The mega-publisher is also “making a significant change” to their upcoming Star Wars title, Visceral Games’ final project.
Star Wars Battlefront was good and all, but it was basically Battlefield in Star Wars cosplay. It was critically lacking in single-player content and, most importantly, a story campaign. EA have listened to fan pressure – and John Boyega – and stuffed a campaign mode into Battlefront II, but they also have another story-focused Star Wars game in the works, written by industry legend Amy Hennig and developed by Visceral Games.
Sorry. That might now need to be a past-tense statement – they had another story-focused Star Wars game in the works. We’re not entirely sure what the status is at this stage.
Patrick Söderlund, executive vice president of EA since 2013, has today published a statement that throws uncertainty on the future of that Star Wars game, but leaves little doubt about the future of Visceral Games.
Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. 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.
He begins, promising that the story-focused Star Wars game will continue in some form, before delivering the upsetting news about Visceral Games.
A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.
That statement effectively brings Visceral Games to an end. The California-based studio, formerly known as EA Redwood Shores, was best known for developing the Dead Space series. They also developed 2015’s Battlefield Hardline – a cops and robbers take on EA’s classic military shooter – and a wide range of other games, from NASCAR and golf to Bond, The Godfather, and the PS2-era Lord of the Rings games.
A studio shutting its doors is always sad news, and while we’re sure EA will do their best to retain a number of displaced staff at their other studios, let’s all rally behind the #VisceralJobs hashtag on Twitter to try and get those folks back into work.
It doesn’t matter a jot compared to the loss of employment, but Visceral’s Star Wars game – their final game, which was originally slated for 2019 – has been delayed as a result.
How did we do?
We hope you found this article useful, or informative, or thought provoking, or maybe even a little entertaining. Perhaps it was a guide that helped you through a tricky bit, or we even saved you some money? Lovely stuff! If you'd like to say "thanks" you could always buy the team a cup of coffee.
Recommended for you
Latest from Thumbsticks
The Xbox Games with Gold for August 2021 are pretty good
The Xbox Games with Gold lineup for August 2021 includes an underrated sequel and a flawed but fun homage to...
Krispy Kreme developing Nexus Level Doughnut in partnership with Xbox
This Krispy Kreme / Xbox mashup doughnut looks delicious, sure, but why is it called the "Nexus Level" doughnut?
Is Valve’s Steam Deck the perfect gateway to PC gaming?
With a simple and approachable device like the Steam Deck, will PC gaming finally get its hooks into console gamers?
The next Monster Hunter Rise event adds Okami’s Amaterasu
Capcom has announced that the next collaboration event for Monster Hunter Rise will feature Amaterasu from Okami.
This tech demo from Gears of War developer The Coalition is unreal
Unreal Engine 5 running on the Xbox Series X, that is.
Xbox Ultimate Game Sale and Deals with Gold Highlights
This week's Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S digital sales features a new Deals with Gold lineup and the Ultimate...
Mortal Kombat franchise sells 73 million units on console
Warner Bros. Games reveals some impressive sales numbers for Mortal Kombat 11 and the franchise as a whole.
New PlayStation Store releases for July 26-30, 2021
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles and Neo: The World Ends with You headline a busy week of new PlayStation Store releases for...