Zynga subsidiary NaturalMotion Games has officially taken the reins on all operations related to upkeep for the mobile game Star Wars: Commander, and will also be working on a new mobile Star Wars title. NaturalMotion Games is responsible for some middleware technologies seen in major console games, and has personally developed titles like CSR Racing, Dawn of Titans and Backbreaker Football. Much of the development work on some of its titles, in turn, is handled by Boss Alien, a studio that NaturalMotion Games itself scooped up back in 2012. This egg-within-an-egg scheme boils down to one simple fact: the company that made Farmville has been given the green light to make a Star Wars game. As with other Zynga games, the main company will have the final say on games no matter who inside the company develops them.
In handling day to day operations for Star Wars: Commander, Zynga hopes to actually improve the player experience and optimize the game to attract and retain more players. Currently, it boasts a comfortable $80 million in revenue on Google Play alone since its release back in 2014. Development of a new title, meanwhile, is currently short on details. Given that development will be spearheaded by the studio behind CSR Racing, it's reasonable to expect something deep, pretty, and very thoroughly monetized. Should the first game go well, a second could be on the table.
Zynga's past exploits, and those of its subsidiary studios, paint a picture of a company that's well-equipped to make and maintain Star Wars games. There's no indication at the moment that the deal may end up expanding beyond its original terms. For now, EA still maintains cash cow Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, MOBA-like spinoff Star Wars: Force Arena will continue to be maintained by Netmarble, its developer. Furthermore, the deal is non-exclusive, which means that Disney can commission other game studios to make Star Wars games, and even Star Wars mobile games. Star Wars' massive built-in fandom has meant a large following for almost every mobile game that has jumped off the series, and Zynga's upcoming game will likely be no different. Only time will tell if it can draw in new audiences or perhaps even overtake its contemporaries.