The Star Wars phenomenon took a bit of a hit thanks to the sequel trilogy, but the IP is still going strong on Disney+ and in particular in gaming.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars Squadrons are the most recent console & PC titles and both were a hit with fans so it's not a surprise that EA & Lucasfilm Games has announced three new games are in production.
The problem is that none of them are pod racers titles.
What EA is planning
EA has owned the Star Wars license for a while, and it's been something of a mixed bag for them. The uproar over Battlefront II's loot boxes definitely damaged the reputation of all involved, but Fallen Order and Squadrons were returns to form.
The release from EA states that three titles are planned, with Respawn Entertainment leading the way with a new title in the Star Wars Jedi series.
Then there is a Star Wars first person shooter in development along with a strategy game. That sounds great, who wouldn't want a battle royale on Endor?
But what about pod racing? We aren't the only people that have fond memories of Star Wars Episode 1: Racer.
Mouthful of a title aside, the game was a thrilling and tricky little racing game that threw players into the Star Wars world like never before. Released in 1999 on Windows, Nintendo 64, and Game Boy Color, it then got a 2000 release on the Dreamcast before coming to Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PS4 in 2020.
And that's been it since then. Which is incredibly frustrating.
Reviving the anti-grav racer
Pod racing seems to have gone the way of WipEout and F-Zero into extinction. Even as racing booms within gaming, anti-grav racing is yet to make a serious comeback.
There are indie devs out there trying to revive the genre. Gravity Chase has attempted it, and Redout 2 will try when it arrives later in 2022.
But the one thing almost guaranteed to do it would be a pod racer game that includes some aspect of combat kart racing.
After all, the pod racing scene in Phantom Menace included some sabotage and banging pods, so why not build it in?
Indie developers can only go so far when it comes to restoring interest in a genre like anti-grav racing, but EA? They could take it into the stratosphere. If only they were willing to give it a shot.
Since they have Codemasters, Criterion, and EA Gothenburg under their umbrella there is no shortage of racing knowhow at EA. They just need to take the first step and announce a new pod racing title. But the first step is always the hardest.