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EA's Star Wars game deal lasts a decade

Sorry, Obsidian.

That "multi-year" Star Wars game deal EA signed with Disney in fact lasts a decade, EA has revealed.

Any chance Obsidian Entertainment had of making Knights of the Old Republic 3 - a game once in pre-production there - must surely now have passed. EA may miraculously decide to pay Obsidian to make the game rather than series creator BioWare, but, well, that's never really going to happen.

The only Star Wars project EA has revealed so far - beyond the ongoing development of MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic - is DICE Los Angeles' Battlefront reboot. But we do know Dead Space studio Visceral, and BioWare, will also make Star Wars games.

Fortunately it sounds like none of EA's new Star Wars games will be movie tie-ins aping the new Star Wars films, the first of which appears December 2015, directed by JJ Abrams.

"We've done movie games over the years and we wanted to make sure that we weren't doing a movie game - i.e. a game based on the movie," EA's chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said at a UBS conference (transcript by Seeking Alpha).

"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.

"We had a long relationship obviously with Lucas on the original Star Wars, and when Disney took over Lucas they really wanted to maintain a video game business around Star Wars. They felt it was very valuable and a lot of people loved the games historically. And so they came to us because of our partnership, and they knew that we could help them develop really great games, and we struck what we believe is a fantastic deal, which allows us to be able to build games in many different genres across multiple types of platforms over 10 years.

"We'll try to align those with the marketing power Disney has so it will get aligned with timings around the movies, but it won't necessarily be aligned with the movie."

Jorgensen said DICE's Battlefront already had "a lot of people very excited". It's due some time in the summer of 2015.

Jorgensen also talked a bit about the failure of Star Wars: The Old Republic, EA's most expensive - but far from most successful - game.

"Yes the original expectations obviously were very, very large," he said, "and obviously the multiplayer MMO world has - the popularly has come down over time and we tried to restructure the Star Wars business to better match the economics.

"It's a great business that's very repeatable," he added. "We brought the economics in line so it's a profitable business for us.

"...And as the Star Wars franchises start to grow with Disney's investment, we'll continue to see more excitement around that game as well as the other games that we'll start to produce."

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