Gary Whitta, the writer behind Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, has gone in hard on Electronic Arts over its handling of the Star Wars video game license, which the publisher acquired back in 2013.
EA has come under a fair bit of criticism over the years for its Star Wars related games. The only Star Wars console games EA has released under its exclusive license are the Battlefront games (2015 and 2017 respectively) which were both mired in controversy upon release,
The second Battlefront actually managed to stir up such a storm around its microtransactions that it inspired governments across the world to actually sit up and seriously debate the ethics and legality of lootboxes in video games aimed at children.
Most recently, reports surfaced that the publisher had scrapped the open world Star Wars game it had been working on, which was previously a linear Star Wars title that was also shut down, along with developer Visceral Games.
It’s this most recent development that caused Whitta to speak out. Speaking to The Sixth Axis, the writer labelled EA’s approach to Star Wars games as “catastrophic.”
I saw a bunch of that game and it looked terrific. After it was cancelled I saw some stuff, I saw what they had up that point, it was far from finished but it looked amazing, it would have been Star Wars Uncharted which I’m very excited about.
It seems likely that the game Whitta is referring to is the linear Star Wars game from Visceral, which was being directed by Uncharted director Amy Hennig. The project was rebooted and retooled by EA Vancouver to be an open world adventure, though EA have done nothing to deny the aforementioned reports that this version of the game has also been cancelled.
My understanding is what they [EA] were saying all the way through is that we don’t want to make Star Wars Uncharted. Well, maybe don’t hire the narrative director of the Uncharted games to make it for you, and figure out what it is you actually want? If I was an EA shareholder, I’d be f**king furious, It has been catastrophically mismanaged.
It’s safe to say Whitta isn’t a fan, then. At least we have Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to look forward to, a single player story driven adventure from Titanfall developer Respawn.
Fallen Order is slated to launch this year, and will be EA’s third console Star Wars game since getting the exclusive license in 2013. The license runs out in 2023, in case you were wondering.