On Monday, Disney announced that it would be releasing new games based on Lucasfilm properties under the “Lucasfilm Games” banner, a throwback to the classic developer later dubbed LucasArts. While the announcement at first seemed small, it was later quickly followed by the announcement of an upcoming Indiana Jones game from Wolfenstein developer Machine Games and publisher Bethesda. Now, less than 24 hours after that announcement, Lucasfilm Games has announced that it is teaming up with Ubisoft to develop an open-world Star Wars game.
This announcement comes via a report from Wired, which revealed that Ubisoft Massive, the developer behind titles such as The Division 2 and The Crew 2. The game will make use of Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine, the tool used to create titles such as The Division 2, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole. The studio is still hiring for the Star Wars title, with no information as to whether it will have a single-player or multiplayer focus.
This is the first Star Wars game outside of the Lego Star Wars series to released outside of EA and Disney’s agreement which saw the publisher exclusively releasing games in the Star Wars franchise for an undisclosed number of years. This agreement lead to the creation (and in some cases controversy) of games such as Star Wars: Battlefront and its sequel, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Star Wars: Squadrons. During this time EA had also canceled multiple Star Wars games in development such as titles from Visceral Games (codenamed “Project Ragtag“) and another from EA Vancouver tentatively titled “Orca.”
Until now, it had been speculated that EA’s exclusivity over the Star Wars franchise would be in effect until 2023, 10 years after the company signed the deal with Disney. Commenting on the company’s separation from EA, vice president of Global Games and Interactive Experiences at Disney stated to Wired “EA has been and will continue to be a very strategic and important partner for us now and going forward, but we did feel like there’s room for others.”
It would seem, the creation of the Lucasfilm Games banner implies that EA’s exclusive publishing rights to Star Wars game have expired early. While the company will likely still release titles such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 in the coming years, this collaboration with Ubisoft likely means that fans will begin to see a larger breadth of Star Wars games from a variety of developers and publishers across many consoles.
Ubisoft Massive’s open-world Star Wars game is current in development.