History

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Every generation has a legend...
Every journey has a first step...
Every saga has a beginning...
(Inspired by the Star Wars Trailer for Episode I found here)


General

Star Wars Commander is a freemium ("Free Premium") strategy video game for iOS, Windows and Android (operating system), developed by Disney Interactive.3,4

Early Development

Not much is know about the Game Development prior to it limited first release, but given the lead time needed to organize development team, get approvals for project elements like graphics, coding, etc., it is presumed that development of Star Wars Commander began in mid to late 2013 and extended into early 2014.

Game Initial Releases

Limited early access to the game was offered in select international markets on iOS and Android1, including Australia2 in June 2014, followed by a general release on the iOS platform on August 21, 20143,1 and a subsequent release on the Android and Windows 8 platforms on September 18, 2014.5.

The game is/was hosted on two different servers, Apple/Android servers and the Windows servers which are separate from each other, preventing players from interacting across servers.

Hackathon's

A "hackathon"6 was held in mid October 2014 in which developers of the game brainstormed on ideas for new features.

  • The best-in-show winner feature was "faction flipping", a feature that would allow players to create a secondary account that would allow them to play for the side they had not chosen previously, either the Empire or the Rebellion, without having to restart the game, retaining all progress on the current account.
  • The people's choice winner was "traps", such as a Sarlacc pit that would swallow troops that came too close.

Additional "hackathon's" have been held8 which often lead to new features, one of which was the Night Raids Feature7 introduced in April 2016.

Game Closures

On May 31, 2017, Disney announced that the Windows Version of Star Wars Commander was being Closed9,10 effective June 30, 2017 which includes all versions for Windows Store and Windows Phones.

Game Operational Control Changes

On August 21, 2018, it was announced11 that Disney was going to hand over operations of “Star Wars: Commander” to game developer Zynga / Natural Motion Games.

On January 17, 2019, Zynga / Natural Motion Games announced12 that the transition from Disney to their studio had been completed and they were now overseeing all operations of the game.

Game Updates and Patches

Videos

Official Videos

Official Trailers

Star Wars Commander has periodically issued "Official Trailers". Here are the links (found on YouTube) to these videos in chronological order:

  1. Star Wars: Commander - Trailer, published August 21, 2014.
  2. Star Wars: Commander – Worlds in Conflict Official Trailer, published July 16, 2015.
  3. Star Wars: Commander Rogue One Expansion Trailer, published December December 3, 2016.

In-Game Commander Cast Videos

For a short time the game featured "Commander Cast Videos" which featured various Disney Departments responsible for the development of Star Wars Commander. The "host" of these Videos - Sr. Community Manager, Stephanie Bayer - no longer works for Disney Interactive. Here are the links (posted by a Game Fan on YouTube) to these videos in order of release (not by publication date):

  1. Commander Cast #1, published January 2, 2016.
    • Welcome to Commander Cast! Meet your host, Stephanie, Sr. Community Manager, as she introduces the new in-game video tab that includes strategy videos created by you, the Community!
  2. Commander Cast #2, published January 2, 2016.
    • Want to be a Star Wars: Commander Maker Creator? In this episode of Commander Cast, Stephanie talks about how you can be part of the Maker Community and get your strategy videos uploaded directly in the game!
  3. Commander Cast #3, published January 1, 2016.
    • In Commander Cast: Episode 3, meet Lead Animator Colin Brown as he gives us an insider’s look into animating creatures and units for Star Wars: Commander.
  4. Commander Cast #4, published January 1, 2016.
    • Commander Cast interviews Daniel “Wompa” Frank as he talks about his experiences on the Star Wars: Commander team.
  5. Commander Cast - The Force Awakens!, published January 1, 2016.
    • In this special edition of Commander Cast, go behind the scenes with Nate Etter, Head of Studio for Mid-Core Games at Disney Interactive, as he talks about the preparation and planning of bringing Star Wars: The Force Awakens content to Star Wars: Commander. You don’t want to miss this special edition of Commander Cast, so check it out!
  6. Commander Cast #5, published January 11, 2016.
    • On another episode of Commander Cast, Stephanie talks to Waldo, Sr. QA Tester, as he talks about the intricacies of testing new features to ensure every player has a great guest experience.
  7. Commander Cast #6, published January 23, 2016.
    • On another episode of Commander Cast, Stephanie talks to Scott, Sr. Game Designer, as he talks about the hard work and fun that goes into designing new features for Star Wars: Commander.
  8. Commander Cast #7, published March 21, 2016.
    • Your very own, Stephanie Bayer, reveals some clever, funny and cool posts made by the SWC Community in this special Community Comments episode!
  9. Commander Cast #8, published April 13, 2016.
    • Stephanie Bayer catches up with Matt Fillbrandt, Executive Producer, and Nate Etter, VP of Midcore Games at Silicon Valley Comic Con!
  10. (Commander Cast- Prepare For Squad Wars (no video), published May 2, 2016
    • In this special edition of Commander Cast, learn more about Squad Wars and how to prepare for the biggest release in Star Wars: Commander history from your very own Sr. Community Manager, Stephanie Bayer.
  11. Commander Cast #9 Squad Wars, published May 7, 2016.
    • Stephanie Bayer answers your questions about our biggest update yet, Squad Wars.
  12. Commander Cast #10 (no video), published July 22, 2016.
    • Learn more about the latest Squad Wars update and get some tips & tricks on how to improve your chances of victory.

Other Videos of Note

And now for some real fun. To see how Star Wars Commander looked when it was first released in "limited markets" on June 25, 2014 until just prior to the general release on the iOS platform on August 21, 2014, view the following YouTube Videos:

Rebel Faction

  1. Star Wars Commander - iOS / Android - HD (Sneak Peek - Rebels) Gameplay Trailer, published June 25, 2014.
  2. Star Wars Commander - iOS / Android - HD (Sneak Peek - Rebels II) Gameplay Trailer, published August 5, 2014
  3. Star Wars Commander - iOS / Android - HD (Sneak Peek - Rebels III) Gameplay Trailer, published August 15, 2014.

Empire Faction

  1. Star Wars Commander - iOS / Android - HD (Sneak Peek - Empire) Gameplay Trailer, published June 25, 2014
  2. Star Wars Commander - iOS / Android - HD (Sneak Peek - Empire II) Gameplay Trailer, published August 5, 2014
  3. Star Wars Commander - iOS / Android - HD (Sneak Peek - Empire III) Gameplay Trailer, published August 15, 2014

⇨ NOTE: The above videos are either Rebel or Empire for "Walkthrough - Chapter 1: Tutorial & Humble Beginnings" thru "Walkthrough - Chapter 4: The Jundland General"

⇨ NOTE: You don't have to watch each video entirely (unless you want to), but instead click-and-view various sections to see how the graphics looked when Star Wars Commander was first released in "limited markets" (i.e. Version 1.0 to Version 2.0)

It is interesting to see just how far we have come since this game was first released especially when you view the videos and look at BATTLE and the SHOP graphics.

Campaigns and Special Events

Official Forums

References and Notes

  1. Limited Early Access Unveiled for ‘Star Wars:Commander,’ a New Combat Strategy Game for Mobile Devices, Disney Interactive - Tumblr, published June 23, 2014
  2. Aldrin Calimlim, Clash of Clones? Lucasarts Soft Launches Star Wars: Commander for iOS, AppAdvice, published June 25, 2014
  3. Stuart Dredge; Star Wars meets Clash of Clans in free-to-play Star Wars: Commander game, the Guardian, published August 21, 2014.
  4. Star Wars: Commander Out Today; Dev Promises It's Not Pay-to-Win Or A Clash of Clans Clone, GameSpot, published August 21, 2014.
  5. Star Wars: Commander Launches on Android,CheatsPulse, published September 18, 2014.
  6. How Disney is making Star Wars: Commander better by letting its developers go wild, VentureBeat.com, published October 22, 2014
  7. DEV BLOG: NIGHT RAIDS FEATURE FOUR!, Starwarscommander.com - Commander Transmission, published April 22, 2016.
  8. SWCE 2016: STAR WARS: COMMANDER PANEL LIVEBLOG, Starwars.com, published July 16, 2016.
  9. Why are the Windows versions of STAR WARS™: Commander closing?, Disney Support, published May 31, 2017.
  10. When will the Windows versions of STAR WARS™: Commander close?, Disney Support, published May 31, 2017.
  11. Zynga Partners With Disney for New ‘Star Wars’ Games, Variety, published August 21, 2018.
  12. GREETINGS FROM NATURALMOTION, Starwarscommander.com - Commander Transmission, published January 17, 2019.