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EA lays out 'Star Wars' gaming road map

Electronic Arts wants the video game world to know how dedicated it is to "Star Wars." But don't look for a new title this year.

The software publisher laid out a road map for upcoming games in the galaxy far, far away at its annual news conference before the E3 video game trade show, but absent from the list was a new entry for 2016.

Up next from EA will be a new installment of "Star Wars Battlefront" in 2017. The 2015 action shooter has sold more than 14 million copies life to date, according to the company — a substantial improvement over early estimates of 9 million.

"We're building on the foundation of the first game," said Jade Raymond, vice president and general manager of EA's Motive Studios and Visceral Games. "We're listening to our players and adding more of what you want — including content from the new films."

2018 will bring an original game from Visceral and Amy Hennig, the creative force behind Sony's "Uncharted" franchise, who joined EA in 2014. A brief video consisting of early game footage of the title, showed a character exploring what appears to be a border world town while Star Destroyers fly overhead.

Doug Chiang, design director for Lucasfilm, is assisting Visceral on the game.

The company also discussed an undated, upcoming game from Respawn Entertainment, creator of the "Titanfall" franchise. The developer will offer an action-adventure take on "Star Wars" that EA says will take place in "a different timeline we have yet to explore with our EA 'Star Wars' titles."

Behind the scenes footage showed motion capture actors focusing on light saber battles, with game producers showing them hand motions for "Force push" actions.

And while the company didn't make any mention of it at the news conference, the preview video it showed fans offered a very brief glimpse of a player wearing a PlayStation VR headset, while an X-Wing's cockpit was shown on screen. That's likely to stoke anticipation about a reboot of the classic 1997 title "X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter."

EA and Lucasfilm signed a multiyear licensing deal in 2013. Due, in large part, to the strength of "Star Wars Battlefront," EA handily beat its earnings estimate in its most recent quarter.