Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Force is strong with EA: Company and Disney sign deal for exclusive 'Star Wars' video game development

With the recent demise of LucasArts, the big question has been, "Who will be making 'Star Wars' games for Disney?" The answer came on Monday: Electronic Arts.

The multi-year licensing deal between Electronic Arts and Disney gives the video game publisher the exclusive third-party rights develop games for mobile devices, PCs and consoles based on the “Star Wars” franchise, which includes movies, comics, television, and more.

Disney acquired George Lucas’s Lucasfilm and its "Star Wars" franchise (and let's not forget, others such as "Indiana Jones") for $4.05-billion in October of 2012. The joint statement from both companies said that EA now has the rights to develop games for a "core gaming audience" across all interactive platforms. Disney, meanwhile, retains the right to create certain games for mobile, social, tablet and online.

Electronic Arts said that BioWare, the developer behind EA’s existing MMO "Star Wars: The Old Republic," will work on new titles, along with EA's in-house game teams DICE ("Battlefield") and Visceral ("Dead Space").

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The announcement came at a key time: Both Disney and EA were set to reveal their latest quarterly financial reports after the close of the market on Tuesday. In early morning (Pacific) trading, EA was was up 1.18 percent or $0.22 to $18.51. Disney was virtually unchanged, down $0.02 to $65.04.

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