Well, if these rumors are found to be true, it certainly will not surprise me. According to several sources, Disney is allegedly meeting with other gaming companies like Ubisoft and Activision to give the Star Wars license to. Basically, they believe that EA will soon be losing the rights to Star Wars. This would force EA to cancel all work on any Star Wars projects they’re currently working on, and they won’t be able to make those games ever again. Which would be a pretty hard hit to EA. Not really significant, but it would most likely leave EA shaking.
Now, since these are just rumors, part of me believes it, and part of me doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I want this to happen. Electronic Arts has proven time and time again that they are incapable of being responsible with their licenses. Star Wars got a lot of backlash last year both on the game and the film. They were both equally decent in certain aspects, but they were both equally bad in others. Episode VIII wasn’t the greatest Star Wars film to date, and Battlefront 2 EA certainly didn’t help. Last year wasn’t a good year for Star Wars, and if I was Disney, I would demand that EA keeps micro-transactions out of the game to avoid any further controversy. If they refused, then I would inform them that effective immediately, they would no longer be able to produce anymore Star Wars content.
However, this is the real world. As much as I desperately want this to happen, another part of me doubts it will. Disney is a multi-billion dollar company with a market cap of $160 Billion. They make so much money that they mostly likely are allowing EA ownership of the license just because they get so much revenue through their infamous micro-transactions. Both Fifa and Madden are some of their best selling titles. Especially when it comes to their in-game purchases. So it would really surprise me if Disney told them no more Star Wars.
Let me explain my thoughts in detail.
If EA Lost Star Wars…
It would be a hard blow to EA, and would probably force the company to change their entire “Live Service” Plan. After all, their “Live Service” was the reason why Disney had to step in and demand them to temporarily disable their in-game purchases. This would also allow Disney to recover a bit of the backlash from last year. While it may piss off those who are currently dedicated to Battlefront 2 EA, it would allow other more skilled companies make a Star Wars title.
One of the many dreams of gamers is to see a Star Wars game made by Bethesda. Just the thought of it feels like the perfect game. Bethesda is one of the many gaming companies out there that respects and honors single player games. With Wolfenstein II and Evil Within 2 being successful titles last year, Bethesda would easily be a worthy candidate for the Star Wars license. There’s even CD Projekt Red. While they’ve had their little bit of controversy in previous titles, it’s nothing in comparison to the kind of hot water EA is currently in.
When it comes to their titles, not only are they absolutely breath taking, but they also having great gameplay mechanics. Good RPG elements, great combat, great stories, and again, breath taking visuals. The Witcher III being the most popular of their games. They’d be another great choice for the Star Wars license. The only issue with CD Projekt Red, is that they usual cut it real close when developing their titles. Witcher III for example was so very close to failing, and just barely missed flopping at release. That’s about the only thing that you’d need to worry about.
If EA Kept Star Wars…
While it wouldn’t surprise me if EA lost the rights to Star Wars, it also wouldn’t surprise me if EA kept the rights. They are literally a money printer. As I’ve already said previously, both Fifa and Madden have made millions of dollars off of their in-game purchases. They made $1.3 Million in 2015 from these titles. They’ve also been gaining $650 Million annually from their mobile titles. If Disney only cares about revenue (and they do), they’ll obviously chose the company that’ll make them more money.
Companies care more about the money they make, and less about how their consumers feel about their products. Its the one thing both Disney and EA have in common. Pry the main reason why their allegedly looking at Activision and Ubisoft for other companies to make Star Wars games. While not as bad as EA, they are pretty infamous for their in-game purchases. Activision with their Supply Drops, and Ubisoft with their infamous Season Passes. Better companies, but not really consumer friendly.
Could EA lose Star Wars? If Disney does the right thing, then yes, but it would certainly surprise me if they did. However, I partially don’t believe it’ll happen. EA makes so much money off of in-game purchases both from their mobile and AAA titles. When it comes down to it, Disney will chose the company that’ll make them more money.
All we can now do is wait and see. As far as I’m concerned, neither EA nor Disney has made any remarks on the recent rumors. So for now, nothing can be confirmed nor denied. Take what these sources say with a grain of salt. If it happens, it happens. Will I feel bad? Not really. The only people I’ll feel bad for are the gamers who bought this game and had faith in it’s future. EA fucked up, and they need to own up to it. They owe it to the people who spent $60 of their own money getting the game. No more bullshit. No more lies. No more excuses.
Be transparent, developers!