EA and Disney strike massive deal
Electronic Arts and Disney will retain the rights to develop online and mobile Star Wars games.
SAN FRANCISCO - Electronic Arts (EA) and Walt Disney Co sealed a multi-year licensing deal under which the video game publisher will develop games for mobile devices, PCs and consoles based on the Star Wars movies.
Both companies said in a statement on Monday that Disney, which bought George Lucas's Lucasfilm Ltd and the blockbuster sci-fi franchise for 4.05 billion US dollars in October, will retain the rights to develop online and mobile games.
They did not reveal the financial terms of the agreement.
EA bet big on the Star Wars world of Jedis and Wookies in 2011 by releasing its Star Wars: The Old Republic.
It is a massive multiplayer online game which allows thousands of people to play simultaneously for a monthly subscription fee as opposed to a one-time purchase.
Analysts said EA made a record investment of between $100 million and $300 million to build Star Wars: The Old Republic, but EA has not disclosed costs.
It hired more than 1,000 voice actors for Star Wars: The Old Republic, which broke a game industry record.
But the game has struggled to retain players, prompting the company to offer 15 game levels for free in June last year.
In November it launched a free-to-play version of the game.
Disney, which has its own interactive games division, last month, shut the 30-year-old LucasArts games studio.
It inherited LucasArts with the acquisition to focus on licensing its Star Wars brand externally.