Massive Entertainment, the Ubisoft-owned developer of Tom Clancy’s The Division, has begun work on a new open-world Star Wars game.
The project utilises The Division’s Snowdrop engine and is led by The Division 2 director Julian Gerighty.
Those early details come from a new Wired report on this week’s flurry of announcements from Lucasfilm Games.
The report also points out that today’s announcement marks a definite end to Disney and EA’s much-trumpeted 10-year deal of exclusivity for AAA Star Wars projects.
When asked about that 10-year period of agreement, Lucasfilm Games declined to go into specifics.
“EA has been and will continue to be a very strategic and important partner for us now and going forward,” Disney games exec Sean Shoptaw said. “But we did feel like there’s room for others.”
It’s easy to point to the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box fiasco as the reason Disney is now looking beyond the publisher, or the string of cancelled in-development projects. But it’s also worth pointing out that, should this Ubisoft game materialise in the latter half of 2023 or later (which seems likely), EA’s decade-long tenure of exclusivity will not have been curtailed or cancelled.
[UPDATE: A subsequent blog post on Lucasfilm.com states that multiple EA projects remain in the works.]
“We are proud of our long-standing collaboration with Lucasfilm Games, which will continue for years to come,” an EA spokesperson told Eurogamer. “Our talented teams have created some of the most successful games in the history of the Star Wars franchise, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Battlefront and Battlefront 2, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and Star Wars: Squadrons. We love Star Wars, and we look forward to creating more exciting experiences for players to enjoy.”
Lucasfilm’s video games label re-established itself this week with promise of new Star Wars games made by various partner companies (Lucasfilm is not re-entering development itself), including some upcoming games we knew about, and others we don’t.
Then followed yesterday’s big announcement that Bethesda studio Machinegames, known for its recent Wolfenstein games, had top people working on an Indiana Jones project. Fans already think they have a good idea where Dr. Jones is headed – and maybe why, too.
Massive Entertainment’s next project is its delayed Avatar game, made to tie into the similarly-delayed revival of James Cameron’s space series about blue cat people.