Remember when RD-D2 let the Wookie win? Remember the holotable they were playing on? Someone is making a game designed around that.
To be specific, EA is using the idea of a cantina full of holotables to allow players to fight in turn-based battles with a collection of their favorite Star Wars characters from the movies and the cartoon Star Wars: Rebels. Since the holotable conceit excuses the battles from canon, you can have Darth Maul fighting alongside Han Solo. The game is called Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, and it’s a free-to-play mobile game coming to iOS and Android coming later this holiday season.
We got to ask executive producer at EA Capital Games John Salera a few questions about this project and how it fits into the Star Wars mythos.
GamesBeat: What RPGs does Galaxy of Heroes take inspiration from?
John Salera: Our primary inspiration comes from the Star Wars movies and its beloved characters. Growing up, I remember collecting Star Wars figures and playing with them with my friends. We’d take our collections, mix them up into two teams, and then engage in glorious imaginary battles. The joy of collecting the toys and how we played with them became our top-level inspiration. With this in mind, we set out to build a Star Wars mobile game that is authentic, exciting, and deeply rewarding.
Our game features strategic, turn-based combat in awesome 3D with all the sights and sounds you know and love from the Star Wars movies and shows. How the combat works, and how the upgrade and progression systems work will be a mix of things that RPG players will find familiar, along with new twists of our own.
The goal is to ensure that the game feels like Star Wars and that we respect what gamers love about and have come to expect from RPGs. The Star Wars characters will have a variety of unique abilities, stats, gear, and upgrades — but it’s in how we combine these to express the characters authentically we are most excited about and think players will love. For example, Darth Maul is a whirling windmill of death. In the game, if he kills an enemy, he gets to attack again. His special attack hits all enemies, and any time a character dies in battle, he gets harder to hit. If he’s selected as the squad’s leader, all Sith get a boost. It’s this kind of authentic mapping to both the Star Wars franchise and RPGs that makes our game feel familiar yet unique.
GamesBeat: When is this game set in the Star Wars universe?
Salera: In our game, your adventure begins in a cantina. You aren’t set in any particular time because we wanted to fulfill the Star Wars fantasy where you can collect all your favorite characters from across the entire Star Wars universe. You lead your squad of characters in strategic, turn-based combat, upgrade them with the rewards you earn, and eventually earn the reputation as the greatest force by dominating the leaderboards and completing the campaigns. The combat takes place within the cantina’s holotables. As you progress in the game, you unlock more and more of the holotables and gain access to various types of challenges and activities. There are characters you encounter and interact with in the cantina (who are not involved in the combat), and they’re there to help you understand how to play certain parts of the game.
GamesBeat: Will it include anything from the upcoming movies?
Salera: We have nothing to announce around this today. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes spans the first six movies and the animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and will be updated regularly with new characters and locations.
GamesBeat: Is this a companion game to Battlefront? Or a completely independent app?
Salera: Our game is standalone and is unrelated to the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront game our friends at DICE are building … which is looking phenomenal, by the way. In our game, we enable players to collect all their favorite characters, fight with them in all the famous locations, and upgrade their units to build the most powerful collection and dominate through strategic choices. Players aren’t forced to pick a side as they can collect characters from both the light and dark sides. We want to give players full access to all their favorite characters from the Star Wars universe. We want to tap into that wonderful experience we all had as kids when we collected Star Wars characters and lead them on awesome adventures.
GamesBeat: Is it free-to-play? If so, what kind of microtransactions will it have?
Salera: Yes. It is free-to-play so people can download it to their iOS or Android device and give it a try without spending anything. There is the option to buy the premium currency, but it’s not required. All the characters and activities can be earned through play. Either directly earning or unlocking them or by earning rewards — including the premium currency — by winning battles, completing daily activities, or hitting certain achievement milestones.