Speculation is swirling that Disney is considering developing two new Star Wars games, and of course, fans are in a fluster exploring the possibilities. However, one of these projects is apparently an exclusive from a studio that specialises in massively multiplayer online games.
These tidbits come from an episode of the XboxEra podcast released last week, wherein industry insider Nick "Shpeshal Ed" Baker expanded upon his earlier claims about these two mystery Star Wars titles. In April, he took to Twitter to state that a Funko Pop on Phil Spencer's shelf is a hint that there is a The Mandalorian game in the works with an Xbox studio.
When Ewan Moore heard this, he almost hit the ceiling as he's the one who's been gunning for an RPG about the masked bounty hunter for so long. Plus, this tallies with other reveals and announcements in recent times. Spencer himself hid the Xbox Series S on his shelf before the next generation got its time in the spotlight, and Bethesda's upcoming Indiana Jones game was inadvertently signalled by Todd Howard's shelf. All I'm saying is to keep an eye on these shelves for IRL Easter eggs.
In that vein, check out these adorable Easter eggs in Astro's Playroom. I'm a big fan of the Horizon Zero Dawn one, and the Resident Evil one, and the Metal Gear Solid one...
Anyway, let's return to what was said on this XboxEra episode. Baker qualified that this Star Wars project is not in "active development" and that Microsoft has had an interest in nabbing more Lucasfilm IP for itself. "I would not be surprised if High Republic is on that list, I would not be surprised if The Mandalorian is on that list," he continued. Baker adds that he is considering that something to do with Star Wars would turn up in Microsoft's E3 2021 presentation, and that ZeniMax Online Studios might be the one to unveil it.
His rationale? He said that ZeniMax Online Studios has been seeking new members of their team who have experience on Star Wars games, and it is apparently working on a project that is not massively multiplayer and online. Of course, this subsidiary is well-known for developing and supporting The Elder Scrolls Online since 2014. If you're after a specific example of their hiring pattern, this time last year Colin Campbell was hired as a lead level designer for the studio's unannounced new IP. Campbell's credits include Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. Interesting.
Hang on here. None of this has been officially confirmed by Disney, so we have to take what Baker said with a pinch of salt. We are aware that, as EA's exclusive contract to develop Star Wars games has expired, Lucasfilm was looking for studios to "play with [its] toys". Perhaps it's settled on ZeniMax Online Studios. In any event, we'll keep you in the loop.
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