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EA Being Replaced As 'Star Wars' Games Publisher?

EA's "Star Wars Battlefront 2" hasn't been received well by fans and it also failed to meet sales expectations. Now it looks like Disney and Lucasfilm are rumored to be seriously considering replacing EA as its video game publisher for its "Star Wars" properties.

According to (http://www.cinelinx.com/game-rumors/item/11988-report-disney-lfl-talking-with-2-new-game-developers-for-star-wars.html) Cinelinx , Lucasfilm has already had talks with EA on what's going wrong with "Battlefront 2" and its other "Star Wars" projects. At the same time, however, Lucasfilm has been reaching out to Activision and Ubisoft to know if those companies have something else to offer in terms of future games based on the franchise.

For those who aren't aware, EA is the exclusive video game publisher for titles based on "Star Wars." So how exactly will Disney be able to replace EA without breaching their contractual obligations? It's being speculated that the contract between Disney and EA may have some kind of condition that allows Disney to pull from the agreement "if certain standards/conditions weren't being met."

Last month, EA confirmed on its third quarter financial earnings that it (http://ibtimes.com/star-wars-battlefront-2-only-sold-9-million-copies-fails-meet-eas-expectations-2647661) was only able to sell 9 million copies of "Star Wars Battlefront 2." EA originally expected to sell at least 10 million copies during the first quarter of the game's launch. "Battlefront 2" did not only fail to meet expectations, it was also unable to match  or surpass the 13 million copies sold of 2015's "Star Wars Battlefront" in the same time period.

One of the reasons why "Battlefront 2" underperformed is because of the controversy surrounding its loot boxes, or "Crates" as it's called in the game. In-game Crates can be earned by playing the game, but can also be bought with real money through microtransactions. When fans found out that it can actually affect gameplay, many saw it as a form of gambling or a shortcut for many to be better in online multiplayer. EA decided to temporarily shut down microtransactions, but the company is now preparing to relaunch it as part of a future update.

With the loot box controversy seemingly being one of the major reasons why "Battlefront 2" failed to meet expectations, rumors began popping up claiming that the relationship between EA and Disney has turned sour. In response, EA CEO Andrew Wilson denied those rumors stating that they have a (https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/30/16952396/star-wars-battlefront-2-sales-loot-boxes-returning) "tremendous relationship" with Disney.

This may just be a rumor and may be inaccurate, so it's best to take it with a grain of salt. But seeing that EA is struggling to keep "Star Wars" fans happy, it really isn't surprising if Disney and Lucasfilm are seriously considering to replace EA at this point.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Feb 14, 2018
Words:460
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