Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is an unexpected project from Respawn Entertainment. The studio is most known for its first-person shooters, including the Titanfall series and, more recently, Apex Legends. Jedi Fallen Order marks the studio's first foray into the third-person action adventure genre, which makes it all the more impressive that it's doing so with the Star Wars license. However, during E3 2019, director Stig Asmussen revealed that the project was not originally a Star Wars title--the license only became attached following the game's inception.
Speaking with GameSpot following the game's unveiling during Electronic Arts' EA Play, Asmussen said that the unnamed original project caught the attention of various people at EA, the parent company of Respawn Entertainment. And since the gameplay pillars the developers established for its first project worked conceptually with Star Wars, it was able to adapt.
"Before working on Star Wars we were working on a different game and it had basically the same pillars that we have in this game, which is thoughtful combat, agile exploration--you know, beyond human--and Metroidvania level design," he said.
"And that's something that when we were working on this other game and we demoed it, people [at] EA saw it and said, there's something in there that you could see easily see it turning into a Star Wars game. My background is melee action, so when they came to us and were like, 'We really like the game you're working out and we want to do at some point, but how would you guys feel about doing Star Wars?' we were like, great.
"And [a lot] of the core functionality that we were building for the other game, a lot of the fundamentals, were able to transition over. So we always start with, 'What is the game? How does it feel? How does it play? What are the mechanics?' before really figuring out the story. It just so happened this thing that we were working on translated really well."
Jedi Fallen Order's first gameplay video was shown at the start of EA Play and revealed that lightsaber battles are going to be considered and tactical, instead of a flurry of swings. Because of that, it is being likened to From Software's Dark Souls and Bloodborne titles, and this is something explored in our full interview with Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order director Stig Asmussen. The gameplay demo also confirmed that a major character from Rogue One will be in Jedi Fallen Order.