First unveiled at The Game Awards last December, the debut reveal trailer for Star Wars Eclipse was undeniably striking. Possibly one of the most intense bits of Star Wars related media of the past few years, despite it being an obviously pre-rendered mood piece.
For a heady two minutes and thirty-seven seconds, hopes were high. Expectations swiftly plummeted with the appearance of the Quantic Dream logo—the developers of the wonky Detroit: Become Human, and a studio mired in deep controversy and with a patchy track record despite a flair for the cinematic.
Is there a Star Wars Eclipse release date?
Shrouded in mystery, this release date is. As impressive as the trailer was, it seems more of a tone piece than anything representing the final game. At the Game Awards the project was described as being in "early development," which for a heavily story-driven game of this size usually means being at least a couple years from release.
Some reckon that it might be multiple years until the game sees the light of day. While any unsourced claims should be taken with a pinch of salt, prolific industry leaker and freelance games journalist Tom Henderson claimed to have an inside line on Eclipse's production, and shared a few tidbits via Twitter, including mention that the game will run on Quantic Dream's own in-house engine.
Among the revelations is that the game is more ambitious than your average Quantic Dream interactive movie, and angling to be a full open-world game. Henderson also claims Eclipse is three to four years away from release at minimum. At the time of his Twitter post in December 2021, he pointed out that Quantic Dream had over 60 job openings at its Paris studio and 9 in Montreal. As of February 2022, there were 59 vacancies in Paris and 4 in Montreal.
What kind of game is Star Wars Eclipse?
Quantic Dream has been tight-lipped on details, beyond the official site mentioning that players will control "a diverse cast of charismatic characters," and (unsurprisingly, given the studio's track record) there will be a focus on player choice, with the "dramatic repercussions" resulting from decisions.
More interestingly, although still unsourced, Tom Henderson's leaks suggest that this is more ambitious than Quantic Dream's previous few games. Rather than being an interactive movie with occasional freeform walking around, he claims the studio is making a full open-world adventure with some kind of multiplayer component.
Given that Quantic Dream started out with the bizarre Omikron: The Nomad Soul (featuring the late, great David Bowie), an open world game isn't entirely outside of its wheelhouse, but we've yet to see any confirmation either way.
Here are a bunch of screenshots from the Star Wars Eclipse trailer
When and where is Star Wars Eclipse set?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, of course. Specifically, the High Republic era. The two hundred years or so before Emperor Palpatine went and ruined everything. A golden age where everything in the galaxy seemed (relatively) idyllic, the Jedi were in control and nobody was particularly worried about the Sith anymore. Of course, you know what they say about pride and falls; they land you in the garbage compactor of history.
The official Eclipse site mentions that at least part of the game is set in the Outer Rim, the largely uncharted part of the galaxy where anything goes. Ripe territory for Quantic Dream to come up with all-new worlds, races and problems that won't mess with existing continuity and canon too much.
Still, expect familiar elements. Everyone's favorite old sponge, Yoda, is seen staring pensively out a window in the trailer. We also see the return of the Neimoidians, the species most closely associated with the Trade Federation, the faction that sparked the conflict leading to the fall of the Republic.
We also see a whole fleet of the Trade Federation's droid-crewed ships involved in a battle with a mysterious new faction with their own capital ships, fighters, and (as one trailer shot shows) a large terrestrial army. A new threat discovered in the Outer Rim? Only time will tell.
What's so controversial about Quantic Dream?
And here we come to the Ortolan in the room. While our own Andy Chalk covered the allegations in detail here, the short version is that Quantic Dream and its founder and director David Cage have been neck deep in allegations of sexism, homophobia, and other inappropriate behavior. Quantic Dream has pursued legal action against two collaborating French media outlets reporting on the issue.
Quantic Dream won one of the cases, largely because the outlet in question—Le Monde—was unwilling to reveal its anonymous sources. The other outlet, Mediapart, won its case. It should be noted that nothing in the case exonerated Quantic Dream or disproved the allegations.
However you look at it, I'd be very surprised to see anything concrete about this game until 2023, with a distant chance of it launching next year. Personally, I'm filing Eclipse away in the same mental space as Beyond Good And Evil 2, Ubisoft's own open-world pulp space epic; a potentially pleasant game surrounded by scathing rumors and bad vibes.