Star Wars Outlaws: A Cinematic Journey Began at E3

Star Wars Outlaws: A Cinematic Journey Began at E3

Star Wars Outlaws is a game born from a dream many of us share – to create a Star Wars adventure that feels as cinematic and immersive as the original trilogy. But did you know this journey began in a café at E3? Let’s dive into the fascinating story behind the game and how it captures the essence of 1970s Star Wars movies.

Futuristic cityscape with figures overlooking foggy night scene

The Birth of Star Wars Outlaws

E3 2018: The Origin Story

In 2018, Julian Gerighty, the creative director at Ubisoft Massive, was preparing to showcase The Division 2 at The Orpheum Theater during E3. Meanwhile, David Polfeldt, then the managing director of Ubisoft Massive, was in a café having a pivotal conversation with Disney about a potential collaboration. Disney had a shortlist of developers, and Massive was on it. Although there were other Disney properties in consideration, the team’s collective dream of creating a Star Wars game became the driving force.

Motorcyclist riding through rugged desert landscape

Capturing the 1970s Star Wars Aesthetic

A Unique Cinematic Experience

One of the standout features of Star Wars Outlaws is its dedication to capturing the look and feel of the original Star Wars trilogy. Gerighty and his team developed a custom camera lens within the Snowdrop engine to replicate the Panavision lenses used in the 1970s. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that players experience the same visual distortions, chromatic aberrations, and lens flares that define the classic Star Wars aesthetic.

Woman smiling at a quirky, furry creature in chair.

The Team Behind the Game

Collaboration and Growth

Star Wars Outlaws is one of two major licensed projects developed by Ubisoft Massive, the other being Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. This ambitious endeavor led to significant expansion and collaboration, including partnerships with studios like Ubisoft Milan. Despite the growth, the core team, which worked on The Division 2, remained intact, bringing over a decade of experience to this new project.

Person facing bipedal robot in desert ruins.

Working with Lucasfilm Games

A Synergistic Partnership

From the outset, Ubisoft Massive worked closely with Lucasfilm Games to establish a creative framework. This partnership ensured that the game stayed true to Star Wars design, visuals, and storytelling. The game is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, focusing on a new story with familiar touchpoints.

Gameplay and Design

Open World and Player Agency

Star Wars Outlaws offers an open-world experience where players can explore at their own pace. Gerighty emphasizes that the game is not about linear content but about giving players the freedom to direct their adventure. This approach allows for a more immersive and personalized gameplay experience.

Cinematic Execution

Despite the open-world design, the game maintains a cinematic quality through its execution. The team’s realization director, with experience from Industrial Light and Magic, ensures that every scene, transition, and dialogue choice aligns with the cinematic feel of the original trilogy.

tar Wars Outlaws: A New Kind of Adventure Awaits in the Galaxy
tar Wars Outlaws: A New Kind of Adventure Awaits in the Galaxy

Unique Elements of Outlaws

Innovative Skill and Upgrade System

Departing from traditional skill trees, Outlaws introduces a padawan/master relationship for character upgrades. Players seek out experts within the game world to enhance their abilities, leading to unique adventures and deeper world-building.

Collaboration Across the Industry

The game benefits from a diverse team, including talent from Criterion, known for their work on Battlefront. This collaboration brings a wealth of experience and passion for Star Wars, enhancing the game’s overall quality and authenticity.

Anticipation and Release

High Expectations

Star Wars Outlaws has gone gold and is set to release at the end of August. As one of the world’s top game developers tackles one of the most beloved franchises, expectations are high. The slow period for AAA game releases adds to the anticipation, making Outlaws one of the most eagerly awaited games of the year.

A Guide to 'Star Wars Outlaws': What do we know so far?
A Guide to ‘Star Wars Outlaws’: What do we know so far?


How did Star Wars Outlaws begin? Star Wars Outlaws began as a conversation between Ubisoft Massive’s managing director and Disney in a café at E3 2018.

What is unique about the game’s visual design? The game uses a custom camera lens in the Snowdrop engine to replicate the visual effects of 1970s Panavision lenses, capturing the classic Star Wars aesthetic.

Who is the main character in Star Wars Outlaws? The game focuses on a scoundrel archetype, a space pirate or outlaw, navigating the Star Wars universe.

When is Star Wars Outlaws releasing? The game is set to release at the end of August.

What makes Star Wars Outlaws different from other Ubisoft games? Outlaws introduces a unique skill upgrade system based on seeking out experts, emphasizing character growth through relationships rather than traditional skill trees.


Star Wars Outlaws is a testament to the enduring appeal and innovative spirit of the Star Wars franchise. From its inception at a café in E3 to its meticulous attention to cinematic detail, the game promises to deliver a rich and immersive experience. As the release date approaches, fans eagerly await the opportunity to explore this new chapter in the Star Wars universe. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or new to the saga, Star Wars Outlaws offers a thrilling adventure that captures the magic of the original trilogy. May the Force be with you as you embark on this epic journey!