To say that the Star Wars Empire is huge is a massive understatement. The Star Wars juggernaut has earned $3.1 billion domestically and a worldwide total of $6.7 billion.
In 2015 Toy sales alone crossed $700 million and Wall Street experts were predicting that total revenue from The Force Awakens and other Star Wars merchandise will earn over 5 billion. One area that has always been very profitable for Star Wars has been the gaming industry, to date the Star Wars franchise has released over 80 video game titles. Video games has always been big business but in 2015 alone the industry hit a record high of $23.5 billion. Disney has always been adapt at taking advantage of market trends and producing product that matches it. With the massive success of open world RPG video games the question that must be asked is why Is there no Star Wars open world RPG Video game like fallout or grand-theft Auto?"
As said above Star Wars video games have been a massive success with titles ranging form Knights of the Old Republic, to Galaxies and the very successful Battlefront series. People love Star Wars video games, the excitement over the new installment of the Battlefront series was enough to propel sales of the game to 13 million. The game was well received but suffered from a rushed release and no single player campaign. As of now with Lucasarts disbanded, EA, Disney and Bioware hold the majority of licenses for Star Wars games. With EA aggressively pursuing the release of multiple Star Wars titles over the next few years.
The news that has been filtering out seems to indicate that the majority of Star Wars games coming down the pipeline seem to be mostly shooters, and flight simulators (no complaints here!) but a question that must be asked is why has there never been nor do there seem to be plans for an open world RPG set in the Star Wars universe?
An open world RPG is a video game that places players in a huge world, and this world is filled with quests, and hundreds of NPCS (Non playable characters) to interact with. In these games, much is placed on the player making choices and crafting their own story. In the last few years, the open world RPG market has literally exploded, with these titles; The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout: 3 & 4, Grand theft Auto V and the Borderlands series, going on to make billions. There are literally too many to name but in the last year Fallout 4 sold 12 million copies in 24 hours ($750 million), Grand Theft Auto V sold 11 million copies and Skyrim has sold a total of 23 million copies for a revenue of $1.3 billion.
Before George Lucas sold his empire to Disney there were plans for a game called Star Wars: 1313 to be released. It was described as an open world game set in the Coruscant underbelly and was described as “Grand-theft auto in space”. It was rumored to star a young Boba Fett. The game was far alone in its pre-production when Disney bought Star Wars and shut the project down. No one knows why the project was shut down, as videos and concept art that was released was met with critical acclaim and excitement by fans and the video gaming industry.
So the question remains, with the open world RPG market so lucrative, why has Disney, EA and Bioware left billions on the table by not producing an open world RPG in the Star Wars universe? There are several reasons possible, one being time. Open world RPG’s are notorious for taking years to produce. Fallout 4 was in development for over three years, and Disney has been very busy crafting the movie universe side of things. Another possibility is the issue of an open world RPG needing to be placed all in space or all on the ground. Disney may be worried that by having the game set in only one location would alienate fans (I can’t find anyone who seems upset at having an open world RPG set all in Mos Eisley)
The biggest reason that an open world RPG has not been created is most likely money. Now you’re probably saying wait! You said these games made billions? I did, but Disney, EA and Bioware are companies that want to make money. As said before, there has never been a open world Star Wars game. That means there is risk, what if the game is not well received? What if it has poor sales figures? These are all questions that are asked by the companies. Games like Battlefront or a Star Wars flight simulator are assured hits, they may not have sales figures like Fallout 4, but they are risk proof. Battlefront was never at risk of being a failure, and with Disney just acquiring the Lucas Empire it could be that the company does not want to take risk associated with an untested idea like a Star Wars open world game.
Check out the demo of Star Wars: 1313 below
All hope is not lost though, Star Wars under Disney is still in its infancy, and it makes sense for Disney to take care and not rush into things. Lucasfilms president Kathleen Kennedy has said that they are looking to “explore” some of these old Lucasfilm ideas, including 1313 and the Star Wars live-action TV series. She is quoted as saying
“We don’t want to throw any of that stuff away, its gold. And it’s something we’re spending a lot of time looking at, pouring through, discussing, and we may very well develop those things further. We definitely want to.”
Disney is no stranger to developing money machines, the Marvel cinematic universe just crossed $10 billion in revenue and Star Wars: The Force Awakens made $2 billion. If Disney sees that a Star Wars open world game like 1313 can make massive revenue they will open its development. The best way for us the fans to help this along is to keep up the interest in the idea, tell Disney on social media that you want to see an open world game for Star Wars. Disney is good about listening to the fans. and maybe in the next few years we will be able to drive a speeder madly alone the streets of an open world Mos Eisley running from the empire and the huts!
Do you want to see a open world RPG game like Fallout set in the Star Wars universe? If so what planet would you want it set on? Tell us in the comments below!