The latest rumor that’s been spreading like wildfire in the gaming world is that Quantic Dream, the developer behind Heavy Rain, Detroit: Become Human, and others, is making a Star Wars game. This rumor has really soured my morning.
At the moment, I want Quantic Dream to stay as far away from a franchise that I, as well as millions of other fans, love. The company is currently in the midst of a defamation lawsuit it filed against two French outlets for reporting that inappropriate behavior, sexism, and homophobic jokes were commonplace in its offices. If rumors of its upcoming Star Wars project are true, it’s shocking that Disney would entrust its most beloved pop-culture icons to it at present (though Ubisoft, a company with its own controversies, is also working on a Star Wars project currently).
Instead, the privilege of working on a Star Wars game should go to studios that can handle the weight of the franchise and aren’t headed by CEOs with notably bad reputations. I can even name a few developers off the top of my head that would be a great fit for the Star Wars IP.
I’m not sure if there’s a developer that knows how to create a believable world better than Obsidian. It has a prestigious library of games, including Fallout: New Vegas, The Outer Worlds, Pillars of Eternity, and even a Star Wars game, Knights of the Old Republic 2. The studio has proven over and over again that, even without being given enough time, it can take source material and create a wholly unique world and story. In terms of writing, Obsidian is nearly unparalleled, and it’s one of the only developers out there that I’d trust with creating a proper Star Wars story.
The developer behind Destiny isn’t new to handling vast amounts of lore or mixing science fiction with magic. Since becoming independent, Bungie has cut its teeth with the franchise, creating a new mainstay in the games industry. The developer has proven that it’s used to working with games on a massive scale, from its time with the Halo franchise to now. And let’s be real for a second: Warlocks are basically force users already. Bungie’s already halfway to making a Star Wars story, all it needs are the rights.
Am I bringing up Arkane because I’m currently hooked on Deathloop? Well, a little bit. But only because Deathloop, along with the Dishonored franchise before it, shows that Arkane isn’t just able to make stylish worlds for players to explore with cleverly thought-out powers. Arkane can do all that while being wholly original. The developer simply makes games that aren’t like any others out there, and that bit of fresh blood is exactly what the next Star Wars game needs to bring. It can’t just thrust a lightsaber into the player’s hands and say, “OK, you’re a Jedi now, go have fun.” Whatever’s next for the franchise has to do something different, and Arkane is all about different.
I’m going to use a games journalist cliché here, so bear with me: Insomniac knows how to make players feel like an iconic character. The studio’s masterful handling of Spider-Man shows that, and whatever it does with Wolverine will undoubtedly do the same. While the next Star Wars game has to break apart from putting players in the shoes of a Jedi, there isn’t a single developer I’d trust more to get that done right. And while Insomniac may lack the writing chops of some of the other developers on this list, it more than makes up for that with eye-bulgingly impressive visuals. Seeing the studio’s interpretation of the Death Star or the dunes of Tatooine would be magical.