A fascinating new interview with EA game designer Jade Raymond sheds a little light on how EA views Star Wars fans and how the company decides which Star Wars projects to work on.
“Actually, interestingly enough, the number one motivator for either fans of playing Star Wars games or looking to participate in the Star Wars universe in any way is to become the number one fan,” said Raymond at the Develop conference in Brighton, England. “So, basically, to beat their friends at Star Wars trivia.”
Raymond’s comments are based on extensive research regarding what motivates Star Wars fans to engage in projects related to the Star Wars universe. While the company found that Star Wars fans care deeply about “authenticity,” it also discovered that many of them want to “learn a new little tidbit… about the universe that I can then lord over my friends.” Raymond is the first to admit that it sounds like an odd finding, but she’s comfortable referring to it as the “number one motivator” among fans.
As for how that information fits into how EA decides which Star Wars projects to work on, Raymonds spoke a bit about how EA likes to encourage its various developers to come up with ideas that explore various aspects of the Star Wars universe.
“Each studio can put together a pitch of a game they’d like to make within the Star Wars brand,” says Raymond. “Each studio pitches what game they want to make. My role is looking across those pitches, how can we line them up? Obviously, we don’t want to be releasing four Star Wars games in one year. We don’t want to have all our games be Jedi games. It would be good to have some that are focusing on different types of gameplay and different player fantasies.”
Sadly, Raymond did not confirm which corner of the Star Wars universe the studio was looking to explore when they aggressively implemented a controversial loot box system into Star Wars Battlefront 2.