Ubisoft is working on a new open-world Star Wars adventure, the company has revealed. Development will be handled by the French publisher’s Massive studio, previously responsible for the online shooter series, Tom Clancy’s The Division.
According to a report by Wired, production of the game is still in the early stages and nothing has been revealed about the characters or setting, or how the game will fit into the Star Wars cinematic universe. The project is being built using Massive’s proprietary Snowdrop game engine, under The Division’s creative director, Julian Gerighty, who also worked on the Prince of Persia and Far Cry franchises.
In a blogpost about the announcement, LucasFilm Games vice-president Douglas Reilly said: “We know that fans of Star Wars value the feeling of immersion – of being transported into the Star Wars galaxy and moving through richly detailed environments. It’s fun to imagine what the team at Massive can do within Star Wars by bringing their innovative spirit and their commitment to quality.”
It is the second major announcement following Disney’s decision to revive the Lucasfilm Games brand and take over production of games based on Lucas properties. On Tuesday, Elder Scrolls and Fallout developer Bethesda announced that it would be producing an Indiana Jones adventure, with development duties going to MachineGames, the studio responsible for the acclaimed series of shooters, set in an alternative timeline where the Nazis won the second world war.
The revival of Lucasfilm Games, original formed by George Lucas in 1982 and renamed LucasArts in 1990, is a change of direction for Disney, which bought LucasFilm in 2012. The company closed LucasArts a year later, switching to a licensing model to minimise its risk in the games market. Publisher Electronic Arts signed an exclusive deal to develop and produce Star Wars games, and released a string of titles including Jedi: Fallen Order and the Star Wars Battlefront series. However, EA’s exclusive access has created a bottleneck for Star Wars games, just as the wider brand is expanding. In December, Disney announced a swathe of new movie and television projects to capitalise on the success of the final Skywalker trilogy.
Since the Ubisoft announcement, Lucasfilm Games has confirmed that Electronic Arts will still be working on Star Wars projects, but no details have been given.
An epic open-world narrative adventure set in the Star Wars universe is something fans have long called for. It has been almost 20 years since the release of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the role-playing adventure title that many consider the best Star Wars game ever created. Veteran fans may well be hoping for revivals of older titles, especially the X-Wing and Tie-Fighter space combat sims from the 1990s.
Referring to the revival of LucasFilm as a games producer, Reilly said: “This is really the culmination of years of preparing to come out and say, ‘We’re here, we’ve got a team of people, we’re going to make a lot of great games, and here’s some new things you weren’t expecting from us’ […] We’re going to continue to announce projects that are more representative of the legacy of the old Lucasfilm Games that we’re now trying to live up to.”