Earlier this month the Lucasfilm Games label was resurrected, along with confirmation that Electronic Arts (EA) will no longer be the sole publisher of Star Wars games come 2023. The galaxy breathed a collective sigh of relief, and it wasn’t long after that Ubisoft kicked off the party by announcing its own open-world Star Wars project, being helmed by Massive Entertainment of The Division fame. With Disney and Lucasfilm Games now having the freedom to reach out to any developer to create a Star Wars title, what could the future of Star Wars look like for Nintendo Switch owners? Whether it involves ports of legacy titles, cloud streaming, or even new and exclusive Star Wars games for Switch, there’s a lot to be hopeful about.
The legacy of Star Wars
Now, while there already are a select handful of Star Wars games on Nintendo Switch (and Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga on the way), there are still many more that are yet to make the jump. With Lucasfilm Games now in control of the Star Wars video game licenses, perhaps there’s a chance to rectify this and give Switch owners the legacy Star Wars titles that they’ve been missing out on. It’s going to be a while before we see Ubisoft’s Star Wars project or any unannounced titles from EA, so Lucasfilm Games may be keen to remind us of some beloved Star Wars games while we wait for that promising future.
Classic games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Republic Commando, or the original Star Wars: Battlefront titles could all find new homes on Switch, in addition to perhaps even older titles like the Super Star Wars series. While the idea of porting these older titles to Switch may not necessarily be as enticing as brand new games, having portable versions of these old games would still be welcome. Furthermore, if the developers wanted to go the extra mile, they could breathe new life into Switch versions of these titles by adding online support where appropriate, local cooperative play with Joy-Con functionality, or gameplay rewind capability. Nintendo Switch has provided a second life to so many games of yesteryear, and it could do the same for classic Star Wars games.
A galaxy’s worth of possibilities
Disney is no stranger to releasing platform-exclusive games. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order releasing as a Switch exclusive shows that there’s a precedent for this. Switch owners may have missed out on Marvel’s Avengers last year for obvious reasons, but Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 was a fine alternative for Marvel fans on Switch. So could this scenario repeat itself for the Star Wars IP?
It’s unlikely that future AAA Star Wars games, like a Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel, will appear on Nintendo Switch, but some smaller-scale games could be developed instead. With limitless possibilities such as an action RPG that can flesh out unexplored periods of the Star Wars canon, a 3D platformer focused on droid characters, or even a game based on The Mandalorian, there’s a lot of potential in Lucasfilm Games licensing out an exclusive Star Wars game to Nintendo.
Note that I said for Nintendo and not Switch specifically. While smaller exclusive Star Wars games in the vein of Ultimate Alliance 3 are fun possibilities, any future Star Wars games are still a ways off right now. In fact, there’s a good chance that the successor console to Switch could be out by the time we see EA’s exclusive rights to the IP expire in 2023. If Nintendo’s next console is powerful enough, it could open the doors for future AAA multiplatform Star Wars titles being available on it in some capacity. The Jedi: Fallen Order sequel, Ubisoft’s project, and even the recently rumored Knights of the Old Republic game all have a better chance of being available on the Switch’s successor. Beyond new games, Nintendo and Lucasfilm Games could also potentially make exclusive deals, resulting in the Nintendo versions of future Star Wars games having unique content such as skins or characters.
May the cloud be with you
Nintendo has slowly but surely been coming around to the idea of using cloud streaming to bring otherwise impossible-to-port games to Switch. After testing the waters with Resident Evil 7 in Japan, the recent cloud versions of Control and Hitman 3, and rumors of more to come, it seems like Nintendo is now more likely than ever to try to let Switch owners enjoy higher-fidelity games (depending on your internet connection). With Lucasfilm Games now having control over the IP in the gaming space, as well as Nintendo’s growing affinity for cloud gaming, perhaps Star Wars could be next on the agenda. The obvious result of this would be that recent titles like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Squadrons, and Star Wars Battlefront II could be brought to Nintendo Switch through cloud streaming.
The underpowered Switch hardware can’t handle these games at full fidelity natively, but if Nintendo is pushing for cloud gaming as much as I speculate they are, then the latest and greatest Star Wars hits would be a no-brainer for Lucasfilm Games to score some easy wins with the Switch audience.
Aside from titles that are already on the market, this might also have great implications for the future. The sequel to Jedi: Fallen Order is likely coming at some point, and Ubisoft’s recently announced open-world Star Wars game is also a tantalizing possibility. So long as Nintendo is willing to take advantage of cloud streaming and Lucasfilm Games sees the potential of releasing future Star Wars titles on Switch, there could be plenty for Nintendo fans to look forward to in the galaxy far, far away.
What do you want the future of Star Wars games on Nintendo Switch to look like?