That mystery Star Wars strategy game is actually a tactics game from a bunch of XCOM veterans, and suddenly I'm a lot more excited for it

Way back in 2022, Jedi: Fallen Order studio Respawn announced that it was working with a developer called Bit Reactor on a Star Wars strategy game. Bit Reactor had plenty of pedigree in the strategy space with veterans of Civilization and XCOM, so you could probably take a few smart guesses at what kind of strategy game this would be - but now the devs have finally confirmed that yes, this is in fact a tactics game that builds on the team's experience with XCOM.

That's according to creative director Greg Foertsch, who finally confirmed to our friends at PC Gamer earlier this week that the Star Wars game builds on those tactical strategy bona fides. The studio had been oddly cagey about confirming that in previous interviews, but now Foertsch admits that "it's a space that honestly has the most room of any genre to grow, through immersion and storytelling and visual presentation and pacing."

15 members of the team - which represents about a third of the studio - are XCOM vets, including lead animator Hector Antunez, who says, "Don't worry, some of us are going to make tactical strategy games for the rest of our careers! Some of us are never going to stop. There's a whole tribe here that are like, 'This is what we love, this is what we want to make'. I mean it, I don't think I would ever want to make a different type of game."

We still don't have any concrete details about the game, but this confirmation it's building on the team's expertise with XCOM has me a whole lot more excited about it than I was before. There's a lot of ways you could make a great Star Wars tactics game - maybe you control a desperate cell of Rebels fighting tooth and nail against the Empire, or you control clone commandos occasionally aided by powerful Jedi units against the Separatists. I can think of about a dozen settings that'd be perfect and they're all equally exciting.

Given how long it's been since this Star Wars strategy game was first announced, I've got my fingers crossed we're going to learn more about it soon. There are a pile of upcoming Star Wars games on the horizon, but aside from Star Wars Outlaws we don't know what shape most of them are really going to take. I've got my fingers crossed for at least a glimmer of the LucasArts era that brought us so many of the best Star Wars games.

In Star Wars Outlaws, I escaped an Imperial space station, swiped a relic, and fell in love with Kay and Nix's teamwork.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.