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EA will use the Batman: Arkham series as inspiration in crafting their Star Wars games. CEO Andrew Wilson said in a new interview that Rocksteady's series was a great example of how to approach licensed games.
"What Warner Bros. did with Batman was take the core roots of that IP and manifest that inside the walls of Gotham City and delivered an interactive experience that had real ties to what you would see in the films and what you had read in the comics, while having its own life because it could provide such deep and more immersive storylines," Wilson told Fortune. "When we look at the Star Wars properties that's how we're looking at it."
Wilson added that these games won't be directly based on Star Wars films, such as the upcoming Episode VII. This mirrors EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen's statements from last fall.
"We've done movie games over the years and we wanted to make sure that we weren't doing a movie game, i.e., game based on the movie," Jorgensen said at the UBS Global Technology Conference in November. "The beauty of the Star Wars franchise is that it's so broad and so deep, you don't have to do a movie game, you can do a game that's very focused on the world that's been created around Star Wars."
I'm happy to hear that EA wants to craft original storylines. They have an entire galaxy and thousands of years of history to work with so it wouldn't make any sense for them to restrict themselves to an adaption of a film. Even if their games were set during the same time period as the movies, there are so many side stories to tell.
Wilson's talk about an Arkham-style Star Wars game gives me some slight hope that they'll resurrect Star Wars 1313. In that game, players took on the role of a bounty hunter navigating the seedy underbelly of Coruscant. It was a brand-new story set in an unfamiliar part of an iconic Star Wars world. There were a lot of Arkham Asylum comparisons when it was first announced. The project seems to have been abandoned when LucasArts' development wing was shut down. Still, 1313 sounds like a project that fits with EA's goals for the Star Wars universe.
EA purchased the rights to create Star Wars PC and console games in May 2013. Shortly afterward, they announced multiplayer shooter Star Wars: Battlefront for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Battlefront is expected sometime in 2015. They've yet to announce any other games using the license but perhaps they'll reveal a more story-oriented project during the summer convention season.