Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Electronic Arts, the publisher currently licensed to develop Star Wars games, had canceled the in-development open-world game set in the galaxy far, far away. This led many to question the relationship between Disney and EA, and whether or not EA has done a good job with the license. During Disney’s earnings call yesterday, CEO Bob Iger said that Disney has a “good relationship” with EA, and that the company prefers to license its properties rather than developing and publishing themselves.
“We’re good at making movies and television shows and theme parks and cruise ships and the like, we’ve just never managed to demonstrate much skill on the publishing side of games,” Iger said during the call. “[…W]e’ve found over the years that we haven’t been particularly good at the self-publishing side, but we’ve been great at the licensing side which obviously doesn’t require that much allocation of capital.”
Disney sees more financial upside in licensing its properties to video game companies like it has with EA for Star Wars since it doesn’t require much financial investment. However, since acquiring the license in 2013, EA has only launched a handful of Star Wars games, including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, and the two poorly received Star Wars Battlefront games.
During EA’s earnings call, which also happened yesterday, the publisher confirmed that Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is currently on track to launch later this year.