October brought disconcerting news that Electronic Arts had shut down Visceral Games and “pivoted” the design of its unnamed Star Wars project from “a story-based, linear adventure game” to something different altogether. As a result, the games media and gamers alike started questioning whether there’s a future for the ambitious, single player centric, story-driven games in the Star Wars canon. The thing is: such games have been a thing of the past for a few years already. Seven years to be exact. 

The last of what you’d call “ambitious, single player centric, story-driven games in the Star Wars canon” was The Force Unleashed 2, which was released in 2010. A high-budget, AAA title supplementing the movie canon with its own story. Ambitious doesn’t always mean successful, though, and TFU2 disappointed in both quality and sales. 

Of course, the stream of Star Wars video games didn’t run dry after TFU2’s underwhelming performance. What followed was a plethora of safe spin-offs, Lego Star Wars games (which, although great, merely comically ape the movies), and mobile titles capitalizing on the hottest trends of the moment. 

The biggest Star Wars video game released after 2010 was without a doubt The Old Republic. Electronic Arts’s take on an MMO with Jedi and Sith was as ambitious as it was misguided. The game was released in December of 2011 and by July of 2012 switched to a free-to-play model to remain profitable. Despite early struggles, Old Republic remains live today, so the creators eventually got the formula correct.

2012, however, brought fans of the saga something to look forward to. For the first time in a while, the reveal of Star Wars 1313 at the E3 2012 made them optimistic for the future.

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