Electronic Arts Selected for Multi-Year Agreement for the Future of Star Wars Gaming

Darth Metalmute

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Ugh... There are much better developers out there than EA, but at least BioWare will get to continue developing their star wars games. I would have loved, however, someone like 2K Games get a shot at bringing the "BioShock" experience to a Star Wars game.

Noticeably missing is the mention of Star Wars 1313.

Speaking of which, did anyone happen to see the hour-long Battlefront 3 preview? Looked really promising.
 

Mr. JabbaJohnL

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I'm not up on video games anymore, but hasn't EA annoyed a ton of gamers with their "always-on" nonsense and lots of related issues? We'll see how this shakes out, but at the moment it doesn't look like people are too pleased with this (but then again, why should that be different than anything they've announced since the buyout?).

If nothing else, I am glad to see that they'll still be making Star Wars games for consoles and not just mobile devices, since early quotes made it seem like this was the case.
 

JediTricks

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Ugh... There are much better developers out there than EA, but at least BioWare will get to continue developing their star wars games. I would have loved, however, someone like 2K Games get a shot at bringing the "BioShock" experience to a Star Wars game.

Noticeably missing is the mention of Star Wars 1313.

Speaking of which, did anyone happen to see the hour-long Battlefront 3 preview? Looked really promising.
Ugh indeed, EA sucks mightily, they're considered among the worst offenders in the industry of... everything. I don't look forward to annual title re-ups and on-disc DLC and overly-aggressive anti-piracy measures.

Not sure how BioWare continuing on is a good thing, SW:TOR hasn't so much knocked socks off as bored audiences away, it's like they're coasting off of KOTOR from a decade ago.

Wow, gee, totally surprised nobody wanted to license 1313 with all its layers upon layers of proprietary technology that'd need to be separately licensed and then all the development having been scrapped in place of a Boba Fett game that went nowhere. :rolleyes: Thanks Disney, jerks.

I'm not up on video games anymore, but hasn't EA annoyed a ton of gamers with their "always-on" nonsense and lots of related issues? We'll see how this shakes out, but at the moment it doesn't look like people are too pleased with this (but then again, why should that be different than anything they've announced since the buyout?).

If nothing else, I am glad to see that they'll still be making Star Wars games for consoles and not just mobile devices, since early quotes made it seem like this was the case.
Yeah, EA really blew it with Sim City's bogus "always on" requirement that made launch week a total disaster, and then it turns out the game's online AI doesn't work at all so the game COULD have been played offline easily and they were just covering up for another awful anti-piracy measure.
 

Darth Metalmute

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Not sure how BioWare continuing on is a good thing, SW:TOR hasn't so much knocked socks off as bored audiences away, it's like they're coasting off of KOTOR from a decade ago.
I guess it's because I'm still hoping they strike gold again with a game like KOTOR. The Mass Effect series was really well done, and I would like to see something like that done with Star Wars.

There are so many great video game developers out there, why sign a deal so quickly? I would have loved to see what the people at 2K games could do to a Star Wars game, or the Assassins Creed people at UbiSoft. Even 343 Industries or the developers over at Bungie would have brought a much needed new perspective the the Star Wars Universe. But with EA Games getting the contract, we know what we are going to get; cruddy game mechanics, stupid copyright gimmicks, ridiculous mobile game tie-ins, and a giant slap in the face from the current Star Wars establishment that it becoming a center point of the new reign.

You know what else bothers me about the termination of LucasArts? We never got a decent ending to The Force Unleashed. I know TFU2 was a complete slap in the face of the fans of the series, but it would have been nice to see how it ended.
 

El Chuxter

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Maybe I'm out of the loop more than I thought, but I seem to recall EA being one of the best 10-20 years ago. What changed?
 

Lord Malakite

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Yeah, EA really blew it with Sim City's bogus "always on" requirement that made launch week a total disaster, and then it turns out the game's online AI doesn't work at all so the game COULD have been played offline easily and they were just covering up for another awful anti-piracy measure.
You think Sim City's "always on" requirement is bad, just wait till Microsoft's next generation Xbox comes out if the rumors are true. Now that will be a total disaster. Microsoft is supposed to announce the next gen system on May 21st, but right now the rumor is (from several credible insiders) that its supposed to have an "always on" requirement. If you aren't online the games simply won't play. Its supposed to be part of Microsoft's new strategy to appease publishers by preventing owners from playing used games. While a game disc will be required to play, the games themselves will be required to be downloaded directly onto the new Xbox's hard drive to play (as opposed to playing directly off the disc). Each disc will then have its own unique identification internally that the new Xbox will constantly check to the game data on the hard drive and the new Xbox system data/game data that is stored on your Xbox Live account.
 

Mr. JabbaJohnL

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You know what else bothers me about the termination of LucasArts? We never got a decent ending to The Force Unleashed. I know TFU2 was a complete slap in the face of the fans of the series, but it would have been nice to see how it ended.
It's entirely possible that there will still be a Force Unleashed III - and now it won't be from the same team that brought us the rushed FU II (whose acronym is very appropriate). FU III, 1313, and Battlefront III should probably at the top of EA's list if they want to please the fans.
 

JediTricks

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I guess it's because I'm still hoping they strike gold again with a game like KOTOR. The Mass Effect series was really well done, and I would like to see something like that done with Star Wars.
EA and BioWare catches a lot of flak for the Mass Effect series ending though. The thing about BioWare is they've been spread too thin, so repeating KOTOR levels of quality would be difficult if not impossible.

There are so many great video game developers out there, why sign a deal so quickly? I would have loved to see what the people at 2K games could do to a Star Wars game, or the Assassins Creed people at UbiSoft. Even 343 Industries or the developers over at Bungie would have brought a much needed new perspective the the Star Wars Universe. But with EA Games getting the contract, we know what we are going to get; cruddy game mechanics, stupid copyright gimmicks, ridiculous mobile game tie-ins, and a giant slap in the face from the current Star Wars establishment that it becoming a center point of the new reign.
Yup, all right on the money.

You know what else bothers me about the termination of LucasArts? We never got a decent ending to The Force Unleashed. I know TFU2 was a complete slap in the face of the fans of the series, but it would have been nice to see how it ended.
Never thought about that, but it really doesn't feel complete. TFU feels complete without TFU2, but TFU2 doesn't feel complete at all.


Maybe I'm out of the loop more than I thought, but I seem to recall EA being one of the best 10-20 years ago. What changed?
You're really thinking about the EA of the SNES/Sega Genesis years, and they've become a giant insane company-eating conglomerate in the last decade or so. The last few years at EA have been all about annually milking franchises without notable improvements, microtransactions ("$5 to buy this car" and such), DLC, in-game advertising, a downward spiral in game-quality, and over-the-top DRM.


You think Sim City's "always on" requirement is bad, just wait till Microsoft's next generation Xbox comes out if the rumors are true. Now that will be a total disaster. Microsoft is supposed to announce the next gen system on May 21st, but right now the rumor is (from several credible insiders) that its supposed to have an "always on" requirement. If you aren't online the games simply won't play. Its supposed to be part of Microsoft's new strategy to appease publishers by preventing owners from playing used games. While a game disc will be required to play, the games themselves will be required to be downloaded directly onto the new Xbox's hard drive to play (as opposed to playing directly off the disc). Each disc will then have its own unique identification internally that the new Xbox will constantly check to the game data on the hard drive and the new Xbox system data/game data that is stored on your Xbox Live account.
Here's the thing, with the Xbox, you know what you're getting into, you know in advance that it will require an always-online connection, and you can choose not to buy it because of that at the outset. With SimCity's launch, they really didn't tell you that, they undersold the problem and didn't recognize the demand, EA didn't invest enough in server technology to support that launch and it crushed it. Then they lied and mislead and made promises they couldn't keep to support the problem. And it wasn't on a console, it was on your own PC - you had no choice thanks to EA.

As for the next Xbox being always online, there's a new rumor that Microsoft has reversed course on that: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/05/microsoft-next-xbox-will-work-even-when-your-internet-doesnt/

If they stick with this always-on DRM crap and require huge installs to the drive, there won't be much market for it. The industry has been trying to enact these 1-disc, 1-machine ideas for decades now to no avail, I doubt Microsoft will succeed where nobody else has.
 

Darth Metalmute

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There would be such a huge anti-trust lawsuit if the next gen consoles pulled that crap. It would completely shut down several companies whose sole purpose is renting games.

EA and BioWare catches a lot of flak for the Mass Effect series ending though. The thing about BioWare is they've been spread too thin, so repeating KOTOR levels of quality would be difficult if not impossible.
I never understand what they did with that ending. It's like they put all this time and effort into a great game, then were cut short on time. Even the extra ending that was downloadable content wasn't acceptable.
 

JediTricks

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Ok, so news hit that Frostbite 3, EA's next-gen gaming engine that most of their upcoming games will be based on including whatever Star Wars they put out, will NOT be running on the Wii U.
http://www.joystiq.com/2013/05/07/wii-u-frostbite-engine-tests-yield-not-too-promising-results/

Their current engine, Frostbite 2, yielded "not too promising results" on Nintendo's next-gen console, so EA isn't going to try to jam Frostbite 3 onto the machine at all. EA also doesn't do a lot of ported games, aside from sports and driving games. This very likely means that...

NEW STAR WARS GAMES WON'T BE ON THE WII U

As if gamers needed any more reason to be annoyed with Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm.

Oh, but if they did, EA announced that new Star Wars games won't be out before March 2014:
http://www.joystiq.com/2013/05/07/no-star-wars-games-in-fy-2014-ea-says/


There would be such a huge anti-trust lawsuit if the next gen consoles pulled that crap. It would completely shut down several companies whose sole purpose is renting games.
Likely not, it hasn't stopped previous attempts at this sort of DRM in the past, it hasn't stopped booksellers with e-books (they've gone after pricing, not distribution), it hasn't affected itunes on the ios medium. Look at EA's Online Pass system, it makes renting or reselling multiplayer online games from them unplayable without buying an extra pass, that's already fully legal. And with more and more game sales going digital-distribution, there's no rental possible anyway. No, sadly if this went through the industry would get away with it, and the consumers would suffer. They'd simply argue that the needs of the market have changed, nobody forced Hollywood studios to keep making VHS tapes when DVDs took over just because Blockbuster was making the majority of their money off rentals.

I never understand what they did with that ending. It's like they put all this time and effort into a great game, then were cut short on time. Even the extra ending that was downloadable content wasn't acceptable.
I hear that, it really does seem like they just ran out of resources and spewed out whatever.


Regarding the "always on console" conversation, Sony said they haven't considered such a thing because not everybody has great internet: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/05/08/sony-didnt-consider-always-on-playstation-4
Of course, maybe Microsoft doesn't give a fart about gamers who can't afford super awesome broadband internet anyway because they're not likely to buy as much digital product from Microsoft. Classy!
 

Lord Malakite

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Here's the thing, with the Xbox, you know what you're getting into, you know in advance that it will require an always-online connection, and you can choose not to buy it because of that at the outset. With SimCity's launch, they really didn't tell you that, they undersold the problem and didn't recognize the demand, EA didn't invest enough in server technology to support that launch and it crushed it. Then they lied and mislead and made promises they couldn't keep to support the problem. And it wasn't on a console, it was on your own PC - you had no choice thanks to EA.
I suppose that is true. Those of us that keep up to date on the latest news when it comes to video games will know in advance. I can still see it becoming disaster though in regards to the general public.

As for the next Xbox being always online, there's a new rumor that Microsoft has reversed course on that: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/05/microsoft-next-xbox-will-work-even-when-your-internet-doesnt/
I've heard it both ways. From what I've read it theoretically sounds like if such a feature is present in the next gen Xbox that Microsoft has it set up in such a way that they have the ability to toggle the "always online" requirement on/off via an online software patch at the drop of a hat.

If they stick with this always-on DRM crap and require huge installs to the drive, there won't be much market for it. The industry has been trying to enact these 1-disc, 1-machine ideas for decades now to no avail, I doubt Microsoft will succeed where nobody else has.
Whether or not they succeed at it doesn't mean they won't try it.

There would be such a huge anti-trust lawsuit if the next gen consoles pulled that crap. It would completely shut down several companies whose sole purpose is renting games.
Yeah, it would completely suck. Nothing is concrete at the moment though. We'll know more come the 21st. If any of this rumored stuff about the next gen Xbox is true though I think its safe to say the PS4 (which unlike the PS3 is very developer friendly) will be well on its way of pulling ahead this gen.
 

Lord Malakite

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Their current engine, Frostbite 2, yielded "not too promising results" on Nintendo's next-gen console, so EA isn't going to try to jam Frostbite 3 onto the machine at all. EA also doesn't do a lot of ported games, aside from sports and driving games. This very likely means that...

NEW STAR WARS GAMES WON'T BE ON THE WII U

As if gamers needed any more reason to be annoyed with Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm.
While this isn't EA's official stance (as a company) this story over at IGN kind of says how the guys working at EA feel about the Wii U.
 

El Chuxter

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Hell, I'm a Wii fan, and I think the Wii U is the dumbest thing I've ever seen and lament that it essentially means the death of future Wii games.
 

Darth Metalmute

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I'll never understand what Nintendo does anymore. However, Wii-U isn't the strangest thing to come out of Japan. That being said, outside of Zelda, Metroid, and Mario, their systems aren't really worth getting.
 

El Chuxter

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There were quite a few games for the Wii that made it worth having, particularly Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Wii Sports Resort. The Lego games were also quite fun, but, as third-party games go, they were kinda the exception.

However, instead of improving on the motion gimmick that made it unique, they went to that weird "laptop controller" mess. Also, it's not backwards compatible to the GameCube, despite using the same discs, which was one advantage the Wii had over the PS3 and XBox 360 (neither of which was 100% backwards compatible). They need to re-examine what makes them unique and popular, because, while I don't think it's quite time to pronounce them dead yet, they're inching closer to that time.
 

JediTricks

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While this isn't EA's official stance (as a company) this story over at IGN kind of says how the guys working at EA feel about the Wii U.
Yeah, I saw that. Not the classiest way to express one's self when one works in the game industry, but the machine is nonsense.

Hell, I'm a Wii fan, and I think the Wii U is the dumbest thing I've ever seen and lament that it essentially means the death of future Wii games.
I think it's hilarious how it works with the Wii stuff, but doesn't come with any Wii controllers or equipment.

There were quite a few games for the Wii that made it worth having, particularly Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Wii Sports Resort. The Lego games were also quite fun, but, as third-party games go, they were kinda the exception.

However, instead of improving on the motion gimmick that made it unique, they went to that weird "laptop controller" mess. Also, it's not backwards compatible to the GameCube, despite using the same discs, which was one advantage the Wii had over the PS3 and XBox 360 (neither of which was 100% backwards compatible). They need to re-examine what makes them unique and popular, because, while I don't think it's quite time to pronounce them dead yet, they're inching closer to that time.
It's not even a laptop controller, it's meant to cash in on the Tablet craze, but the guts of the video controller have no computing systems, it's just designed to transmit input data and receive and display video data through a slightly modified WIFI N connection, it's ridiculous.

And why call it a "Wii" (as in "together") "U" (as in "alone")? It's a half-baked premise for a half-baked console, should have called it what it really is, the Wii HD - Pain in the Wii.
 

Lord Malakite

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I think it's hilarious how it works with the Wii stuff, but doesn't come with any Wii controllers or equipment.
I think the general idea was that a majority of people buying the Wii U wouldn't need the Wii stuff packaged with the system on account that they likely already owned said stuff from the original Wii system. Why make the system unnecessarily more expensive when a majority of the perspective buyers already own it.

It's not even a laptop controller, it's meant to cash in on the Tablet craze, but the guts of the video controller have no computing systems, it's just designed to transmit input data and receive and display video data through a slightly modified WIFI N connection, it's ridiculous.
You know, I've never really looked at it as trying to cash in on the tablet craze. I see it more as trying to cash in on the success of the Nintendo DS in home console form. The TV is the upper DS screen and the touch screen on the Wii U controller is the lower touch screen of the DS.

And why call it a "Wii" (as in "together") "U" (as in "alone")? It's a half-baked premise for a half-baked console, should have called it what it really is, the Wii HD - Pain in the Wii.
Yeah, the execution this time around hasn't been that great. I still applaud them for trying to do something new for the system though like adding DS elements to a home console or the ability to play your game while someone else watches TV.
 

El Chuxter

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I think going to HD, allowing the Wii 2 to play blu-rays, continuing to offer full backward compatibility, and introducing a better WiiMote would've been the way to go, and would've been what the market preferred. The Wii took the gaming world somewhat by surprise. Sure, it was mocked for how limited it was in some regards, but the novelty got a lot of people buying it who wouldn't have thought twice of it. Even Sony and Microsoft tried to jump on the craze with the Move and Kinect. The Move I have not tried (and it looks silly), and Kinect is the buggiest piece of crap I've ever seen and it's tough to see why Microsoft didn't dump it within a few months. The WiiMote worked quite well, and the WiiMote Plus even better. Why not get better at what people want, and other companies can't come close to matching you on?