It’s not exactly a hot take to be hating on EA these days. More than any other company, they’ve been on the business end of gamers’ collective ire for years now, even being voted as “Worst Company in America” twice in a row. Part of this is well deserved — EA has a notable history of making anti-consumer decisions and “killing” prominent studios — and on the other hand, a lot of the hate simply comes from the runaway bandwagon effect that ends up afflicting any person or company that becomes a punching bag of the internet. We haven’t given up on EA. They’re not perfect, but they’re also not soul-sucking robots that are hell-bent on ruining the lives of gamers.
But with that being said, one critique that EA absolutely does deserve is that they’ve absolutely squandered the Star Wars license. Back in 2013 when the game-changing Disney acquisition of Star Was was announced, it was also revealed that EA would gave a ten year, exclusive contract to make Star Wars games. Since then, we’ve gotten two games — Battlefront, and Battlefront II, both of which were releases that were surrounded by controversy. Fallen Order is on its way, and while it looks promising enough, one can’t help but think that Star Wars has been utterly wasted with EA.
This would be forgivable if it was a tiny studio, but EA is one of the biggest powerhouses in the industry, with control over countless studios. So today, we’re going to take a trip to la la land, and fantasize about all of the Star Wars games that EA could be making, instead of doing, well, whatever they’re doing.
7 – Podracing
For all the hate that Episode I gets, that podrace was an absolutely bangin’ sequence, and one of the major highlights of the saga as a whole. Furthermore, we already know that podracing games can be awesome, since we’ve already gotten one. Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer is remembered fondly by many a millennial child who spent hours racing on exotic Star Wars worlds. This game wasn’t a cash grab, either — it was a pretty well-designed, unique racing game. Given that this could be done in the days of the N64, it’s safe to say that a modern day iteration would be mind-blowing.
While we were all impressed by the Unreal engine pseudo-remake made by a passionate fan this last year, it’s not quite the same as a brand new podracing experience.
Think of a podracing experience with today’s graphics, and the added plethora of Star Wars worlds in the canon. The sound design alone on a good surround sound system would be worth the price of admission. While podracing may never be seen again in Star Wars canon, we sure hope that’s not the case. But until then, we’re going to assume that an Episode 1: Racer remake is hanging out in purgatory with the F-Zero sequel that will never come out.
6 – Literally Any Dogfighting Game
There is always room for Star Wars dogfighting games, and why we haven’t gotten one in over a decade, we might never know. Back in the day, Star Wars ship combat games were just common sense, and everyone had their favorites. I’m partial to Gamecube’s Rogue Leader myself, but there were other fan-favorites, such as X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and Jedi Starfighter.
Whether EA resurrects one of these series or makes their own original new entry, we don’t really care. Can we just get something that allows us to fly around in cool Star Wars ships? The time has never been better — with three unique eras in Star Wars canon, and a truckload of new ships and starfighters since then, it’s really head-scratching as to why this hasn’t happened yet.
It is worth noting that Battlefront II has a dogfighting mode, and it’s pretty awesome. There are various battles over all three eras represented, and the graphics and sound design are impeccable. We don’t really have anything bad to say about it — but it doesn’t quite scratch that itch for a full-fledged game. If similar mechanics were implemented into a dedicated, separate title, we’d be throwing our money at it pretty quickly.
5 – KOTOR 3 — Or Any Other RPG
Want to make any Star Wars fan giddy with excitement? Just go up to them, lean in close, whisper “Knights of the Old Republic” into their ear, and watch the adrenaline flow.
One of the sayings in the Star Wars fandom is “nobody hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans.” They can be finicky, picky, and notoriously difficult to please. And yet, it seems like the one thing they can all agree on is that Knights of the Old Republic kicks major ass. It’s one of the most celebrated Star Wars stories out there, and there are even rumors circulating around that we might be getting a film based on the Old Republic — maybe even based on KOTOR itself.
Given that KOTOR was, in fact, made by an EA Studio, it’s utterly bizarre that they’ve made no attempt at a new RPG title. While KOTOR 3 would be fantastic, literally any RPG would be enough to ignite a flurry of excitement across the fanbase. We know that BioWare hasn’t been in tip-top shape lately, but we don’t believe that they’re not beyond redemption. I, for one, would be open to them getting one last shot at a Star Wars RPG.
4 – A Co-Op Wave Defense Game
It’s time to talk about one of the most underrated Star Wars video game experiences in history. Remember The Clone Wars video game? The one that came out before the Clone Wars show even existed? For the most part, it was a ship-based, ground combat game. But one of its multiplayer modes was an absolutely addicting wave defense game in the Geonosis Colosseum. Waves and waves of battle droids and Geonosians would rush you until you ultimately fell. It was a pretty basic experience, but the concept could have a lot of potential if it were realized into a more full-featured game.
EA claims to be all about indie developers, and this type of game is perfect for a smaller studio to take on. It wouldn’t have to be a massive AAA affair; it could easily release as a simpler, smaller title in the $30 – $40 range. That’s the thing about Star Wars — we don’t need every game to be a multi-hundred million dollar masterpiece; there is plenty of opportunity for more bite-sized projects that could be quicker to develop and still loads of fun.
3 – A Star Wars Hero Shooter
Hero shooters were somewhat of a fad in the same way that battle royale games are right now, but it’s safe to say that they’re here to stay. Made popular by games such as Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch, we’re likely to see this genre continue to evolve in coming years. Already, we’ve seen elements of it percolate into other games, with Black Ops 4 and the EA-produced Apex Legends having defined characters with unique roles.
Why not make a Star Wars game out of this? The characters probably write themselves — you could have the old soldier veteran, an aged Clone Trooper who has defected from the Empire. You could have the cocksure smuggler gal. You could have the obligatory Jedi character. You could have the deadly-but-quirky assassin droid. The medic, the healer, the tank, these are all roles that could easily be filled by Star Wars’ gargantuan catalogue of unique races, robots, and rogues.
2 – A New Republic Commando
Republic Commando didn’t take the world by storm when it released, but over the years, it became a cult favorite, and Star Wars fans ever since have bemoaned the fact that we’ve never gotten anything similar. For the uninitiated, Republic Commando was a tactical squad-based shooter game, in which a team of super bad Clone dudes carried out special operations for the Republic. These Clones were elite in every way, and the Rainbow Six-esque nature of the game was something that hadn’t really been done in Star Wars at the time.
That could translate really well to modern consoles. While a single player campaign would be good enough, adding multiplayer gives this idea so much potential. We’ve also gotten so much more canon material about the Clone Wars since then that it’d be amazing to see what kind of worlds we’d explore in a new big budget game.
1 – Star Wars 1313, For Crying Out Loud
Instead of a hypothetical, let’s talk about a game that actually did exist for a time, before getting canceled around the time of the EA acquisition. Star Wars 1313 was an action-adventure game starring Boba Fett. It would take place on level 1313 of Coruscant, a subterranean, seedy area of the planet-sized metropolis, home to the galaxy’s finest collection of underworld sleazeballs.
We got some gorgeous previews of the game in the form of concept art and early-stage screenshots, but unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. 1313 was one of the unfortunate casualties of the Disney acquisition. The game, along with a few other in-development projects (such as the highly acclaimed Clone Wars show which was cut off prematurely) ended up getting canned due to the massive mixup in rights and ownership in all things Star Wars related.
Still though, 1313 was a great concept. It’s possible it may have released and ended up being generic, mediocre experience — and it’s also possible that it would have been awesome. But we’ll never really know now. Even if 1313 doesn’t return, the idea of a Boba Fett game in underworld Coruscant was a great premise. Perhaps new Star Wars canon such as The Mandalorian could lead to a spiritual revival of Star Wars 1313.
Battlefront II has recovered from its launch nightmare, and is now a legitimately solid game. Jedi: Fallen Order is also shaping up to look pretty fun, if not a little generic. We all would have liked for the Star Wars license to go to anyone except EA for ten stinkin’ years, but all things considered, they do have the potential to do it justice. Whether they will or not is another question entirely, but only time will tell.
What Star Wars games would you like to see? Any ideas that we missed? Be sure to sound out your ideas in the comments!