended Universe alive.