With Star Wars: The Force Awakens just months away from release, and various Star Wars-licensed products hitting store shelves (including Disney Infinity 3.0), it seems like Disney s sci-fi franchise is coming back stronger than ever. And anyone that has a product that ties into it will be benefitting from the results including Kabam, a mobile game company producing what could be its biggest licensed hit to date with Star Wars: Uprising.
As reported by VentureBeat, the mobile publishers teamed up with LucasFilm on the game, as well as various members of the Extended Universe s seasoned veterans to make it more authentic. “It’s extremely exciting. Being the first canon thing that was worked on at all post-Jedi was a huge opportunity,” said Daniel Erickson, the director of Star Wars: Uprising. “The respect and sort of trust that it shows from Lucasfilm that hey, we’re going to let this come out as in a game format, says a lot about what we’re trying to do with it and, obviously, the talent we brought in to do it.”
The game, like the recently released Star Wars: Aftermath before it, ties in events that occurred between the original film trilogy and the forthcoming The Force Awakens. Erickson states that the story happens in the places we love in The Empire Strikes Back.
[Uprising and Aftermath] sort of button. “There are things that overlap,” said Erikson. “We had some pretty serious discussions with some of the canon characters and where they were and when they were. Lucasfilm brings everyone together very well. We have a little timeline and pow-wows.”
Erickson knows his Star Wars content well, previously serving as a creative director for Star Wars: The Old Republic from BioWare a game many consider strong in the Star Wars canon.
He insists that a major reason that Star Wars games like Old Republic and Uprising are so loyal to the brand are because of LucasFilm s involvement. They keep a much tighter control than they used to on making sure everything connects to everything else, Erickson said. “All of the original pitch came from us. Lucasflim came back and then said, Are you aware of the following 700 things. And then we started putting the connections together.”
“In the early days, we were not interconnected with other parts of Star Wars lore because those parts had not yet been determined. There was still enough stuff in flux about the new movie, about the new books, etc. As all of the various parts of, let s say, everything surrounding this between [Return of the Jedi] and [The Force Awakens] period became more concrete, we would go and make sure we connected those dots and pulled the web together.”
Erickson also talked about the crucial hires for the game, including writer Alex Freed (formerly with BioWare) and others. “Combined, we’ve got a good decade-plus of hardcore EU experience,” Erickson said. “And on top of that, we’ve got a bunch of people that are a bunch of ex-LucasArts.”
“The experience as a whole is definitely noteworthy. We’ve got a lot of Star Wars experience,” said Erickson. “But it s different, too. Oh, my god, yes. Hugely, hugely,” Erikson said. “This is moving to the major leagues. Sitting down at the table, creating new canon, creating the next chapter of Star Wars is hugely different. The EU stuff is fantastic and really fun to do, but it s not the same thing”.
“Playing in history isn t the same thing as making history.”
The company has gone all out with promotion of the game, including a stop at PAX Prime, where it flew in Lando Calrissian himself, Billy Dee Williams, to discuss it with its many fans.
Star Wars: Uprising releases this Thursday for iOS and Android. Of course, the Force is strong with it.