Now that Disney have closed the doors on LucasArts and are instead planning shifting the outfit "from an internal development to a licensing model", we thought we'd give the Mickey Mouse company some advice on what to do with a licence that covers a treasure trove of games and IPs that gamers of all ages utterly adore.
With that in mind, here's this week's Sunday Seven in no particular order...
Stick the classics on GOG.com
I said in no particular order, but this one is the ultimate no-brainer. We live in an age of easy digital distribution where elderly PC architecture can be easily emulated via software such as DOSbox, and there's a fat digital marketplace that specialises in retro PC games.
LucasArts sat on the likes of Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, X-wing and its sequels for years. It's time that stopped. It's been long enough. You can't legitimately buy those games anywhere any more, save for bruised and battered used copies on eBay. Make some money from them Disney, stick them on GOG and let us delight in their delights once more. Everybody wins.
Get Project Aces to create a New X-Wing/TIE Fighter/Rogue Squadron title
We've spoken about this a few times on the PWNCAST. Whenever topic of space combat sims comes up, we make barely contained sex noises at the mere mention of the X-Wing series, and lament the fact that Rogue Squadron hasn't the seen the light of day since the Gamecube. It's time that got fixed. Leverage the "Make Metal Bleed!" engine from Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, combine it with the OTT, exhilarating shenanigans of Ace Combat X and VI, and set it all in the Star Wars universe.
We've suggested Project Aces get stuck into other franchises before (Jon was keen on them taking up the Star Wing mantle), and it doesn't take much to iagine how awesome this could be. INTENSIFY FORWARD FIREPOWER!!!!
Alternative Choice: Volition. After all, they do have some significant pedigree too with FreeSpace. They're a little busy finishing off Saints Row IV currently, mind.
"There’s a lot of different eras in Star Wars, and that’s what we would focus on. We pitched a between-Episode III and Episode IV game [to LucasArts]. Because we think that timeframe is super interesting. It’s the fall of the Republic, the extermination of the Jedi, it’s Obi-Wan going off and making sure Luke is OK. You have the Sith, but you have the extermination of all Force users except for very, very few. So it was an interesting time to set a game, and you know, Chris Avellone came up with a really cool story.” - Fergus Urquhart
Shut up and take my money!
KOTOR 2 was a cracking game undermined by LucasArt wanting to push the game out off the door before it was actually finished. What would happen if Obsidian were let off of the chain completely with a chance to tell their tale, their way? I don't know. But I want to find out so very badly.
Lightsaber + Platinum = WIN
I'd very much like for you to consider the magnificence of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance for a second. Now consider how the physically destructive properties of the lightsaber have never really been fully explored in a game. We want balletic action, we want the best combat mechanics possible, we want something nuts.
We want Platinum. And Star Wars. Together.
Raven have been chopped up and cleared out so many times in the decade since Jedi Knight III that the studio is barely recognisable, more's the pity. LucasArts themselves did their very best to drive the potential of The Force Unleashed into the ground.
Sod Jedis; let us play as the Sith. Maybe Exar Kun. And give developmental reins over to Platinum, who consistently deliver fun. On a bun.
Get DICE to finish Battlefront III
DICE have been harping on about how they're totally not just a Battlefield factory. Give them a chance to prove it, Disney. The world needs Battlefront III... in Frostbite 3.
Invent a time machine to stop David Braben from making Elite: Dangerous
This one is a little farfetched, perhaps. It's a shame that LucasArts was so useless for so long, because if anyone in upper-level management there had been even remotely awake they might have realised that of course Dave Braben wasn't happy just doing Kinectimals. If someone had been on the ball, we could have had Elite: Star Wars.
Failing that, maybe pimp an enormous open-galaxy space sim out to Egosoft. But make sure they build a comprehensible UI *cough* X3 *cough*.
Give Star Wars 1313 to BioWare
Mass Effect 3's combat was actually pretty good. Solid enough to keep us coming back for more of the relatively slim multiplayer in any case. Add to that BioWare's flair for making players think about the consequences of their actions, combined with a seedy Coruscant underbelly that would no doubt throw up plenty of moral quandaries, and a desire from the studio to do something new with the licence after SWTOR's mixed bag, and we might have a winner.
Alternatively, can it completely and use the money to persuade Naughty Dog to either make a series of games based on either the Han Solo Trilogy (Crispin's, it incorporates Daley's narratives into the Expanded Universe's canonical timeline) or Jeter's Bounty Hunter Wars series.