Ubisoft announces story-driven, open-world Star Wars game

EA is no longer the sole maker of Star Wars games

Ubisoft has revealed that it is working on a new Star Wars game.

On Twitter, the French publishing giant noted that the game will be a “brand-new, story-driven, open-world Star Wars adventure.”

Notably, the untitled Star Wars game isn’t being developed by one of Ubisoft’s several Canadian studios, like open-world Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and Watch Dogs veteran Ubisoft Montreal. Instead, Malmö, Sweden-based Ubisoft Massive — the studio behind The Division series — is handling development duties on the new Star Wars game.

No further details are known about the game. In a larger feature about Lucasfilm GamesWired noted that development on the title is still “very early,” with Massive still hiring for many key roles. Therefore, it’s likely that it won’t be released for a number of years.

Still, the announcement is noteworthy since Star Wars games traditionally have been linear fare, not open-world. Moreover, the Ubisoft Massive game officially marks the end of Electronic Arts’ era of Star Wars titles. Since 2013, the Redwood City, California-based publisher has held the exclusive rights to produce Star Wars games. At the time, Disney noted that the deal would last for 10 years, so it’s unclear why it’s ending after eight years.

However, EA’s tenure as the sole Star Wars publisher had been bumpy at best, marked by only a handful of titles released in eight years on top of a fair amount of controversy.

The company’s first Star Wars game, 2015’s Battlefront, garnered mixed reception for having an overall lack of content. Further, its 2017 sequel launched with significant in-app purchases that gave players gameplay advantages, leading to governments across the world looking into further regulation of microtransactions in games. All the while, EA cancelled two Star Wars games — one from now-defunct Dead Space developer Visceral and FIFA studio EA Vancouver.

However, the publisher’s most recent Star Wars games, 2019’s Jedi Fallen Order (Respawn Entertainment) and last year’s Squadrons (Montreal’s EA Motive) were much more positively received.

The Ubisoft Star Wars game announcement doesn’t mean that Lucasfilm is completely done with EA, however. “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, told Wired. “But we did feel like there’s room for others.”

To that point, Lucasfilm also announced earlier this week that it’s working with Bethesda on an Indiana Jones game, which will be developed by Wolfenstein maker Machine Games.

Source: Ubisoft