EA Needs to End its Exclusivity Contract Strong with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2

The Star Wars gaming license has been in a very weird place for a long time. The EA exclusivity deal that started all the way back in 2013 hasn't exactly gone as planned for the company. From microtransaction controversies, to general disappointment in how few games have been released, EA hasn't exactly been in the best favor of a lot of Star Wars fans. With all of the disappointment, however, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has been the one release where many fans and critics alike think EA finally did something right.

Unfortunately for EA, the good faith that it's begun to build with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is about to be challenged. Earlier this year, it was announced that Lucasfilm Games would be reforming, and that Ubisoft would develop a new open-world Star Wars game. Although it's likely that this game won't come out until after EA's exclusivity deal ends, it still has big implications for the future of Star Wars gaming. EA's relationship with the Star Wars license is now hanging in the balance, and the rumored Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 could be a make or break release for the company.

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 Making Up For Past EA Mistakes

EA's time with the Star Wars license has been marked by a series of controversies. The most damaging of these controversies came with the release of Star Wars Battlefront 2, when players quickly found out that progression was heavily supported by a pay-to-win microtransaction structure. This caused severe backlash from much of the Star Wars community, and the gaming community at large. The mechanic was so controversial, it even brought on a mass investigation of the gambling implications of loot boxes by several world governments, all with EA at the center.

The team at DICE eventually reworked Battlefront 2's progression system, but it severely pushed back DLC and put a dark mark on the game and EA as a whole. Learning from this mistake, EA kept microtransactions out of Jedi: Fallen Order, and it was much better off for it. The opportunity certainly could have presented itself too, considering other singleplayer games like Assassin's Creed have begun to include microtransactions in recent installments. EA would still be wise to avoid including them in Fallen Order 2 however, as any microtransactions would just be seen as predatory by fans that have been burned before.

Sticking The Landing With Jedi: Fallen Order 2

One of the biggest strengths of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was the original story that it crafted, with a respectable list of original characters. Perhaps the biggest complaint of EA's time with the license was the serious lack of any story-based content, as the focus was clearly placed on more profit-attractive multiplayer titles from the start. Jedi: Fallen Order was a major deviation from this, and it proved to be a successful move. Although it was a much smaller story than other Star Wars productions, the fact that fans are clamoring for a sequel shows that it laid a solid foundation.

As successful as Jedi: Fallen Order was, its success has set up a number of expectations for Fallen Order 2. Few things are worse in gaming than getting a stellar first release in a series, and then it turns out the sequel is disappointing and loses the spirit of the first game. If this were to happen with Jedi: Fallen Order 2, it would likely bring EA's reputation with the franchise back to square one. With how well the first game set up a sequel, there are few reasons why Fallen Order 2 shouldn't be just as successful as the first. It will just be a matter of EA avoiding any questionable practices in an attempt to capitalize on the sequel's hype.

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New Developers In The Star Wars Galaxy

The success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 won't just determine whether or not EA maintains the favor of Star Wars fans, but it could also determine whether or not EA is given a chance to make more Star Wars games in the future. The fact that Ubisoft already has a new Star Wars game in development before EA's deal is over gives some indication that Disney has been ready to move on from the company. Especially after all of the controversies that have surrounded the Star Wars gaming license, few could blame Disney from wanting to revitalize the brand with a new company.

With Ubisoft making its own game, and EA's deal coming to an end relatively soon, a lot more companies are suddenly going to be able to make their own Star Wars title. EA is going to be faced with some stiff competition for the first time in a decade, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 will essentially be an audition to determine whether or not EA will get more chances with the Star Wars license. If the sequel turns out to be a massive disappointment, which hopefully it won't be, the people at Disney and Lucasfilm Games probably won't be in a rush to give EA another shot.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 is one of the most highly-anticipated Star Wars titles in a very long time. The success of the first game was a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one, and now that EA isn't going to be the only Star Wars game producer it suddenly puts a lot of pressure on the sequel. If EA manages to end its exclusivity strong with the game, it would do wonders to keep EA's reputation with Star Wars fans intact, and ensure fans continue to get great games like Fallen Order. Until the sequel becomes official and more details come out, fans will just have to hope for the best with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 has not been confirmed to be in development.

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