The title is due out on September 19th on PSP, Wii, DS, PS3, Xbox 360 and PS2, and Lucas is treating the game as if it’s a full theatrical release, with toys, books and much more on the way.
“This is basically the biggest licensing programme we’ve seen for a Star Wars game in recent memory, and we’re doing a chunk of products that you’d normally see for a film release,” said product lead on Force Unleashed, Haden Blackman.
“There’s a novel based on the story of the game, a comic book adaptation that looks at different characters’ point of view, and a really gorgeous Making Of book featuring a ton of never-before-seen concept art. Furthermore, Hasbro has already launched a full wave of action figures, including a fantastic painted rancor, and a lightsaber that transforms from ‘good’ to ‘evil’. Wizards of the Coast has included several Force Unleashed characters in its miniatures role playing game, and there’s a LEGO version of the [in-game vehicle] Rogue Shadow, complete with a unique Darth Vader figure.”
The Force Unleashed’s story bridges the gap between Episode III and IV, and Blackman feels that it’s this cohesion with the movies that makes Star Wars games so ripe for big licensing deals.
“The great thing about Star Wars is that it is one cohesive universe and everything fits together,” he said. “Whether a character first appears in a movie, or a game, or a comic book, he’s part of that universe and can interact with characters from the other media. So fans are excited to have these characters immortalised as action figures or to experience the stories in different forms.
“Star Wars is just such a great backdrop for stories in virtually any medium. In the future, I think that Star Wars products will be even more closely aligned – events in the comics tying more directly to the video games, as an example.”