In what amounts to a bit of publisher houscleaning, Electronic Arts has announced that it has entered into a new agreement with LucasArts that basically has EA taking over most of the publishing and marketing duties for the upcoming MMO Star Wars The Old Republic. Under the new agreement, LucasArts will continue to collaborate with EA and the game’s developer BioWare on the “design and marketing” for the game in addition to LucasArts’ basic role as the licensor of the Star Wars property itself. Financial terms of this new deal were not disclosed.
BioWare and LucasArts first entered into an agreement to collaborate on Star Wars The Old Republic back in 2007 before the game itself was announced and just before BioWare was acquired by EA. The game itself was announced in October 2008.
EA and Lucasfilm Ltd, announced today an updated global publishing agreement for the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online videogame Star Wars: The Old Republic. With this new agreement, certain publishing, marketing and distribution responsibilities previously designated to LucasArts will shift to EA, so that all publishing, marketing and distribution responsibilities can be centralized for efficiency. Lucasfilm will continue serving as a key partner, collaborating on design and marketing, and as a licensor of the property. Star Wars: The Old Republic is designed to redefine the MMO category by introducing BioWare’s signature storytelling and rich, emotional human performances to the genre. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most highly-anticipated videogames of 2011, winning over 60 awards at industry tradeshows around the world including the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles and Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. The game is breaking new ground in the genre by building on the traditional MMO gameplay pillars of combat, exploration and character progression, and adding a fourth dimension to the experience – story. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, players will explore an age thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader when war between the Old Republic and the Sith Empire divides the galaxy. Players choose to play as Jedi, Sith, or a variety of other classic Star Wars roles, defining their personal story and determining their path down the light or dark side of the Force. Along the way, players will befriend courageous companions who will fight at their side or possibly betray them, based on the players’ actions. Players can also choose to team up with friends to battle enemies and overcome incredible challenges using dynamic Star Wars combat.
Update: Here’s a statement from Ray Muzyka, who made the original announcement (via Joystiq: )