I’m going to preface this by saying I think that Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is absolutely alright. Respawn has gone for Uncharted meets Dark Souls in the Star Wars universe and it has nailed its goals. It’s fun at times, it really is, but it’s not a whole lot more than that. That’s probably a claim which could be levelled at Disney’s Star Wars in general, to be honest, but that doesn’t mean the games have to follow suit.
Respawn are an incredibly talented bunch who have released two great games this year (Star Wars and Apex Legends). They are, like all developers of Star Wars games for the past six years, under the watchful guise of Electronic Arts. Outside of perhaps Activision, EA is the safest publisher around. EA loves a sure bet. Risks are for suckers, tried and tested concepts are for winners.
EA’s risk aversion is why, in the past six years since the publisher acquired the exclusive rights to ‘core’ Star Wars video games, all we’ve got is a couple of Battlefield-lite Star Wars Battlefront games and Star Wars Jedi, a sci-fi riff on Dark Souls. Just before the acquisition we had Star Wars: The Old Republic, which was solo-focused World of Warcraft, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed I & II, the ultimate bog-standard action adventure games.
We haven’t seen anyone take a risk of a Star Wars game in a long time. EA may end up publishing some good Star Wars titles with the license but it certainly won’t publish interesting games. It’s simply not in EA’s DNA. We will not get the revelatory Star Wars experiences like we used to. Games such as Knights of the Old Republic, Dark Forces, Rogue Leader, Star Wars Galaxies, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and more.
As good as Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is, I personally cannot wait for Electronic Arts to give up the Star Wars license. Logically, Disney needs to be handing out this license piecemeal, rather than signing it over to single publisher for years at a time. Think of Wolfenstein developer MachineGames making a new Dark Forces, for example. A proper gritty Star Wars FPS, trudging through the Stormtrooper trenches. Or how about giving Obsidian a stab at KOTOR 3, or perhaps Frontier could make a new X-Wing v TIE Fighter. The choices are endless, they really are, and I can’t help but wonder how much better Star Wars could be represented in the modern era of modern games if it wasn’t locked down to a single monolithic publisher that thinks putting a sugar cube in their tea is risk taking.
So where am I going with all this? Well, first of all, do you, despite the success of Star Wars Jedi, think it’s about time EA didn’t have the exclusive rights to Star Wars games? And secondly, which developers would you like to see given a shot at making their own Star Wars titles?
Get voting and let us know your dream Star Wars games below!