You’ve probably heard the news. Lucasfilm Games announced the partnership with some of the biggest game development studios – Ubisoft. Yes. Just this week Lucasfilm Games announced that the company is teaming up with Meryland-based giants Ubisoft in order to create an open-world Star Wars Game.
Lucasfilm Games + Ubisoft = A New Match Made In Heaven?
But that’s not it. Lucasfilm Games also partnered with Bethesda in order to create a new Indiana Jones game as well. A game that’s developed by Machine Games and executive produced by game industry icon. Todd Howard of Bethesda Games Studios. And yes, you can expect a separate post about that by my awesome colleagues here at IndieGala. So stay tuned for that. However, I will focus (for the most part) on the former partnership. Instead of the latter. The LucasFilm/Ubisoft one, and I can’t wait. Honestly, it was my husband who introduced me to the LucasArts game, and of course, I will share some of them here.
But more on that later. First things first.
The Details In The LucasFilm/Ubisoft Partnership
First and foremost, the this is the first time that a company outside of EA has produced a Star Wars game. That is since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. And of course, the move on behalf of LucasFilm is finally ending nearly 9 years of exclusivity. And even though the details regarding the Star Wars game are sparse, we do know a few details. Julian Gerighty, director of The Division 2 and The Crew, will serve as the game’s creative director.
Oh, and the title will use Massive’s Snowdrop engine. Moreover, the move marks a big shift for LucasFilm’s approach to gaming. The company is finally widening the tent for developers that want to create games using Lucasfilm franchises. Especially games that belong in the Star Wars universe. And finally, Disney says that the relationship with EA will continue even as other developers work on Star Wars games as well.
But what about the new game? Well, not much is known about the game, so understandably the details are sparse. However, stay tuned for more details in the months to come.
Get Your Fix Now (Thanks To IndieGala)
Ah yes. While we wait for the Star Wars game to come out, how about you devour the pre-existing games in Disney’s vault? It’s not like I haven’t written about plenty of them before. And yes. We do have a couple of Star Wars games at your disposal. And of course, we have an entire list of classic Disney games and of course plenty of Ubisoft games. Just click here and take your pick.
Disney, LucasArts and LucasFilms Game
You probably know the story by now. It’s a classic rise and fall story, but when it was good… It was damn mighty fine good. And before I discuss the good times, I feel that I must start with the bad. The year is 2012. The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm and its subsidiaries by the end of 2012. Including LucasArts of course, and for the sum of hefty 4.5 billion dollars. However, at the time of the acquisition, Disney mentioned that there are no plans of downsizing in the aforementioned divisions. The statement from Disney noted that it’s „business as usual“ from that point onward. Nothing will ever change, despite having new owners. Well, they changed their minds fairly quickly.
And by April of 2013 Disney, announced that it was shuttering its video game development practice. Not to mention, they laid off most of the staff, and it was downhill from there. Furthermore, the notion was that any further game development would be handled by Disney Interactive Studios. Or it will be licensed to third-party developers. And that was the case until now.
A Look Back At The Good Times And The Bad
LucasArts was officially born in 1982. At the peak of the Star Wars craze, and by none other than the mastermind himself. George Lucas. The first collaborations for LucasArts were with Atari, back in the early to mid- 80’s. It was also the time when games like Ballblazer Rescue on Fractalus! were born. Oh and here’s a fun fact. Initially, the Games Group worked from Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch near Nicasio, California. How cool was that?
But it was in the ’90s that the company flourished, and so did their games. Adventure games and point and click games no less. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge is a fantastic game from this period, and so is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Indeed, it’s worth noting that artists like Dave Grossman, Tim Shafer and Noah Falstein worked on these games. Legends and true artists in their field, that would not only shaped LucasArts in this particular era. But the game industry too.
Star Wars, Sam&Max, Grim Fandango, Outlaws, And The Dig
Here’s a thing. When I did a small survey on my Facebook page about the LucasArts games that my Facebook friends grew up with… Well, let’s just say… It was a long list. A very long list indeed. But among the favorites were of course the Star Wars games. Starting with X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, The Sith Lords, Knight Of The Old Republic. And of course, Republic Commando was mentioned too.
Some of them mentioned again The Curse of Monkey Island, Loom, Sam&Max Hit The Road. Oh, and Day Of The Tentacle. But unanimously almost everyone mentioned The Curse of Monkey Island, Outlaws, The Dig, And Grim Fandango. Those wore the favorites, and I must admit Grim Fandango is the only one that I’ve tried so far. Needless to say, I loved it, but that’s because I’m a sucker for anything that’s Film Noir related. No joke.
Yes, the ’90s were true heaven for directors, designers and devs in LucasArt’s team. And at the same time, it’s the era in which Michael Stemmle, Sean Clark, Lawrence Holland and Ron Gilbert flourished. Their impact and influence on the gaming industry are still felt today, years after the eventual LucasArts demise.
Some of them went on to form their own companies, while some of them are now successful indie developers. Their legacies remain in the games that they left behind, and the fans know to appreciate them to this very day. Thankfully.
A Good Move For LucasFilm Games?
The partnerships with Ubisoft and Bethesda is of course a good and welcomed move on behalf of LucasFilm games. The rebranded version of the company. Sure, the exclusivity that EA had up to this point is over, and two new players have entered the game. But, by allowing more developers to bring in their ideas for games, the fans are hoping that the company will offer quality once again. Some quality video games that the fans will love to play. Especially open-world games.
This new non-exclusive arrangement for Star Wars games—as well as the rest of Lucasfilm’s library of franchises—leaves open the door for developers to pitch their own ideas for stories to Lucasfilm Games. “We get no shortage of folks knocking on our door, wanting to play with our toys,” Douglas Reilly, VP of Lucasfilm Games, told WIRED.
Are You Hopeful For LucasFilm Games and Ubisoft’s Partnership?
Let us know in the comment section. What are your thoughts on this move? And of course on the Star Wars game that should come out from this partnership. Don’t be shy. We want to know.