Friday, December 11, 2015

Star Wars to Gamers: "We're Not Making Movie Tie-Ins"

And the rest of us laugh at the absurdity of that statement.

Speaking to The Verge, Justin McCully, the GM of all things Star Wars at EA, said that they don't want to push out a movie based game since the industry, overall, has had a rocky history with success on those ventures. Games based on movies typically don't work. And it's not like he's wrong about it. How many movie games can you think of that were actually good? Aladdin and The Lion King come to mind. You could argue Super Star Wars for the Super Nintendo, but that was more then a decade after the original film's release and told a broader story then what we saw in Episode 4.

Most of the games we have seen for Star Wars haven't been direct tales from the movies, but off-shoots about the universe. And that's probably why they have done so well! Each game builds up on the lore of Star Wars in new ways. Other franchises could look to this as an example instead of the copy/paste model. For a number of us, there is no surprise that The Force Awakens (TFA) will not be receiving a video game.

But to say that there are not making movie tie-ins is a joke.

Battlefront is a prime example of this. After TFA releases, one of the first add-ons will be a map from the movie.

Disney Infinity, the toy figure/video game will have a set of Star Wars figures exclusive from TFA releasing the same day as the film.

The mobile game Star Wars: Commander recently issued an update that includes characters and a planet featured in TFA.

EA and Lucasfilm may want to revisit what "tie-in" means. It's not only a movie based video game. It's whenever you throw in the product into, well, anything. You're plopping TFA into other Star Wars and Disney games. That means it's a tie-in, even if it's within products owned by the parent company (since Disney owns Star Wars now).

Nice try guys. Better luck next time.

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