EA to develop and publish new Star Wars games through exclusive license with Disney

Walt Disney and EA have struck a deal that will give EA the rights to the Star Wars name, making them the exclusive developer and publisher for future Star Wars gaming titles. While many speculated that Disney Interactive may take over these responsibilities, this announcement came out of left field. Disney will still hold rights to mobile gaming and social gaming in the Star Wars universe.

Here’s what was said in the official press release from some of the big guys at Disney Interactive and EA:

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating quality game experiences that drive the popularity of the Star Wars franchise for years to come,” said John Pleasants, Co-President of Disney Interactive. “Collaborating with one of the world’s premier game developers will allow us to bring an amazing portfolio of new Star Wars titles to our fans around the world.”

“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” said EA Labels President 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.”

While the thought of EA controlling the Star Wars franchise scares the hell out of me, it almost seems appropriate that they would gain the rights, as EA is the video game equivalent of George Lucas. But to offer some suggestions to EA, and specifically BioWare, Knights of the Old Republic 3, please?

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