How Can Disney Fix Star Wars?
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Star Wars is an enduring franchise and for good reason; it changed the face of the entertainment industry when it was released. It’s only natural that Star Wars would find its way into the video game industry and, boy, has it thrived. There are more Star Wars games than you could ramble off in a minute and, among them, there are some of the best games in video game history. Here are also some of the biggest stinkers. I loved back when it was easy for a bunch of developers to take a crack at making a Star Wars game. Of course, that isn’t the way it is anymore.

Disney acquired the franchise in 2012, and anyone familiar with Disney, which is surely everybody in the world, likely knows that the company tightly controls its properties. Disney is the company that changed how copyright and public domain works. Disney has filled televisions and theaters with its cartoons and super hero movies. Disney is not to be trifled with. And, for some reason, they really seem to dig the developers over at Electronic Arts.

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Electronic Arts is basically the only company making Star Wars games at this point, and its offerings haven’t exactly been met with a warm reception. The earliest foray into making a Star Wars game, post Disney Acquisition, was an attempt to recapture the delight present in the Star Wars: Battlefront series. In both of EA's attempts, the company riddled the game with microtransactions. This inspired gamers to fight back in a way we rarely see; they were pissed and taking action.

A bit of hope was able to surface when Electronic Arts announced a wholly original game, although details were scarce. This game was meant to be a large scale, open-world Star Wars game which, to a fan of the Star Wars MMOs, might have sounded very appealing. Maybe the company didn’t have the ability to cram Star Wars into their Battlefront series anymore, but perhaps a game built from the ground up could do something novel and impressive. EA is, by no means, a failure of a company. Its business practices are often criticized by gamers, but it does produce good games on occasion.

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But that game was canceled, which is interesting because it was supposed to be a replacement for another Star Wars project called Project Ragtag. The reason for this, apparently, is because the company wanted to turn its focus towards a smaller scale Star Wars game. EA consistently drops the ball, so why are we letting this developer hog it?

If we want to see Star Wars games thrive again, we need to change the approach. We need to go back to the wild days of yesteryear where everybody was experimenting with the franchise. Game companies have gotten better as has the technology used for gaming. We should be seeing some of the best Star Wars games every. Instead we haven’t seen a good game in forever.

I want you to really stop and consider the legendary games. We had the revolutionary title, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic which played with a new setting and introduced gamers to a dramatic new approach to roleplaying. We had Jedi Academy which was so good that fans are still finding ways to play it. The Super Nintendo games were a blast. Flying through the forests of Endor in the arcade was a real treat. As a kid, I even enjoyed Star Wars Super Bombad Racing, which kind of sucked but I appreciate the fact that such a cartoony game was allowed to exist. It seems like for every Masters of Teras Kasi we got, we also received a game that was of equal but opposite quality. More developers need to be making Star Wars games in order to restore balance to the force in gaming. I’m tired of only seeing the garbage side of this franchise.

Benjamin Maltbie
Benjamin Maltbie

Contributing Writer
Date: 01/25/2019

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