The adventures of the world-famous archeology professor Indiana Jones have captivated moviegoers ever since the first film’s release in 1981. Since then, the franchise has spawned several feature films, a 2-season television show, several novels, and most importantly, over 18 video games released over the course of two decades. Now, in light of the fifth Indiana Jones movie currently in production, word broke out on the internet about multiple Indiana Jones games being in various stages of development. But is there any truth to the rumors?
We already caught wind of an upcoming Indiana Jones game currently in development by Machine Games and Bethesda, through Lucasfilm Games, as Disney’s plan to conquer the video gaming world. However, according to the entertainment industry insider, Daniel Richtman, the previously announced game is but one of several projects currently in the works. It would seem that Disney’s trying to revive the Indiana Jones gaming franchise, in hopes of it reaching the financial and critical success of its older brother, Star Wars.
It’s worth noting that, despite Richtman’s relatively reliable track record, his reports are far from official, and the future of the entire gaming aspect of the franchise still rests solely on one game developed at Bethesda. And though Bethesda officially confirmed the new Indiana Jones game, other alleged titles under the very lucrative and successful Indiana Jones IP remain, at the time of writing, just a rumor, and should be taken as such. With an added pinch of salt.
But let’s assume that Lucasfilm Games is looking to develop multiple Indiana Jones games. The IP owner would have to scout for other high-profile studios besides Bethesda/Machine Games. Electronic Arts comes to mind, given how the gaming developer already handled several entries in Lucasfilm’s Star Wars gaming franchise. But given the company’s recent data leak and security-related issues, Lucasfilm Games and Disney might steer in the direction of another high-profile developer – Ubisoft, perhaps? In the end, their games are known for making the headlines. Just look at the political controversy surrounding the new Far Cry game.
Those familiar with previous entries in the Indiana Jones gaming franchise might ask themselves why isn’t Lucasfilm Games developing its own game, like it did before? Well, Lucasfilm Games is the gaming division of Lucasfilm, which was wholly acquired by Disney in 2012. By 2013, Disney shuttered Lucasfilm Games (LucasArts at the time), and handed any development of Lucasfilm IP to third-party developers, mainly Electronic Arts. However, the company kept the Lucasfilm Games brand, along with its ten employees, as a licenser of all Lucasfilm-related properties.
The Indiana Jones gaming franchise counts 18 titles released for the PC or gaming console platforms, not counting mobile phone releases and games developed for social media platforms. Its best-known entry is 2003’s Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb, which released on PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. With its own original narrative and unique gameplay, the game saw a realistic portrayal of the titular hero, and perhaps the most successful recreation of the style and tone of the films.
Given Bethesda’s track record of massively successful gaming titles, we have very little doubt that the upcoming Indiana Jones game will be anything but a worthwhile game. If Lucasfilm Games truly intends to revive the franchise with multiple titles, we hope all of them reach the same level of quality and storytelling as The Emperor’s Tomb.