The Reemergence of Lucasfilm Games

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    Screen Time

   It turns out that the High Republic isn’t the only new chapter starting in the Star Wars galaxy! A few weeks ago, it was announced that Lucasfilm Games--the video game branch of Lucasfilm--was back.
   Formerly known as LucasArts, the gaming division of Lucasfilm had quite a few impressive titles to its name. The X-Wing series, the Jedi Knight franchise, and of course the immensely popular Knights of the Old Republic games were all created under the LucasArts banner. Sadly, after Lucasfilm was acquired by Disney, LucasArts was shut down. Now, it’s back, and with it comes some exciting news for Star Wars fans!
   Once Lucasfilm Games itself was revealed, it wasn’t long before more juicy Star Wars game news followed. The first big announcement: Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment is working on an open-world Star Wars game! If you’re like me, there’s one franchise that comes to mind when you hear ‘Ubisoft’ and ‘open-world’ in the same sentence--a certain series about assassins and their, uh, motto. So, could we be seeing a Jedi’s Creed game in the future? Or will this be something more in the milieu of Massive Entertainment’s popular open-world shooter The Division ? Probably not that last one--Massive has already stated that their Star Wars project is much different than their previous work. Regardless of how it shakes out, this is definitely a project to keep an eye on!
  The most exciting aspect of the Ubisoft announcement may not be the game itself, however; it might be the fact that it heralds the end of the exclusivity deal EA has had for the entirety of the Disney era. Now that EA is not the sole developer of Star Wars titles, we could be getting a lot more Star Wars games (in more diverse and interesting genres) than we have in close to a decade. Of course, Lucasfilm Games was quick to assure everyone that while EA would no longer be the exclusive developers of Star Wars titles, they would still be working on new games for the franchise (and after the success of titles like Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars: Squadrons , why wouldn’t they?).
   So, there’s the concrete news. But why content ourselves with official announcements when there’s also juicy gossip to be had?
   You may have been wondering, while reading this, why I was bothering to discuss an announcement that happened two weeks ago. Well, the reason is that earlier this week, a new morsel of information came to light: rumor has it that a new Knights of the Old Republic game is in development.
   Again, this is just a rumor… but it’s a fairly prevalent one that seems to be backed by reputable sources (such as noted games journalist Jason Schreier). The other piece of gossip: the game isn’t being developed by KotOR originator BioWare, but rather by a smaller, not-as-famous studio.
   If true, it certainly makes one wonder--what would a return to the Old Republic look like? Will this be a straight Knights of the Old Republic 3 , canonizing the first two into the Disney universe? Unlikely. Will it be a remake of the first game, nudged gently to fit the new Expanded Universe better? Plausible; protagonist Revan is one of the most popular EU characters to be missing from the current canon. Some have even guessed that the game might combine both previous KotOR games into one. Aside from story, though, what will the gameplay be like? Will it ape the original games’ tabletop-inspired system, or hew closer to modern action RPGs like Dragon Age ?
   While it’s still too early to get a good read on the future of Lucasfilm Games, there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on already. I personally can’t wait for the upcoming Ubisoft title, and well… if Knights of the Old Republic really is coming back, you’d better believe that whoever is making it has my pre-order.
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