Electronic Arts is reportedly developing a new, open world Star Wars video game. While the project is still very much in the early stages of development, an open world experience could make for an exciting feature in a Star Wars game.
EA holds the exclusive rights to all PC and console game production for titles based on Star Wars, and it has overall been a tumultuous experience. Lately, the company has faced a bit of controversy related to microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II, wherein game changing features were included in a sort of "pay-as-you-go" service that angered fans and players. These features included advantageous hero packages and weapons that would give players who paid for these loot boxes a leg up on any competition. While EA removed loot boxes after a roaring fan backlash, they turned around to announce that microtransactions would return at a later point, due to disappointing sales figures. So, in short, it's been a rough couple of months for the gaming company. Could a new Star Wars game win back some of the disgruntled fans?
This news comes from a job posting discovered by GameSpot, wherein the description calls for a team lead to "deliver Online features for a Star Wars Open World project." There isn't much else to derive from the posting, except an experience requirement for "implementing Online features such as Matchmaking, Asynchronous interactions, Live services, Server-host migration, etc."
This isn't the first time an open world Star Wars game has been discussed, as GameSpot refers to a similar job posting in 2013. Hopefully, this game will get off the ground. In October, Visceral Studios, a game studio owned by EA, was shut down after disappointing progress on their story-based, linear Star Wars game. EA Vancouver will continue to develop that game as well. So while there isn't much to go off of here, it is reassuring to know that this will be a different video game from what Visceral was working on.
While an open world Star Wars game sounds very promising, it might be best to take this news with a grain of salt. The shutdown of Visceral Studios is another casualty on a long list of Star Wars games that haven't ever seen the light of the day. In fact, Star Wars games are sort of notorious for sounding great and then disappearing. It happened with Star Wars 1313, and it very well may happen again. While these are different studios, and supposedly Visceral's game is still coming, EA has a lot of work to put in before they gain the trust of their players back. Microtransactions ruined the sales performance of Battlefront II, and the fact that EA is bringing them back shows that these developers' understanding of what gamers want from a Star Wars game is severely lacking. It also doesn't help that Battlefront II wasn't that great to begin with. Only time will tell if this new game corrects the mistakes EA has made in the past, if it's ever released at all.