Ubisoft Massive job listings offer hints at new Star Wars project

It has been a busy week for Star Wars fans. At the top of the week, Lucasfilm announced the launch of Lucasfilm Games, an umbrella company that will oversee multiple studios producing games based on popular Lucasfilm IPs like Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

Shortly after the announcement, it was revealed that Ubisoft Massive (the studio behind The Division 1 & 2) will be developing a new open-world Star Wars title. The company has since updated several job listings for the mystery new “Star Wars Project”, which offer some clues on what we can expect.

There are three Star Wars related jobs currently listed on the site: Senior Writer, Senior Game Designer, and Cinematic Narrative Designer.

The Senior Writer position is looking for people to write “compelling item and quest log descriptions that expand the lore” and “developing character arcs and story beats through dialogue and other narrative elements.”

These suggest an RPG approach to the story, with the use of quest logs and ongoing narrative threads that will develop throughout the game. Hopefully, this means a compelling single-player/co-op campaign is being planned, rather than a grind-focused and repetitive approach of The Division games.

The writer must also research and write “narrative elements to anchor a reality-based narrative within an existing IP.”

We know the existing IP is Star Wars now but the “reality-based narrative” may give some clues as to what tone Massive are aiming to strike here. It could be that this game is more boots on the ground level rather than tackling the bigger, mystical matters of the Force.

The Senior Game Designer will be tasked with “designing enemy archetypes as well as creatures and non-hostile characters” and “taking NPCs from the design to releasied (sic) quality and implementation” which feels pretty standard for an open-world brief, although it is good to know the world will be well-populated with a variety of NPC types and not just enemy mobs.

Additionally, the designer will be “collaborating with developers to define and realize the combat core loop” – which shows the combat will likely be the biggest gameplay focus. The Division had a strong core loop and while a Star Wars re-skin of The Division would probably sell, it feels like a wasted opportunity, so hopefully bringing in new designers means that Massive is looking to do something a little different this time around.

Finally, the Cinematic Narrative Designer is a somewhat misleading title to anyone with only a passing familiarity with the role. It is not focused on directing cinematic scenes, the role would require the successful applicant to create “narrative gameplay content” including “innovative quests that flow with the overall game.” So the game is putting a focus on communicating its story beats through action rather than just cut scenes.

While this offers us no clues as to what the game will be about or what characters it may feature, it does offer us an illuminating insight into Massive’s creative intentions.

Ubisoft Massive’s new Star Wars project joins MachineGames and Bethesda’s recently announced Indiana Jones game as part of the new Lucasfilm Games banner.

andrewshaw andrewshaw

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

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