When Disney dropped Lucas Arts and turned it into a licensing house in 2013, EA reached a 10-year deal in Star Wars that all the other major publishers surely wanted. However, we're halfway through that coveted licensing deal, and EA has released only two Star Wars games: Battlefront and Battlefront 2. The third, Jedi: Fallen Order, will be released on Friday. Excluding Disney mobile games and Warner Bros LEGO games, these are just three Star Wars new games for six years at a time when Star Wars is at its peak of popularity and saturation.
You certainly can't blame the EA for milking the license, but the slow start makes you feel like Eddie: The fallen order appears late at the party that faced the beer case after everyone moved to champagne. The decade-long saga "Skywalker" comes to a close with The Rise of Skywalker in December. It's a great pop culture event and a decade-long cap hit with Disney movie franchises. Now here are some new guys with lights in what seems to be a adventure book-based activity. It's not quite on the same level.
Adding to the pressure on the Fallen Order is that it is the only game for Star Wars fans who are looking forward to the moment. EA has been constantly hinting at other projects, but it seemed insufficiently equipped to move on as ambitious a game as Cyberpunk 2077 – which, despite its apparent scope, came into production after EA signed its Star Wars deal – or as ius curious. and attractive as Disco Elysium or Control.
Order fall will have to be remarkable if confidence in EA's understanding of the world's favorite science universe is restored, because it still doesn't give us much reason to believe it is the right manager.
Keeping it conventionally
The new Battlefront games are not bad, but they are multiplayer focused and therefore do not satisfy the persistent desire for new stories in the Star Wars universe. Battlefront 2 had a campaign, but nothing special. That game will also be remembered as an extraordinary moment for sentimental sentiment that further shattered EA's efforts in Star Wars. No matter how well Battlefront 2 evolves from the announcement – there are loyal fans, the original 2005 Battlefront 2 will be the one remembered as a classic.
Those seeking love had to look at BioWare's current MMO, Old Republic, which was announced before EA signed the current licensing agreement. The Old Republic is a shining EA star, far better than the ambitious Star Wars galaxy that closed in 2011. We it gave it 93% when it was released in 2011. For me, though, for the galaxies it was a more exciting game, even if it didn't work out.
The galaxies were a wild thing to begin with – a universe ruled by space karate, no predefined classes, and players working as doctors, dancers and shopkeepers. It was a mess, but it was interesting. And then it crumbled under pressure, as Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts transformed it into more MMOs similar to World of Warcraft. While the Old Republic is great – we cheerfully said it's the BioWare game you need to play today – it hardly feels bold in the way galaxies once did.
And it's also not an Ed: Drop Order. Wes said he felt "safe" and "conventional" in his recent hands-on examination. I'm looking forward to a fight with true finesse lights that Reuven showed us in Titanfall and Apex Legends, but beyond that, what I've seen so far reminds me of Solo: the familiar, fine Star Wars thing that inspires feelings similar to those caused by on a snack bar for a granola. It may be great, but it will hardly go down in history as the Knights of the Old Republic.
The Three Lost Games in the Stars
A conventional, safe approach would not be surprising. Lucas Arts and EA tried the unconventional route three times before the release of "Eddy: Fall Order". We never played any of those games.
When most of Lucas Arts was tagged by Disney, former employees had hoped that the EA-owned Visceral Games would take over the development of the ambitious Star Wars 1313, which would see Bob Hatt roam the underground metropolis. Instead, Visceral began work on a new Star Wars game inspired by the open pirate game the studio worked on. "You flew the millennium falcon, which boarded other ships, raided pirates, and I got that kind," a source told Kotaku. (Kotaku's full report on Visceral's final years is full of interesting details about EA's Star Wars recurring errors.)
The troublesome development of Battlefield Hardline entered Wiskeral's resources, and eventually the idea of piracy was dropped in favor of a linear action-adventure game led by the uncertain director Amy Fennig. Under the codename "Ragtag", it will also focus on family criminals instead of eddies, but with the Uncharted series as a benchmark for quality.
As Kotaku describes, disagreements between EA's management and Visceral, Frosbit engine difficulties, lack of staff, low morale, massive expectations and various other issues hamper development, and EA decides to close the studio instead of continuing. In just a few years, Star Wars in 1313, the pirate game and the "heist" game like "Unplanned" have all evaporated, with about 80 employees left looking for work.
Enter a reliable answer
It makes sense that EA turned to Refwon in 2014, while Bortfield Hardlin and Ragtag stormed out. Titanfall was a critical hit, but it is uncertain how well it worked financially. EA said Titanfall 2, despite being a key success, did not meet sales expectations. So what if Refvon did such a thing, but with light bulbs? You get rewarded designs and a much higher likelihood of commercial success.
Respawn is constantly nailing the fast, acrobatic move you want from single player action in the Star Wars universe. With reasonable scope and Chris Avellone in the writers' room, EA could have a good game with Star Wars single in time for "The Rise of the Skywalker" as it took on pressure from other studios to deliver the game in 2019.
To some extent, it's nice to have limited expectations of change. We're not promised a huge game with an open pirate world, IMO with a complex player-driven economy or a game like Uncharted 4, but better. We are promised to play Respawn with great combat lights, and that can be enough.
But if there is nothing exceptional about the fall warrant – or worse, it is completely bad – you will be hard pressed to imagine what would have happened if Disney had registered with another partner. The deal with Microsoft wouldn't be very interesting when EA got a license, but today it's a different story. Microsoft's studies, which now include Obsidian, Coalition, Double Fine, Inxyl and Ninja Theory, all get the imagination.
Given the need to develop high-budget games these days, I expect more big announcements about Star Wars to come by the end of EA's ten-year project. There is still time, but after watching EA's beer and then turning around and then closing the entire studio during the thrilling Star Wars game, Fallen Order has a lot to do. Is it really an inventive, exciting new story in Star Wars, or is it a reactionary reaction to Wiskeral's overly ambitious underground adventures? Is there anything really bold or experimental about it?
Maybe the order has dropped will to be conventional – her story of a young Eddie certainly sounds more familiar to the gang of fugitive criminals, but sufficiently reinforced by sophisticated Repan design possibilities to exceed expectations. Exit is Friday, and we will have a review as soon as we can reasonably.