SWCE 2016: 7 Things We Learned from the EA Star Wars Panel

The creators behind today's biggest Star Wars games discuss what's to come.

Star Wars BattlefrontGalaxy of HeroesThe Old Republic. And a yet unnamed title from one of gaming’s greats. EA’s Star Wars panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe — featuring the minds behinds these titles — included much discussion on today’s biggest Star Wars games and on what’s to come. Here’s what we learned.

1. Get ready to rebel. Or crush those who do. At the end of the panel, Niklas Fegraeus, a.k.a. Figge, design director of Battlefront, revealed that a fourth expansion is coming to the game. It’s a special one: Rogue One: Scarif, inspired by the highly-anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and it will be released this holiday season. “Go to the theater, come home, and play as Jyn or Krennic on Scarif,” Fegraeus said. Deal.

2. Battlefront fans: look at the size of that thing. Fegraeus debuted the first trailer for the upcoming Death Star expansion. It’s coming this fall, and the teaser was met with huge cheers. Prodded by host Warwick Davis at making fans wait, Fegraeus said, “I’ll tell the team back home to hurry up.”

3. Enter Chewbacca and Bossk. The galaxy’s favorite walking carpet and scaly bounty hunter are coming to Battlefront. I guess it’s time to decide if you’re really on Han’s side, or would’ve rather seen him captured in The Empire Strikes Back, depending on who you choose.

4. Galaxy of Heroes may also be…going Rogue. John Salera, executive producer of Galaxy of Heroes, hinted at some possible additions to the mobile strategy game — specifically, heroes and villains from a certain movie hitting theaters in December. “While I can’t get into the details,” he said, “I’m very much looking forward to getting those characters into the game.”

5. Hello, AAT. A trailer for Galaxy of Heroes also premiered for a new raid called Tank Takedown. In this raid, you’ll battle General Grievous, his troop of battle droids, and an AAT tank. Defeating them will get you powerful new rewards, such as raid exclusive Mods. Good luck. You’re gonna need it.

6. There’s lots of new coming to The Old RepublicThe MMORPG, now in its fifth year, just received a new expansion. “Star Wars: The Old Republic was inspired by Knights of the Old Republic,” said BioWare senior creative director James Ohlen, “We wanted to take that heritage and expand upon it.” That led to the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion, and Chapter 1 is now available for free. Another new expansion, Knights of the Eternal Throne, is also in the works and was glimpsed in a teaser. “We did want to show our fans that we have something exciting coming for the end of the year,” Ohlen said.

7. Amy Hennig is your new master. The celebrated game creator, one of the talents behind Uncharted, spoke of her approach to Visceral’s still-untitled Star Wars game. And just hearing her methodology set the room abuzz. “The process that I’ve been using is really similar to what I did for Uncharted, to be honest,” she said. “You need to deconstruct the films so you can reconstruct them…as gameplay.” The goal is to make players feel like they played a Star Wars film. That means getting the structure right. Getting the tone right.  Stakes and jeopardy. And it also means channeling what distinguishes the Star Wars films in game form. “These are always ensemble stories,” she said. “In Star Wars, they’re co-protagonists. The same thing is true of our game.” 2018 can’t get here soon enough.

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content writer and editor of the StarWars.com blog. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

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