EA announced on its blog Monday evening that it has entered a partnership with Disney to create new Star Wars games. The three studios that have been tasked with the creation of new games based on the popular space saga include DICE (developer of the Battlefield series), Visceral (maker of the "Dead Space" games) and BioWare (developer of "Mass Effect," "Dragon Age," "Star Wars: The Old Republic" and others).
This news has been met with mixed reaction from analysts and gamers alike, with many resigned to believe that future Star Wars games armed with EA stamps are destined for mediocrity.
For example, one commenter on Evil Avatar's post regarding this news said:
"Can someone who isn't CRAP please secure exclusive rights to STAR TREK games now?!?"
Games Radar openly wonders about the future of "Star Wars" as a respectable stable of games:
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"Star Wars heading to a wretched hive of scum and villainy?"
Another commenter on Ars Technica's page said:
"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if the fictional setting that defined my childhood was suddenly entrusted to my least favorite gaming company."
Contrary to popular belief, we refuse to automatically think that anything EA makes breathes poison and spits out malice. In fact, there is publicly available empirical evidence that lends credence to our stance, giving everyone hope that EA-made Star Wars games could be good, if not great. A quick look at EA's catalog will tell you that they’ve made a healthy amount of acclaimed games on a fairly consistent basis.
Take "Mass Effect 3," for example. If you seek out reviews of the game, you’ll discover that they’ve been pretty well-received by critics. "Mass Effect 3" earned scores of 9.5, 93, 4.5 stars and 9.0 from IGN, PC Gamer, GameSpy and GameSpot, respectively; all of which are reputable gaming news sites.
“Ahh, that’s just one example” an EA-hater might say. True, but let’s take another venerable title: "Battlefield 3." It earned scores of A-, 9 and 4.5 stars from 1UP.com, IGN and joystiq, respectively.
Meanwhile, it's easy to forget that EA has already had its hands on the Star Wars franchise. "Star Wars: The Old Republic" got grades of 93, 4.5 stars, 9 and 8.6 from PC Gamer, The Escapist, IGN and Game Trailers, respectively.
That’s not to say all future Star Wars games will be automatic winners simply because EA is involved. We just refuse to subscribe to the notion that anything EA touches is tainted. Based on EA’s past history and the examples we’ve cited, there are real reasons to believe Star Wars has a potential future as a respectable gaming franchise.
How do you feel about the partnership between EA and Disney? Do you think that it automatically means Star Wars is finished as a respectable gaming franchise? Do you agree or disagree with our premise? Sound off in the comments below.
And to anyone who truly believes that EA is the “Worst Company in America”: Have you ever heard of Monsanto?