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EA's Star Wars deal is 10 years long, won't focus on 'movie games'

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Electronic Arts' exclusive deal with Disney and Lucasfilm to make games based on the Star Wars franchise — from the original trilogy to the upcoming, JJ Abrams-directed films — will run over the course of ten years, chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen says.

Jorgensen, speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference on Tuesday, said EA's Star Wars games will tap into content from the broad Star Wars franchise, but won't necessarily be "movie games," meaning video game adaptations of existing or upcoming films.

"The beauty of the Star Wars franchise is it's so broad and so deep you don't have to do a movie game," Jorgensen said. "You can do a game that's very focused on the world that's been created around Star Wars."

Battlefield and Mirror's Edge developer DICE is currently "building some early stages of various games" in EA's Frostbite engine, Jorgensen said, which we'll hear more about in the years to come.

Those games will factor in the extended Star Wars universe that Abrams and Lucasfilm are launching with Star Wars Episode VII in 2015. In addition to "historical types of games" based on the franchise, EA will create "new games that we're inventing around their content, around the broad Star Wars content and around some of the new assets that they may produce over time as well."

The next Star Wars movie is scheduled for release on Dec. 18, 2015. Abrams and Lucasfilm recently revealed that the film would see the return of astromech droid R2-D2.

Jorgensen said EA's games would take advantage of marketing surrounding the films' releases, but wouldn't necessarily target a film's release date for its titles.

"We struck what we believe is a fantastic deal," Jorgensen said, "which allows us to be able to build games in many different genres across multiple types of platforms over 10 years and will leverage the strength of the Disney marketing associated with the Star Wars properties, both in movies and other things that they made do over the timeframe.

"We'll try to align those with that marketing power that Disney has, but it won't necessarily be aligned with the movies."

EA has confirmed it's developing Star Wars Battlefront, a shooter set in the franchise, which is slated for a summer 2015 release.

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