Electronic Arts has announced today they they will close down their Visceral Games studio, the creators of the famed “Dead Space” game series along with the likes of “Battlefield Hardline,” “Dante’s Inferno” and several games based on “The Godfather” and James Bond films.
For the past few years the studio has been developing an untitled “Star Wars” video game with “Uncharted” series director Amy Hennig helming the title. The game, first announced in 2014 and targeting a 2019 release, was to be a third-person action-adventure game with a large single-player campaign focus and linear story – basically the mold of the “Uncharted” series.
With the studio now shuttering and EA infamous for focusing their efforts on microtransaction-heavy and multiplayer-focused titles with costly DLC (a strategy that effectively led to the death of the single-player “Dead Space” franchise), executive Vice President Patrick Soderlund has confirmed the game will be retooled by a different development team moving forward:
“In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design.
We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore.”
With the change in development team, the game won’t be making its 2019 release target – no word as to when it will now eventually arrive. The new team members will be assembled from across EA Worldwide Studios to join the EA Vancouver team that has already been working on the project.
The game was seen as a counterpart to EA’s multiplayer-only 2015 “Star Wars: Battlefront” game which scored criticism for its lack of campaign – that lead to this year’s sequel incorporating a single-player campaign element. The good news is EA is determined to continue with the title, and this hopefully won’t go the way of abandoned game “Star Wars 1313”.