EA isn't slowing down on Star Wars games despite losing exclusivity, CEO says

Star Wars: Squadrons
(Image credit: EA)

In January, Disney announced that a reconstituted Lucasfilm Games would be the official home of all future Star Wars games, a blast of nostalgia that put a very big question mark on Electronic Arts' exclusive license to the property. That question was answered the next day when Lucasfilm revealed that a brand new Star Wars game is being developed by Ubisoft's Massive Entertainment studio.

A couple of hours after that big bit of news dropped, Electronic Arts recommitted to its relationship with the Star Wars brand by way of Twitter:

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In response to a question during today's investors call about how the loss of the exclusive license will affect the company's approach to Star Wars games in the future, EA CEO Andrew Wilson reiterated that position, suggesting that he doesn't expect the change to have much impact at all, and that "you shouldn't read this as us necessarily building less titles."

"I don't think you should imagine that the fact that some other people will build some Star Wars games is going to change our commitment to that IP, or our ability to build the appropriate number of games," he said. 

"We've had a long partnership with Disney, both before our exclusive period that gave us a great opportunity to really establish some very strong franchises like Battlefront, like Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, like Jedi: Fallen Order, like Squadrons—you should expect us to continue to invest in our Star Wars relationship. It's been very profitable to this point—over $3 billion in net bookings—and we're excited about what we'll be able to do in the future."

EA does have a definite head start on other publishers working with the Star Wars license. It didn't get off to the best possible start with the series: What should have been the most interesting Star Wars game to come along in years instead resulted in the closure of Visceral Games, and instead of building on the success of Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefront 2 ended up burning down a major source of industry revenues—but it eventually got into a rhythm with winners like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the long-overdue dogfighting game Star Wars: Squadrons, and even Star Wars Battlefront 2, which in time grew to become "the best Star Wars game we've had in years."

"I think what you should take from this more broadly as a company is that we believe in our ability to execute and deliver great, high-quality, deeply engaging content for our fans, across both our sports business, our wholly owned IP business, and our licensed partnership business like the one we have with Star Wars," Wilson said. "And we feel confident and comfortable that we're going to be able to deliver great games for the future."

EA hasn't yet announced any new Star Wars games, but rumors of a new Star Wars Battlefront game have recently surfaced on Reddit.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.