Published: Wed, October 18, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Visceral Games shut down by EA, Star Wars game moved

Visceral Games shut down by EA, Star Wars game moved

"Steve Anthony will lead this team, and we will use much of the work that has been done to date by Visceral-the assets of Ragtag that have already been built will be the foundation of this new game".

Today Electronic Arts announced that Dead Space series developer Visceral Games "will be ramping down and closing" following a fundamental change in the development of the Star Wars game directed by Uncharted veteran Amy Hennig. "In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game".

As we see it will be a long time since we'll be able to play this mysterious Star Wars title.

The team at Visceral wasn't built with these kinds of concepts in mind, so we've heard that EA Vancouver and a few other studios took over the game's development a few months ago.

EA packed a double-whammy announcement into a single post on its blog on Tuesday. Scott Probst was given the reigns as studio manager and former Crystal Dynamics and Naughty Dog writer Amy Hennig serving as creative director. During its almost twenty years of history, it developed quite a few well-known games like the Dead Space series, Dante's Inferno and Battlefield Hardline.

If you have been waiting for Visceral's single player Star Wars game, you'll be disappointed to hear that EA has chose to shift the entire gameplay experience and shut down Visceral. It was originally slated to launch late in EA's 2019 fiscal year, which runs from April 2018 through March 2019, but it has been pushed back indefinitely. The game still promises "stunning" graphics, and authenticity within the Star Wars series, but it will now be a "broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency".

Though Söderlund isn't exactly explicit it in saying it, I'd take that quote as secret code for "we're turning into another game as service". This image is from E3 2016; Visceral's game had always been hidden from the public with a way-off release target of 2019.

Soderlund says EA will attempt to relocate any Visceral staff to other projects.

The studio was working on a Star Wars game following EA's acquisition of the sci-fi franchise games licence in 2013 from Disney. The game had been developed as a "story-based, linear adventure game, ' but will now be altered to reflect 'shifts in the marketplace" and will aim to deliver 'an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come'.

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