DICE And Visceral Will Be Making New ‘Star Wars’ Games Under EA/Disney Deal

Let’s get the snark out of the way up front: it’s like the two evil empires have united, right?

Disney and EA have entered into an agreement where the latter will develop and publish games based on storylines and characters set in the “Star Wars” universe, with “Dead Space” developer Visceral and “Battlefield” developer DICE tapped to make a “Star Wars” titles. Also, BioWare might be up to something.

The press release simply says that BioWare “continues to develop for the Star Wars franchise,” and presumably that’s referring to “The Old Republic” and another pitches/concepts that might be on the table set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The Visceral and DICE announcements are slightly more concrete, with EA and Disney tapping the two studios to make some undetermined amount of games, presumably for consoles and the PC.

Discussing this with my colleague Clint Mize, it’s clear we have some favorites for the two studios: specifically, some kind of “Battlefront”-style game from DICE and maybe a strategy-minded third-person shooter from Visceral. It’s telling that Disney and EA have gone with two studios known for putting players behind gun sights, making it questionable whether we’ll get a more Jedi powers-centric action game a la “The Force Unleashed” (hey, there were some good ideas there).

The interesting angle is that Disney is still holding on to some rights for mobile, social, tablet, and online games (and likely the addition of “Star Wars” characters to “Disney Infinity” should Disney be inclined to make money hand over fist).

Honestly, I’d like to hope that Visceral might be able to take the reins on “Star Wars 1313,” but that doesn’t seem at all likely. In the release, EA Labels President Frank Gibeau explained that the new titles might potentially borrow elements from the new films (of which we’ll be getting one a year for the foreseeable future), but that each will be based around original gameplay and storylines.

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