EA is making some major changes to the previously announced action-adventure Star Wars game under development by Visceral Games.
Here is EA Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund’s statement from the EA Blog:
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.
Essentially EA is closing down Visceral Games (Battlefield Hardline, Dead Space) and moving the project across a variety of other EA studios, with the bulk of production now taking place at EA Vancouver. EA says that many team members from Visceral will be moved to different EA studios to work on various other projects.
This announcement seems to be in-line with the recent trend in the video game industry to increase replay value by creating shared-world games that offer multiple ways to play. EA has yet to announce what exactly this revamp of the game will be like, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see EA attempt to implement elements from games like Destiny 2, Overwatch, and Rocket League to extend the longevity of the game.
Söderlund concluded the statement by adding that the game has been pushed back from its original tentative date of 2019.
Visceral Games’ Star Wars project was set to be a linear action-adventure game that focused on story telling. Amy Hennig was on board to work on the game’s story (best known as the writer of the Uncharted series) although there is no word yet as to how this shift has effected her role in the project.
Our condolences go out to all effected by the closure of Visceral Studios.