Category Archives: New Game Companies
Electronic Arts and The Walt Disney company today announced a new multi-year exclusive agreement to develop and publish new games based on Star Wars characters and stories.
As part of the agreement, EA will create new Star Wars titles for a “core gaming audience.” These games will span “all interactive platforms” and “the most popular game genres.” Disney, meanwhile, will retain rights to create new Star Wars games for mobile, social, tablet, and online markets.
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe,” EA Labels president Frank Gibeau said in a statement. “Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans.”
Battlefield studio DICE and Dead Space outfit Visceral Games are currently making new Star Wars games, joining BioWare, which will continue to support Star Wars: The Old Republic. The new games from DICE and Visceral will run on the Frostbite 3 engine.
“The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay,” Gibeau said.
Financial terms of the EA-Disney deal were not disclosed. EA will report earnings tomorrow after market close, where more information about the deal is expected to be divulged.
Looks to me like two big game studios that are in trouble are trying to save each other. But will consumers and fans buy the product? That remains to be seen.
Credit to GameSpot for breaking this story.
THQ’s collapse was down to “bad choices” made by the publisher according to Saints Row developer Scott Phillips. Speaking to GameSpot about the company’s collapse, Phillips blamed not just poor decision making, but also a lack of investment in mobile games.
“It was uDraw and bad choices like not getting into mobile,” said Phillips. “I don’t even think they were thinking about mobile as of the beginning of this year, nor were they planning on iPad games. They were just behind the curve on everything and that ultimately hurt them.”
Senior producer Jim Boon placed much of the blame on uDraw, a tablet peripheral for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii that fell over $100 million below the company’s sales expectations.
“When you have things like the kids business–which by their own admission they wished they had gotten out of a bit earlier than they did–there’s a lot of investment that went into that,” said Boon. “Then there’s the lynchpin of it all with the uDraw issue. That came out right when Saints Row The Third came out, so here on the one hand is this huge hit for THQ, and everyone’s so excited about that, and then here’s a $100 million loss as the same time for uDraw.”
The collapse of THQ led to Saints Row developer Volition being purchased for $22.3 million by Koch Media. Saints Row IV is now being published under Koch Media’s subsidiary brand, Deep Silver. Boon told GameSpot that while the transition between the two publishers wasn’t entirely without issue, it hasn’t affected the studio’s creative direction.
“I don’t think we were really worried about [switching publishers] for our jobs, say, because with THQ they had the Clearlake investment that they were going for,” said Boon. “We always looked like we had an avenue where we knew we were gonna be safe. The concern for us was who would ultimately be the owner of us and what would that mean? Say if it was a different publisher that grabs us, are they going to want to change the game, or are they going to want to change our culture or processes? Luckily with Deep Silver they’ve been totally great. It’s the same process, the same culture, they’ve not asked us to make a single change on the game. It’s been pretty seamless.”