Here Are 5 Studios That Could Make a Unique Star Wars Game
Arkane Studios? Ninja Theory? Here are some studios that could work wonders with the Star Wars universe.
After the announcement of Lucasfilm Games, and with it breaking away from the EA exclusivity deal earlier this month, the door is now wide open for Lucasfilm-based franchises. The first one we’ve seen is a teaser for a brand new Indiana Jones game from Wolfenstein developer Machine Games. The next day, Ubisoft announced that The Division 2 developer Massive Entertainment will be developing an open-world Star Wars game.
With no exclusivity deal, this offers more developers an opportunity to explore different themes and styles within those universes. While we don’t know what other developers are partnered with Lucasfilm Games, there are many possibilities. Here are my 5 picks for studios that could make a unique Star Wars game, and what sort of game we could expect to see from them.
This pick is kind of a no brainer. With games like Fallout: New Vegas and The Outer Worlds, developer Obsidian Entertainment has proved it can make great sci-fi open-world games. At the same time, it shows that it can inject darker humor in the world that makes its games even more entertaining. With Star Wars, in particular, Obsidian could draw from its experience with The Outer Worlds and create an open-world game where you can explore parts of the galaxy.
There could be multiple planets to explore — each filled with a ton of side quests to complete and a diverse range of characters to meet. Like The Outer Worlds, some of the characters you meet can become your companion and allow you to grow a relationship with them. Additionally, Obsidian could incorporate more dialogue options, making one player’s experience different from others. Star Wars offers up so many great characters, while also leaving plenty of room for new ones.
As for the story, there are so many options to choose from that could take place after Return of the Jedi, sometime after A New Hope, or after the prequels. I don’t see the studio tackling the more recent trilogy following the divisive reception to it. For Obsidian, I could see it tackling the original trilogy where you could play as a new rebel pilot or even a veteran. From there, Obsidian could draw on past experience and let you choose your character’s path. If you wanted to stay a rebel you could, but you could also make choices and eventually join the Empire. The possibilities are endless.
If there’s anyone who’d fit with Star Wars, it’s Hello Games. While No Man’s Sky got off to a rocky start in 2016, the studio has redeemed itself thanks to plenty of updates. More recently, the space exploration game got a next-gen update, making it a great showcase for the PS5 and Xbox Series X | S. With No Man’s Sky letting players explore an infinite galaxy, it shows that it could be a perfect fit to tackle an open-world Star Wars game.
What’s great about No Man’s Sky is it rewards you with each discovery you make and players that you meet. Each planet offers something new, from the creatures to the flora, making exploration really fun. You can also partake in fun space combat either on the ground or flying through space — both alone and with friends. These factors among others make Hello Games a great fit for Star Wars. A game from the studio could have you as a rebel or bounty hunter exploring different corners of the galaxy.
Each planet can be procedurally generated with dozens of hours of content to find. Like No Man’s Sky, you could also have the chance to learn the different languages scattered throughout the galaxy. Another exciting possibility is the chance to upgrade and acquire new ships. This is a crucial aspect of No Man’s Sky that can work perfectly in a Star Wars setting. It can offer a level of customization that would make any Star Wars fan want to pick the game up.
Now here’s where we get crazy. After playing Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice in 2018, I was so blown away by what Ninja Theory had created. The graphics were gorgeous and its story was captivating in so many ways, especially with how it tackled mental health. At the same time, there’s a lot of environmental storytelling that immerses the player in Senua’s world. With Star Wars, I think Ninja Theory could bring us a more grounded story that strays from big galactic battles. Instead, it could focus on a smaller scale story exploring one character’s journey.
What Ninja Theory did so well was making Senua’s story simple but powerful, with Senua trying to find the soul of her dead lover Dillion. We could see the studio tackle a story where you play as a fallen Jedi or a pilot finding refuge in the aftermath from a time like Return of the Jedi or earlier. This could allow Ninja Theory to explore topics like PTSD among other mental health issues.
If you play as a Jedi after the events of Revenge of the Sith we could see the Jedi on a quest to a Jedi temple. Along the way, the Jedi could see hallucinations of past Jedi or even Anakin Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine. If the story is centered on a pilot, we could see them walking through a war-torn planet on a quest to other survivors. Like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the experience could last less than ten hours. Additionally, puzzles might have to be solved to progress through the story. With a developer like Ninja Theory, it’s possible to get a shorter, story-driven Star Wars experience that follows the struggles of one character and navigating them.
One of my favorite types of games is narrative-driven episodic games. Among the many talented developers who make them is Dontnod Entertainment, the creators behind Life is Strange and Tell Me Why. Its games are filled with well-developed characters and interesting plots that go in many directions. Each story feels so personal and Dontnod does a great job of creating cool worlds to learn about. With its knack for great storytelling and compelling characters, the studio would make a great Star Wars episodic game.
Like Life is Strange 2, Dontnod could focus on two siblings on the run set either after Revenge of the Sith or Revenge of the Jedi. The story can follow a sibling discovering they’re a Jedi, and when the Empire finds out about a new Jedi, a journey across multiple planets begins. With a focus like this, it can open up the idea of seeing the Star Wars galaxy from the perspective of ordinary people in the franchise. There’s a lot of room to explore how the events of the movies and shows affect their lives in the game. At the same time, other Star Wars characters can come in each episode to help the protagonists out and flee from the Empire.
In Life is Strange 2, the antagonist was the police and problems of the modern world. With Star Wars, the enemy can be the Empire and the politics surrounding the galaxy. Like other episodic games, there’s an opportunity to make your own decisions and make your story unique. Additionally, a narrative-based Star Wars allows Dontnod to include a ton of collectibles that add to the world.
Last but not least we have Arkane Lyon, in my opinion, one of Bethesda’s best developers. While stealth games aren’t my strong suit, I loved the Dishonered series so much. Deathloop is set to release in May and it’s one of my most anticipated games this year. The worlds that Arkane games are set in are so cool, expansive, and let you approach each scenario in multiple ways. If they develop a Star Wars game, they can make something that is unlike any other Star Wars story.
What I loved about the Dishonored franchise is how you can play those games stealthily, guns blazing, or without killing anyone. Each level is built around that with plenty of routes to take. This can apply to a Star Wars game as well, especially as a Jedi or bounty hunter on a mission. Depending on how many people you kill, your reputation can be affected over time and influence the ending you get. Another aspect of Arkane’s games that I love is the abilities at your disposal. Over time, you can earn more and upgrade them. This can work well with Star Wars and the limitless Jedi abilities or bounty hunter weapons.
A feature like this can lean into what Arkane does so well which is providing players with tons of options and variety. Arkane excels at making first-person adventure games that let players craft their own story. From Dishonored to Prey, it crafts compelling stories and worlds that are so well thought out. Each aspect of their games has a lot of detail put in them and the idea of a Star Wars game made by them is so exciting.
While these developers would make fantastic Star Wars games, it’d be exciting to see any developer step up. Each developer brings something unique to the table, from the genres they tackle to graphics. There’s also a lot of room for studios to explore different corners of Star Wars. Additionally, now that the Skywalker Saga is over, there’s room for a clean slate. It gives larger and smaller developers a chance to reach a wider audience than ever before.
Who do you think would make a great Star Wars game? Let us know in the comments below or on socials.