News – EA cancels Star Wars game and withdraws lootboxes from Belgium

Another Star Wars game cancelled by EA

If you were looking forward to more pride and accomplishment in EA’s Star Wars games then you are unfortunately out of luck. Their open-world Star Wars game, that was being developed by EA Vancouver after EA shut down Visceral Games a couple of years ago, has now been confirmed as canceled. EA explained back when it shut down Visceral that “…to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design [away from Visceral Game’s originally designed action-adventure single-player game]“. This can only be understood as EA employing their corporate doublespeak to justify moving away from less monetizable single-player games towards persistent multiplayer “live service” games, which their COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen even admited was an “economic decision“.

In their confirmation of this cancellation, EA stated: “We’re fully committed to making more Star Wars games, we’re very excited about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Respawn, and we’ll share more about our new projects when the time is right.” Fallen Order is of course the game (in)famously and extremely cringefully announced from the audience at E3. Whether this game’s development will survive is likely dependent on whether or not EA will find a way to monetize it, so we’re not holding our breath for this one.

Lootboxes finally recognized as gambling in Belgium

On the topic of monetization, EA has now been forced to stop selling microtransactions used for funding lootboxes in its FIFA games in Belgium. While countries calling out lootboxes as the gambling that they clearly constitute, this is of course bad news in the short run for any Belgian FIFA players hoping to stand a fighting chance in EA’s notoriously pay-to-win Ultimate Team mode. While big publishers are increasingly relying on microtransactions as a source of income, some analysts are now predicting a decline in the value of EA in the foreseeable future as more and more countries investigate the legality of the lootboxes and microtransactions that are predicted to account for 74% of their digital sales this year.