EA Canada is in the first stages of making a brand new, open world Star Wars game for next-gen consoles, if recent job postings are to be believed.
Kotaku published the news after spotting an animation job posting at EA’s website. According to Kotaku the job was listed as “a major new next-gen open world action game.” The information was later corroborated in a tweet by a former EA recruiter, who posted a link to a related job opening for a lead combat designer:
— Zeba Manki (@ZebaManki) September 18, 2013
EA recently made an exclusive ten year deal with Disney, giving the publisher exclusive rights to Star Wars video games. After the deal was announced, Electronic Arts executive vice president Blake Jorgensen made it very clear that their Star Wars projects would not be tied directly to the films:
“The beauty of the Star Wars franchise is that it’s so broad and so deep, you don’t have to do a movie game, you can do a game that’s very focused on the world that’s been created around Star Wars.”
Later, he returned to that point, saying that EA planned to “align [the games] with that marketing power that Disney has so it will get aligned with timing around the movies, but it won’t necessarily be aligned with the movie.” Instead, he said, the games will be “very much [based] around the historical types of games as in play, plus new games that we’re inventing around their content, around the broad Star Wars content, and around some of the new assets that they may produce over time as well.”
This ideology falls in line with the first of EA’s Star Wars games that we already know about: Star Wars: Battlefront, DICE’s reboot of the beloved Battlefront franchise, is slated for 2015 and historically never focused much on any story at all, let alone cinematic canon.
The potential for an open world, next-gen Star Wars game is massive, especially when the opportunities for storytelling are opened up beyond the cinematic throughline. Star Wars is one of the biggest fictional universes ever pieced together, and there is always room in its enormous timeline to build new characters and interesting stories.
One of the best examples of this, funnily enough, is LucasArts’s scrapped Star Wars 1313 video game, which would have followed fan-favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett in a seemingly much more intimate setting than the usual intergalactic warfare that Star Wars is known for. 1313 was to take place in an underground city below the surface of Coruscant, and have little ties to the main plotline of the first two film trilogies. The most intriguing aspects of Star Wars 1313‘s 2012 reveal were its gorgeous visuals, compelling gameplay and gritty, more mature tone. This new mystery game (that for all we know could be 1313‘s revival) may deliver on 1313‘s failed promise.
Image: Electronic Arts