Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced that the company will be leaving the publishing rights for future Star Wars games to the publishers. According to him, Disney isn't very good at the self-publishing side of things.
During a recent quarterly earnings call for Disney, per The Hollywood Reporter, Iger acknowledged the company’s ineffectiveness when it comes to publishing their own video games. “We’re obviously mindful of the size of that business but over the years we’ve tried our hand at self-publishing … and we’ve found that we haven’t been particularly good at the self-publishing side,” he said.
While publishing hasn’t been their strong suit in the past, the CEO noted that Disney does handle the licensing quite well. “We’ve just decided that the best place for us to be in that space is licensing and not publishing,” Iger said. “We have good relationships with some of those that we’re licensing to, notably EA.”
For those not in the know, EA has a deal with Disney, which gives them exclusive publishing rights to Star Wars titles through 2023. Since the deal was announced in 2013, EA has only published two Star Wars games, 2015’s Battlefront and its 2017 sequel, Battlefront II. The former was a financial success and was received relatively well by gamers and critics. The follow-up entry, however, did not receive such praise and has been overshadowed by controversies since before launch.
As for what’s on the horizon, EA’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is expected to launch this fall, the company confirmed in their own earnings call earlier this week. Development is being handled by Respawn Entertainment, who recently released Apex Legends, a free-to-play battle royale experience set in the Titanfall universe.
What do you think about Disney leaving the publishing rights for future Star Wars games to others? Do you believe the company will move on from EA after their deal is over? Let us know in the comment section below, or hit me up over on Twitter @anarkE7!