EA Gets Licence For Star Wars Games

Plus: Mark Hamill says some stuff

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Those wondering what would happen to Star Wars' game series after Disney switched off the lights at LucasArts need ponder no longer. It's just been announced that Disney has inked a deal with Electronic Arts to take hold of the destiny of the long-ago-and-far-away franchise.

Specifically, this means three developers will be at work on whatever games accompany the cinematic Episode VII and its successors. Wielding the lightsabers and piloting the TIE-Fighters will be BioWare (Knights of the Old Republic), DICE (the Battlefield franchise) and Visceral (Dead Space).

EA currently runs the Old Republic MMORG, so their acquisition of the ongoing Star Wars gig comes as no great surprise. They're not, it's perhaps fair to say, the most beloved company among gamers, so it's unlikely that the announcement will cause many fans to break out the Membrosia. Still, Knights Of The Old Republic was great.

"Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe," said EA's Frank Gibeau. "Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. DICE and Visceral will produce new games, joining the BioWare team which continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay."

"Our number one objective was to find a developer who could consistently deliver our fans great Star Wars games for years to come," said LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy. "When we looked at the talent of the teams that EA was committing to our games and the quality of their vision for Star Wars, the choice was clear."

Meanwhile, over in the J. J. Abrams camp, Mark Hamill has been speaking about Episode VII again, this time following a screening of Return Of The Jedi in LA. He said that he's loves Michael Arndt's writing, which is great because a good script is the most important thing; that he hopes for a good balance between CGI and practical effects, which seems to be the plan from what he's heard; and that he fully expects the focus of the new trilogy to be on the next generation, "which is as it should be."

Head over to AICN for the full lowdown of the evening's Q&A. Quote of quotes: "From my perspective, [Episodes I-III] have a beginning, a middle and an end and take place before I was born, so I'm not required to know anything about them."