Remember way, way back, when Electronic Arts' handling of the Star Wars license seemed so shaky that Disney had to reassure investors that it had a "good relationship (opens in new tab)" with the company? Yeah, that was last year. Things have improved since then, and now EA CEO Andrew Wilson says that the publisher plans to "double down" on its partnership with Disney going forward.
"We have a tremendous relationship with Disney. We have a tremendous relationship with Lucas," Wilson said, as reported by Gamespot (opens in new tab). "We have a longstanding relationship with them going all the way back to Star Wars The Old Republic that we launched in 2011."
As mentioned, EA didn't have the smoothest start after signing its exclusive Star Wars licensing deal (opens in new tab) with Disney. Anticipated games were canceled (opens in new tab), studios fell apart (opens in new tab), and Star Wars: Battlefront 2's handling of loot boxes (opens in new tab) sparked a lasting furor. We even kicked around some thoughts about who should get the Star Wars license if Disney saw fit to take it aw (opens in new tab)a (opens in new tab)y from EA (opens in new tab).
Following that, Battlefront 2 matured into "the best Star Wars game we've had in years (opens in new tab)," in Fraser's estimation, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order released and was a hit (opens in new tab), and there's now real excitement around the recently-announced dogfighting sim Star Wars: Squadrons (opens in new tab). EA's recent return to Steam also promises to expand the potential audience for future Star Wars releases.
"We've had success in first-person shooters, in RPGs, in action adventure, in MMORPGs, in mobile, and I believe we're going to have success with Squadrons as well," Wilson said. "We're going to double down on that partnership. Disney continues to be very very committed to the IP and to the canon."
During the same event, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said the relationship is strong enough that it's been allowed to create all new characters and content for its games, including Fallen Order and Squadrons, that are considered part of the official Star Wars canon.
Star Wars: Squadrons is slated to come out on October 2, by the way. We have high hopes for it (opens in new tab).