Since acquiring the Star Wars license in 2013, EA has learned a great deal about Star Wars fans and their desires.
Jade Raymond, head of EA’s Motive studio, also manages the overall Star Wars strategy for the publisher. Motive itself is working on a Star Wars project, but it’s the insight Raymond shared as a manager of the brand that’s interesting.
Speaking at Develop in Brighton this week, Raymond said that meeting Star Wars fan expectations and being as authentic to the world as possible are both very important factors in creating successful Star Wars games.
But there’s another, bizarre reason why fans choose to engage with Star Wars games to begin with, according to Raymond.
“And actually, interestingly enough, the number one motivator for either fans of playing Star Wars games or looking to participate in the Star Wars universe in any way is to become the number one fan,” she told attendees, as reported by Eurogamer.
“So, basically, to beat their friends at Star Wars trivia.”
As strange as it sounds, Raymond said that playing these games and picking up bits and pieces about the Star Wars universe through them allows fans to “lord over my friends because I knew this and you didn’t.”
“I know it seems funny, but we’ve spent a lot of time talking to Star Wars fans and Star Wars gamers, and that’s the number one motivator for everyone: learning more so they can be the number one expert.”
At the talk, the veteran studio head also touched a little bit on how the company decides which Star Wars games it wants to work on: by taking pitches from developers all around EA.
“Each studio pitches what game they want to make. My role is looking across those pitches, how can we line them up? Obviously, we don’t want to be releasing four Star Wars games in one year,” she explained
“We don’t want to have all our games be Jedi games. It would be good to have some that are focusing on different types of gameplay and different player fantasies.
“Star Wars is great because you can do a Boba Fett game or a bounty hunter game or a scoundrel game or a Jedi game. There are so many different actions for gameplay and different types of characters we could develop, so there’s a lot of room.”
Motive took over development of Amy Hennig’s Star Wars project, after EA rebooted it with less of a focus on linear storytelling.