Recently we told you that EA acquired the video game license for the Star Wars franchise. While reactions have been mixed, I can't help but feel excited. While it's become "cool" to hate EA, you can't deny that they are a very capable company that just may make our dreams a reality.
Let's break this down. EA makes money because they know how to both make games, but also market them. EA has Visceral Games and DICE. That means that EA had a big part in both Battlefield and Dead Space which are both very popular franchises. So what, you may ask, could a studio focused on shooters and another centered on atmosphere possibly do for Star Wars? How about give us Battlefront III and Republic Commando II?
There's a reason why DICE's Battlefield 3 gave Call of Duty a run for its money - it's very good. The next entry into the Battlefront series could greatly benefit from a more tactical focus on gameplay. While Battlefront I and II are great games, many of the units are in need of rebalancing. Locations in Battlefront II also suffered some in its level design, but that can be fixed in DICE's hands.
If you add the talent of DICE with the Visceral Games' ability to genuinely scare you out of your skin, you have potential for the next Republic Commando or even an adaption of Star War's zombie novels which I'll talk about later. Republic Commando had some tactics via the other members of your squad, but just like Battlefront it could use refinement. Republic Commando also had some scares along with its creepy atmosphere which is right up Visceral Games' alley.
There's also the chance that Star Wars 1313 will return to production. After LucasArts shut its door, many saw this as the death of Battlefront's M rated, spiritual successor. But with EA at the helm, we may see the title resume production.
While the possibility of sequels is sure to excite fans, there is a lot more to look forward to with the possibility of new IPs. We often dog on EA for not making many new IPs, but Star Wars is an ever expanding universe. It's almost impossible to not add to it. For example, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed looked into the hidden apprentice of Darth Vader and his struggle between good and evil.
If EA wanted to get some inspiration, they could look to the many, many Star Wars novels. For the younger folks, the adventures of the Solo twins and their days at the Jedi Academy would be a great start. If they want to go to something more along the lines of the original movies, the Thrawn Trilogy would be a sure fire way to please fans. Taking place after Return of The Jedi, it would retain the original cast along with some of the most popular Star Wars villains, namely, Grand Admiral Thrawn and mad, fallen Jedi Master C'baoth.
Though there have not been too many instances of zombies in Star Wars, it wouldn't be hard to accomplish in games with Visceral at the helm. With their experience with Dead Space, they could easily create a galactic world full of the undead. While we have seen many variations of the human zombie, we have seen very little, if any, of alien zombies. Wookies, Jawas, Calamarians, Mandalorians, heck even killer Wamp rats would add a whole new level of horror to the genre.
They would be put to great use again if EA chose to adapt the saga of the invading Yuzzhan Vong. They are cultic creatures from another galaxy that see technology as abominations of life and create their weapons, ships, clothes, and even baby cribs from still living creatures. They are also rather fond of bodily disfiguring. If that doesn't scream Dead Space I don't know what does.
The point in mentioning these stories is that there is an endless amount of content that could be adapted to video games. Whether it is a direct adaption or simply an inspiration, EA has more than enough material at their fingertips to deliver new content instead of rehashed sequels.
Now I have one, single concern about EA making Star Wars games. That concern is BioWare. Without going on a rant, they have made it rather clear in the Knights of The Old Republic MMO that they are less concerned about fixing genuine issues and more so with abusing the Free-To-Play model and being politically correct. I sincerely hope that once EA is allowed to touch the online aspects of Star Wars that they will rip KoToR from BioWare instead of allowing this to continue or, worse, follow BioWare's example.
While there will be doubts by many and perhaps even some short comings from EA, the Star Wars franchise is in good hands. The studios under EA are a capable bunch that love Star Wars just as much as us. They will not only make good titles, but may even give us the sequels we've begged for since the days of the first Xbox.