Disney has announced the return of Lucasfilm Games, which will be the official brand for all Star Wars games.
The rebranding is both retroactive and forward-looking — all previously released and future Star Wars games are now under the Lucasfilm Games umbrella. Disney has also altered the names of its Star Wars video game accounts on Twitter and Facebook to reflect the change.
This announcement may also signal an end to Electronic Arts’ exclusivity deal. The game publisher secured exclusive rights to produce Star Wars games back in 2013. However, the blog post unveiling Lucasfilm Games hinted that the exclusivity deal was ending.
Here’s the relevant excerpt:
“Lucasfilm’s legacy in gaming stretches back decades. And with Lucasfilm and the galaxy far, far away entering a new and unprecedented phase of creativity, so will the world of Lucasfilm Games — developed in collaboration with the finest studios across the industry.”
Indeed, Ubisoft announced its upcoming open-world Star World game shortly after, ending Electronic Arts’ seven year exclusivity deal.
Star Wars veterans will recognize that Lucasfilm Games is not a new initiative but rather a resurrection of sorts. George Lucas founded a game studio called Lucasfilm Games back in 1982, which was eventually rebranded as LucasArts in 1990.
LucasArts was one of the great contributors to the Golden Age of Adventure Games in the late ’80s to early ’90s. During this period, LucasArts released hit after hit, nearly all of which are considered beloved classics now. Maniac Mansion, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, The Secret of Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Sam & Max and Grim Fandango are all counted as some of the best games of all time.
Exclusive licenses in video games are not ideal for consumers, but to EA’s credit, the studio has leveraged skilled developers to pump out some impressive games. The recent Star Wars: Battlefront reboots have been good and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was downright excellent.
Unlike the old Lucasfilm Games, this new Lucasfilm Games is a licensor and not a developer, meaning that Lucasfilm Games won’t make any titles of their own. Instead, it will continue hiring third-party companies to create Star Wars games that still adhere to the singular (and often confusing) Star Wars canon.
Fingers crossed. May the Force be with us.
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