BioWare will be the lead developer for all Star Wars games for the next several years, and it could honestly be worse.
For generations, Star Wars has set the bar for science fiction and space opera. No fictional piece technology is as iconic as the lightsaber, and kids around the world have buzzed themselves silly while swinging a stick for nearly half a century. Within gaming, Star Wars games have always set themselves apart from the pack due how they fulfill every Jedi, Sith, or bounty hunter fantasy that is deep within the heart of every nerd. Several months ago, I, alongside every other Star Wars fan sat in tentative nervousness when it was announced that Lucasfilm would be sold to The Walt Disney Company. Today, our hearts have once again been set ill at ease, when Disney announced that they have settled a multi-year exclusive development contract with Electronic Arts.
In their announcement, EA Labels president said the following, "Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe. Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay."
Star Wars: The Old Republic is the only massively-multiplayer online game with a Free-to-Play option that puts you at the center of your own story-driven Star Wars saga. Play as a Jedi, a Sith, a Bounty Hunter or as one of many other Star Wars iconic roles and explore an age over three-thousand years before the classic films. Become the hero of your own Star Wars adventure as you choose your path down the Light or Dark side of the Force.
With an experienced Star Wars developer like BioWare at the helm, the Star Wars saga is far from ruined. EA has been making a clear effort to turn over a new leaf in the last few months, so it's very possible that they will allow BioWare the freedom to explore the Star Wars universe and create the compelling games that they're known for.
Although no details about any specifics have been announced yet, EA and Disney are almost certainly working on something already. This contract is very good news for the future of Star Wars: The Old Republic, because it means that EA feels confident enough with the game's success to continue to work with the franchise. It is bad news for old school geeks like me who have been holding out on SOE to come back with a pre-CU version of Star Wars Galaxies.
Many Star Wars fans such as myself are in a situation of mixed faith. On the one hand, EA is well known for cashing in whenever possible, and for generally being terrible with taking fans and consumers into consideration with their products. On the other hand, EA has agreed to team up several studios, including DICE (Battlefield series) and Visceral (Dead Space series), who will be joining forces with BioWare in the development of the new Star Wars games. BioWare has developed several successful Star Wars series, including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I and II, as well as the more recent MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic.