So did it come to pass that Disney owned almost every major American pop culture icon born between 1960 and 1985. Disney bought Jim Henson’s Muppets, it bought Marvel and its pantheon of heroes, and now it owns the myriad Jedi, Ewoks, Wookies, and wealth of Lucasfilm. That’s a lot of potentially great video games, but Disney’s interactive entertainment division won’t be taking over the reigns of Star Wars gaming just yet. After all, Lucasfilm has its own storied development and publishing house, LucasArts. That company has created hundreds of Star Wars and original games, including a library of what many consider the greatest PC adventure games of all time. What does the future hold?
In the immediate future, absolutely nothing is going to change. “For the time being all projects are business as usual,” reads a statement from LucasArts given to IGN, “We are excited about all the possibilities that Disney brings.”
Good news for the teams hard at work on LucasArts’ first round of in-house developed games since 2010’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2. The studio made headlines at E3 2012 when it debuted Star Wars 1313, a new third-person shooter planned for still unannounced next generation consoles like the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4. LucasArts is also rumored to be finishing up an Xbox Live Arcade shooter known as Star Wars: First Assault.
Those games may be the last console Star Wars games for some time after they’re finished. Disney CEO Bob Iger’s statements following the announcement of the Lucasfilm acquisition indicate that Star Wars’ future in video games will lean more towards the realm of Angry Birds Star Wars rather than The Force Unleashed.
When asked how Disney would integrate Lucasfilm’s properties into its interactive business, Iger responded that the companies are “likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console.” That’s not to say their won’t be substantial Star Wars console and PC games, only that Disney and LucasArts won’t be the ones making them. Iger said Disney will “opportunistically” look at console gaming, leveraging licensing deals to create new games. This is similar to what it’s done with Marvel properties. Ubisoft is developing Wii U launch title The Avengers: Battle for Earth for example.
What about those Star Wars games already out there like Electronic Arts’ Star Wars: The Old Republic? Unknown. Digital Trends reached out to EA for a comment on the future of its MMO but as of this writing we have not received a response. When we know more about the future of Disney’s new empire, we’ll update accordingly.