Star Wars Brand Strengthens With EA and Disney Video Game Deal
Electronic Arts and Disney both saw stocks rise following the video game announcement.
Video game giant Electronic Arts and Walt Disney Co have sealed a multi-year licensing deal to develop games for mobile devices, PCs and consoles based on the Star Wars movies. Disney, which snapped up George Lucas's LucasFilm Ltd for $4.05 billion in October 2012, will retain the rights to develop online and mobile games, according to a statement on Monday.
EA released the huge multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic in 2011, allowing thousands of people to play simultaneously for a monthly subscription fee. According to Yahoo, EA made investments of between $100 million and $300 million to get The Old Republic up and running, including the hiring of over 1,000 voice actors. However, the game has struggled to retain its core players prompting the company to initially offer 15 game levels for free. In November, it launched a free-to-play version of the game.
Disney shut down the 30-year-old LucasArts game studio it inherited from its multi-billion dollar acquisition, instead choosing to focus on the Star Wars brand. As well as the forthcoming games, the company will release new movie Star Wars Episode 7 as well as promising to release a new movie in the franchise every year from 2015 onwards.
Following the latest announcement, EA shares were up 2 per cent at $18.67, while Disney's stock rose slightly to $65.17.
Gameplay From EA's Poorly Received Star Wars The Old Republic Game