I just got an interesting email from PA reader Wes who had the opportunity to attend a book signing by James Luceno author of The Unifying Force. He had this to say:
“I was lucky enough to attend James Luceno’s book signing tour when Unifying Force was released, and before the actual signing session, there was a short period of Q&A with the author. Someone asked him about comic book tie-ins with the NJO which reminded me of a much more important question! So I asked him if during any of the planning meetings, had there had been any discussion over the possibility of NJO based video games? His response was that there had been a small amount of discussion concerning video games, but that the overall opinion of LucasArts was that the percentage of Star Wars fans who read the Expanded Universe novels AND played the video games was too small, so they didn’t want to release a game solely taking place in the EU and risk driving the more casual fans away. So… sad news for us who have been hoping for the opportunity to pilot Chiss Clawcraft against Coralskippers.”
I know that gamers are reading the NJO series. I’ll agree that there probably isn’t enough of a fan base to make any game set in the EU an instant hit. What I don’t understand though is why LucasArts thinks casual fans of Star Wars would be driven off by a game set in the NJO time period.
You want to know the reason I never talked about Rebel Strike? Because I only played the first couple of levels before I was sick of it. I love Star Wars but Jesus Christopher Christ, there are other stories to tell. I have shot down all the tie fighters I want to shoot down. I don’t want to shoot down another one. I don’t care if it’s a tie interceptor, I’m done. Why not take this opportunity to introduce the casual Star Wars fans as you call them to the wonders of the EU? Maybe ease them into it with a few games set in during the X-Wing series of books. The final battles with the empire and the liberation of Coruscant would make for an awesome game. Tactical/stealth is all the rage now so how about a game dealing with the top secret missions of Wraith Squadron?
Then once you have them up to date regarding the current state of affairs in the SW universe you spring the Vong on them. Some FPS games with characters pulled from the New Jedi knights like the Solo twins or Corran Horn. Hell you can even keep them in the Rogue Squadron series only now the squad is under Gavin Darklighters command and they’re shooting down Skips instead of ties. Did you ever think that exposing more Star Wars fans to these characters might in turn help sales of the books and comics? I mean once a game comes out with X-Wings fighting giant organic ships made of living coral people are gonna want to know the fucking back story.
Just Look at KOTOR for God’s sake. That’s the best fucking Star Wars game you ever published and there isn’t a single X-Wing in it. If you were worried about driving away causal fans that’s the game that would have done it. But instead it turned out to be a huge seller and one of the best games on the Xbox. People want something new! The EU is there, just fucking give it to them.
I’m so fucking mad right now I can’t even see.