Since May of 2013 video game publisher Electronic Arts has been the sole owner of the license to use the Star Wars IP in video games. Since then they have released two games both of which was considered critical failures and one being a PR nightmare for EA. Since then they have canceled multiple games set in the Star Wars universe and even closed one of it’s most well known studios Visceral Games which at the time was developing a game set in the Star Wars universe. All of this leads to the question is the Star Wars IP hurting EA more than it’s actually helping it?
At the moment the only two Star Wars games EA has released are “Star Wars: Battlefront” and “Star Wars: Battlefront II”. The first game being criticized for being to shallow and not having enough content in the main game. After the game was released with no campaign and most of the multiplayer content being locked behind a season pass pay wall. The sequel was received to an even worse response. The second iteration tried to fix the issues everyone complained about in the first game by adding a campaign and making all post release content free but where this game messed up and created an even bigger nightmare for EA was the microtransactions. Fans took to social media to call the game “Pay to win” and “A Huge Grind” after the first open beta. Some online users added up the amount of time it would take to unlock certain key characters without paying any extra money and claimed it to be 40 hours or longer per character depending on skill level. Battlefront II never really came back from this after launch and some of the negative reactions has followed DICE, the studio behind Battlefront II, over to their newest game “Battlefield V”. DICE’s newest addition to their “Battlefield” series has performed significantly worse compared to previous years iterations of the previously beloved series.
Since then EA has closed Visceral Games which at the time was making a single player action-adventure Star Wars game set to release in 2019. EA also parted ways with one of Video Game’s most well known story tellers Amy Henning who was brought on at Visceral to help craft the story behind the new Star Wars game. Henning is responsible for the story in the much beloved “Uncharted” series. EA has since fully canceled the game after they claimed it would live on at another studio.
In closing I leave you with this thought the Star Wars license has done nothing but bring bad will and negative reactions to the EA brand and continues to do so as they can not seem to get this under control. So at this point, as rumors start to swirl of Disney trying to pull the IP from them before there contract is up, is it better for EA to wash there hands and be done with the franchise that has brought them so much bad will and try to move on to a brighter future?