Respawn Entertainment was already working on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order when Electronic Arts decided to acquire the Titanfall developer in 2017. The whole timeline and just how Respawn Entertainment was awarded a Star Wars license beforehand is most interesting to say the least.
Speaking with Metro in a recent interview, narrative lead Aaron Contreras revealed that Respawn Entertainment was originally working on an unannounced third-person melee-based action adventure game. The prototype was being shown to various publishers in the hopes of getting an offer. The demo, which Aaron stated was pretty impressive, had nothing to do with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at the time.
Lucasfilm incidentally got wind of the said prototype and after watching it, approached Respawn Entertainment about a possible Star Wars project. A lot of changes had to be made but the prototype eventually became a presentable demo for what would be later called Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. This was before Electronic Arts decided to step forth with the acquisition.
They [Respawn Entertainment] actually had another IP that was in-house and they were shopping around – it was a really good demo, which I played – Lucasfilm caught wind of that and came by and said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in doing a Star Wars game?’
The interesting bit here is the ten-year deal that the publishing giant signed with Disney in 2013 to create new Star Wars games. Electronic Arts was already involved with Respawn Entertainment because of Titanfall and Titanfall 2. It’s likely that the company saw the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order demo and decided to kill two birds with one stone: release a new Star Wars game for Disney by acquiring a studio already working on one.
Aaron did agree in the interview that the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order demo came in pretty “handy” at the time of the acquisition. However, it’s also important to note that such large-scale acquisitions don’t just happen overnight. Electronic Arts was probably working out the details months or years beforehand. That being said, seeing Respawn Entertainment work on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was probably a factor that helped seal the deal in the end.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is scheduled to release in just a few days. There’s still time to pre-order and secure bonuses that include “unique cosmetic equipment for your lightsaber and droid companion”. There’s also a deluxe edition that will net you additional cosmetics as well as “behind-the-scenes features and content”. Unfortunately, Electronic Arts decided to not have a collector’s edition for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will release worldwide for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 15, 2019. The review embargo will lift on the same day, some hours before launch in certain territories and after in others.
For those unaware, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has been made available on Steam, thanks to a new distribution agreement between Electronic Arts and Valve. Unfortunately, due to technical reasons, the game will not support Steam Achievements and Steam Trading Cards.