Just yesterday I was talking about EA’s Star Wars license and how it ends in 2023 and now we have reports of the first Star Wars game that will be released after the agreement expires. According to Wired the newly resurrected Lucasfilm Games are teaming up with Ubisoft to create an open world Star Wars game.
The Division 2‘s Julian Gerighty is reported to be onboard as creative director, Ubisoft Massive are on development duties and the game will run on Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine, also created by Ubisoft Massive. That’s it as far as details go but the project is clearly very early in production, and as mentioned, EA have the exclusive license until the end of 2023 so don’t expect any Star Wars fun for Ubisoft until 2024. Wired are suggesting that the exclusivity deal may be wound up early, but a big open world game will take a few years to develop.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) January 13, 2021
“EA has been and will continue to be a very strategic and important partner for us now and going forward,” Sean Shoptaw, senior vice president of Global Games and Interactive Experiences at Disney, commented to Wired, adding “but we did feel like there’s room for others.”
“The Star Wars galaxy is an amazing source of motivation for our teams to innovate and push the boundaries of our medium,” said Ubisoft top dog Yves Guillmot. “Building new worlds, characters and stories that will become lasting parts of the Star Wars lore is an incredible opportunity for us, and we are excited to have our Ubisoft Massive studio working closely with Lucasfilm Games to create an original Star Wars adventure that is different from anything that has been done before.”
This does also leave some question marks over the future of The Division as a franchise. Following its release in March 2019, The Division 2 had a major expansion with Warlord of New York in March 2020, adding a transformed Lower Manhattan to the game and continuing its story. There’s a decent chance that The Division 2 will see some kind of further expansion and continued support, but Massive also have Avatar Project, a game based in the Avatar film universe. That would mean that Massive would have to have three teams to also handle The Division, or the franchise could be handed over to another studio in Ubisoft’s pantheon of worldwide studios, The Division could fade into the background.
The first official game announcement to come from Lucasfilm Games was an Indiana Jones title that will be created in partnership with Bethesda. The game is in development at Wolfenstein series developer MachineGames, and with Todd Howard acting as executive producer, but as Bethesda are now owned by Microsoft this might turn out to be an Xbox and PC exclusive.
A new Indiana Jones game with an original story is in development from our studio, @MachineGames, and will be executive produced by Todd Howard, in collaboration with @LucasfilmGames. It'll be some time before we have more to reveal, but we’re very excited to share today’s news!
— Bethesda (@bethesda) January 12, 2021
UPDATE: Lucasfilm have posted a blog confirming the details above and also revealing that they have “a number of projects underway” with EA