Despite all the excitement surrounding new Star Wars movies stemming from The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)‘s $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm last November, question marks have loomed over what the House of Mouse had planned for its newly purchased video game rights.
After all, just last month The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) cleaned house by dropping the guillotine on George Lucas’ game division, LucasArts, laying off most of its staff while at the same time indicating that the business model going forward would rely on licensing content to third-party developers to minimize Disney’s risk.
So who gets the honor of bringing Star Wars to life on the small screen?
The lucky winner …
While its a safe bet the competition was fierce, yesterday Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) announced a multi-year licensing agreement to “develop and publish globally new games based on Star Wars characters and storylines.” More specifically, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)’ future Star Wars games will be made “for a core gaming audience, spanning all interactive platforms and the most popular game genres.” In all, three of EA’s gaming studios including DICE, Visceral, and Star Wars gaming vet BioWare will be tasked with working on the new games.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), for its part, will retain the rights to develop new titles within the mobile, social, tablet, and online game categories.
Much to prove
Remember, this is the same Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) that took home the unwanted honor of being Consumerist.com’s “Worst Company in America” for the past two consecutive years. This is also the same Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) whose stock price has fallen by nearly 70% over the past five years, and whose CEO of six years recently resigned as a direct consequence.
Of course, EA’s underperformance wasn’t without reason; consumers have long complained of its subpar product support, seemingly rushed storylines, and the company’s general lack of vision in creating new titles.