EA closing down Visceral Games; Details future of in-development Star Wars game
Basically, that single player Star Wars game you wanted isn't happening.
If you have been waiting for Visceral's single player Star Wars game, you'll be disappointed to hear that EA has decided to shift the entire gameplay experience and shut down Visceral.
In 2014 the former Naughty Dog creative director and Uncharted writer, Amy Hennig, moved to an EA-owned studio, Visceral Games, to work on a new Star Wars game. Over the last few years, we have heard rumors on the game's plot, that it would be an open-world RPG (Visceral denied this rumor) and details from voice actors that it would be like Uncharted and Star Wars 1313.
Years later, we have been met with disappointing news for the highly anticipated game. EA is shutting down Visceral and giving the Star Wars game to EA Vancouver.
EA released a statement revealing this disappointing news, detailing that the Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing" and that they will be "shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA."
As for what will happen to the Star Wars game at EA Vancouver, it appears as though it will be undergoing a major shift. 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.'
Essentially, it sounds as though the game will be making a shift to explore online elements that will allow the game to be more like Destiny or Grand Theft Auto 5, where online updates and events continue the gaming experience for years and keep revenue coming in.
"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."
Visceral's linear Star Wars game was aiming for a late 2019 release, but with the shift in development, it appears as though the timeframe of release will be getting pushed back.
As for what will become of Hennig, EA released a statement to Kotaku's Jason Schreier saying that they are "in discussions with Amy about her next move." Additionally, Kotaku was informed that the game will be led by someone other than Amy Hennig (it will be EA executive producer Steve Anthony) and it will be a 'new game' that uses Visceral's assets.