Yesterday it was announced that Electronic Arts would be shutting down Visceral Games, a studio well known for its creation of the Dead Space series, Battlefield: Hardline, and Dante’s Inferno.
There was quite a bit of speculation on the Star Wars games that they were developing, and with their closure, it isn’t clear what that game’s fate will be.
From a blog post by Patrick Söderlund, EA’s Executive Vice President:
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.
For those of you playing the home game, this could truly mean anything. It was going to be “a story-based, linear game”, and after testing it, they’ve decided to “pivot the design”, to make it a “broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency”.
“Reimagining central elements”.
None of this means anything. It’s so vague and broad that we’re in the same place that we were before this blog post. This could mean that they’re trying to push the linear, single player experience in the direction of more an open world game.
It could also mean we could have a new pod-racing experience on our hands. Or a rancor simulator.
So the only thing left to do is mourn the end of another talented team of designers and developers. Visceral Games will be missed. May they rest in peace alongside the corpses of other victims of EA’s Iago-style choke slam.