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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Blockbuster IP | Podcast

Latest episode available to download now, in which we discuss the resurgence of licensed games

This week on the podcast, GamesIndustry.biz team members Matt, Rebekah and James are joined by PCMag's Mike Williams to discuss the biggest news of the past week.

Following a slew of LucasFilm Games announcements -- including the revival of the brand, Bethesda's Indiana Jones game, and Ubisoft's open-world Star Wars project -- we discuss licensed games.

It wasn't so long ago that licensed games were often hastily-developed merchandise created to tie in with a film release or ensure a publisher got the most out of its licensing agreement. But in the wake of titles like Marvel's Spider-Man by Insomniac Games, it's easier to be optimistic about the aforementioned announcements.

We discuss our expectations for these games and more, as well as changing attitudes towards the use of blockbuster IP in video games from the perspectives of developers, publishers and rights holders.

You can listen to our latest episode below, subscribe to our directly here. It is also available via Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Overcast, Player FM, TuneIn and other widely-used podcast platforms.

Don't forget to check out the latest episodes of The Game Developers' Playlist and The Five Games Of, all episodes of which are on the same podcast feed.

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Latest comments (1)

Rudy Ramses Producer, CyberLake GroupA month ago
I think the perspective and control of licensors was largely missing from this discussion. Game developers, and project publishers have plenty of solid, creative ideas to bring storied IP into gameplay. It is usually the license holders that tend to be more conservative with depictions of their IP, whether that is with brand representation, budgets, or timelines.

I have a feeling that the EA x Star Wars deal was much more convenient for Disney/Lucasfilm than it was for EA. Besides the assumed paycheck, having only one publisher to deal with when it comes to their tight reigns on narrative development (which characters can appear, how, where, and when) is much easier to plan; especially when you consider the timeline of this deal: just after the acquistion, while they were planning the future of the franchise. Consider that Respawn had a hard time convincing them to let them feature Jedis in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It has probably taken this long to develop a larger narrative & game licensing strategy (see the recently revealed Lucasfilm Games announcement).

Despite seeming otherwise, big budget licensed games can be a huge gamble: IP holders can essentially squash a project at any time during development, in addition to charging separately for music rights, approved voice talent, and royalties on every unit sold.
With this perspective, I'm not surprised that EA cancelled a few Star Wars games during their deal - who knows how long it would have taken to get the right approvals, and if any delays or updated release timelines would then fit into Lucasfilm's desired rollout.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Rudy Ramses on 22nd January 2021 12:45pm

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