At long last, there’s a new hope for Star Wars games. For years, only Electronic Arts could produce titles based on George Lucas’s masterwork, but the contract has finally expired, and now Ubisoft has stepped into the ring. Earlier today (Jan. 13), Ubisoft studio Massive announced that it’s working on a story-driven, open-world Star Wars game, which will kick off a “long-term collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm.”
Information comes from an Ubisoft press release, which includes an interview with two Massive developers: David Polfeldt, the game’s managing director, and Julian Gerighty, the game’s creative director. The two developers commented (in somewhat vague terms) about their plans for the game, as well as what they can add to an IP as well-worn as Star Wars.
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“Right now, we are in the beginning of our new journey, so we are still working out many of the details,” said Gerighty. “But, what we can tell you is that this will be a story-driven open-world game.
“This is a galaxy that we at Massive love, and we want to invite players on a journey they never experienced before in this beloved lore.”
That’s not a whole lot to go on, but we can intuit that the game will probably tell an original Star Wars story, rather than retread territory from the movies or TV shows. Gerighty also hinted that there will be a new cast of characters, which also makes sense for a game that will encourage players to explore and take on challenges at their own pace.
Ubisoft is no stranger to open-world games; in fact, a common criticism of the company is that too many of its games lean on the same formula. Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Watch Dogs, Ghost Recon, Immortals: Fenyx Rising and even The Crew all share quite a bit of DNA. You’ll often scope out an area, find a bunch of side activities and optional collectibles, complete them to improve your skills, advance the story a little bit, then repeat the process in a brand-new area for up to 100 hours. It’s not hard to imagine a Star Wars game going through pretty much the same steps, although maybe this time you’ll explore multiple planets rather than just a single city or country.
It’s worth noting that while EA no longer has exclusive rights to produce Star Wars games, the license hasn’t transferred to Ubisoft entirely. In fact, the contract’s expiration simply means that Lucasfilm will be able to contract any studio it wants to develop Star Wars games, much like LucasArts did back in the old days. EA still has more Star Wars games in the works; Ubisoft is now developing one as well. In the coming months, we’ll almost certainly hear about other studios with interesting new takes on the mythos.
There’s no release date, price or platform availability for Massive’s Star Wars game yet, but it sounds like it’s at least a few years out. In the meantime, you can always play Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order with its fancy new next-gen patch.