BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka announced at an EA Games showcase event in San Francisco this evening that Electronic Arts is assuming all publishing duties for the developer's forthcoming Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic. In a press release, EA stated that "certain publishing, marketing and distribution responsibilities previously designated to LucasArts will shift to EA, so that all publishing, marketing and distribution responsibilities can be centralized for efficiency," something that Muzyka expounded on when we spoke with him.
"There's not going to be any obvious change for gamers," Muzyka said of the immediate implications of the deal, adding that, "It makes things easier for us to have everything under one roof, and that will eventually benefit players." How so? Customer service was one example given. As for the role LucasArts will have in the game's development going forward, Muzyka told Joystiq that the company will still be "very involved" in ensuring that the final experience is 100 percent Star Wars in content and tone.
What Muzyka wouldn't tell us: When we can expect Star Wars: The Old Republic to ship. Canadians, it turns out, are not susceptible to Jedi mind tricks.