Gary Whitta, the co-writer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has said what a lot fans have been thinking. For Electronic Arts (EA) to have the “one of a kind” Star Wars licensing deal taken away, due to their mishandling of the franchise.
This coming days after EA’s decision earlier this month to cancel yet another Star Wars game (again) that was in development. A decision that was very poorly received from fans and gamers alike.
The decade long deal between Disney and EA was originally arranged back in 2013, and when announced there were high hopes from Star Wars fans that EA’s acquired studios like DICE (Battlefield series), Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall series), and Visceral Games (Dead Space trilogy) would take advantage of such a license and would be pumping out various genres of game titles exploring the Star Wars universe.
Six years later and we’ve had only three games, soon to be four. Star Wars: Battlefront (2015), Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes (2015), Star Wars: Battlefront II (2017) and this year’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
To the co-writer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Gary Whitta, this is unacceptable. To him (and I think many other fans) this serves as grounds for Disney’s revocation of the exclusive Star Wars license from Electronic Arts. Whitta details his thought process and frustrations during a video interview with Kinda Funny Games, referring to EA’s efforts with the license as: “an embarrassment.”
“I would just take the license away from EA because it’s been catastrophically mismanaged, If I was an EA shareholder, I’d be f*cking furious at the way [it’s been handled].”
– Gary Whitta
Though while Whitta says he has some faith in Respawn’s upcoming Star Wars game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order that to him could “right the ship a little bit,” he expresses nothing but perplexity at Electronic Art’s thought process, or better put, lack of thought process when cancelling Visceral’s and EA Vancouver’s licensed titles, saying:
“[Ragtag] basically would have been Star Wars Uncharted…My understanding of what they were saying all the way through was, ‘But we don’t want to make Star Wars Uncharted.’ Well maybe don’t hire the narrative director from the Uncharted games to make it for you then! Like, figure out what it is you actually want. So they cancel that, they throw their resources into this other, more ambitious game, and then they cancel that!”
– Gary Whitta
Whitta also makes it also clear, that it the deal were up to him, in hindsight he “was able to see halfway through the deal what [he] would’ve got from [his] investment,” there would have been “no way” that the Disney-EA deal would have never have happened in the first place.
Disney has already had to step in with Electronic Art before, back in 2017 prior before Star Wars Battlefront II’s release due to the whole controversy of Battlefront II’s widespread backlash for infusing loot boxes with progression.
Gary Whitta has a point, while both of DICE’s Battlefront’s are beautifully made, not just in graphics, but how “real” they feel to Star Wars in both look and sound, it’s not enough. With many fans, including myself feel that DICE is held back by EA. With the publisher getting too involved. Especially with certain decisions, <cough> microtransactions.
In 2023, the decade-long deal between Disney and EA will come to an end. The question is, will Disney renew it or not? Because at this moment in time, it could go either way. And that is not circumstance you want to be in when you are involved with such a license. This is Star Wars we are talking about, one of the biggest franchise of all time. You don’t waste an opportunity like that. We’ll just have to wait and see, as this could all depend now on how well Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is received.
Source: Kinda Funny Games
Written by: Connor Heggie