RUMOR: Lucasfilm May License Star Wars Projects To Ubisoft And Activision

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It’s safe to say that it’s been a pretty bumpy ride for Star Wars fans ever since Electronic Arts acquired the exclusive video game license from the Mouse House back in 2013.

Though the original Battlefront was met with its fair share of critical backlash due to a paltry offering of content — namely a questionable lack of a single player campaign, along with the added insult of dangling a gigantic Death Star-shaped carrot, AKA ‘The Season Pass,’ in front of would-be buyers — it still sold well enough for two reasons. Firstly, the prodigious strength of its license. Secondly, the solid multiplayer gameplay at the heart of the first person shooter was Swedish developer DICE’s bread and butter.

Fast forward to 2017, and its sequel, Battlefront II was positioned as a way of making amends for the missteps the company had made in its first video game foray into that beloved galaxy far, far away. Unfortunately, the backlash was even stronger with this one, as early adopters promptly clamored onto forums screaming: “IT’S A TRAP!”

Long story short, despite Battlefront II shipping with more single player focused content than its predecessor (a wee 5 hour campaign, no less), fans were outraged by the insidious inclusion of gameplay-changing micro-transactions — mostly in the form of loot-boxes — as well as a buggy multiplayer experience and borked progression systems to boot. In a nutshell, it was a complete PR disaster for EA, which reportedly resulted in Disney stepping in and demanding that the company must gut all micro-transactions from its game in a bid to save the backlash spreading to The Last Jedi.

On top of all this was the cancellation of one of EA’s most promising Star Wars projects, which was in development by the now defunct Visceral Games. Not only was it shaping up quite well, but it was EA’s official reasoning that was the real kick in the teeth to hardcore fans. Essentially, Visceral Games — crafted by a team who are known for their single player story-driven action games, we might add — were shuttered and the game was cancelled because it was too single player focused.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel now, as Disney may be shopping the license around to other potential developers. Cinelinx reports that Lucasfilm is looking at other options, after taking EA to the “principal’s office” to discuss what was going wrong, while also reaching out to both Activision and Ubisoft to see what they could offer in regards to a Star Wars project of their own.

“I know what you’re thinking, because I had the same thoughts,” reads the report. “EA has a contract for the games, exclusively. How could Disney get around that without breaching and causing more problems? I don’t know all the technical aspects of it, but supposedly there’s an addendum of some kind within the contract that would allow Disney to pull the license, or shop it around, if certain standards/conditions weren’t met.”

Clearly, Battlefront II has been significantly underperforming due to the aforementioned backlash, which may’ve been the straw that has broken the camel’s back and forced Disney to re-evaluate their IP. It should be noted that neither EA or Lucasfilm have said anything official on the matter thus far, so take this report with a pinch of salt. Still, we can’t help but daydream about the fantastic experience that a great Star Wars game could bring to the table.

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