Electronic Arts currently shut down Visceral Games, the studio behind Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline – and that was busy operating on a brand new Star Wars game by Uncharted director/cowriter Amy Hennig.
That is terrible news for Visceral’s employees, many of whom will likely shed their jobs, joining legions of developers whose studios have been bought, restructured, and ultimately shuttered by Electronic Arts. But for civilians, the reasoning is just as substantially of a pisser. The choice to close Visceral comes alongside a “pivot” in the design and style of its Star Wars game, in line with a statement by EA executive VP Patrick Söderlund:
Our Visceral studio has been establishing an action-adventure title set inside the Star Wars universe. In its current type, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. All through the improvement procedure, we’ve got been testing the game concept with players, listening for the feedback about what and how they would like to buy SWTOR Credits and play, and closely tracking basic shifts within the marketplace. It has turn into clear that to deliver an encounter that players will choose to come back to and delight in for a lengthy time for you to come, we needed to pivot the design and style. We are going to keep the stunning visuals, authenticity inside the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to become a broader practical experience that permits for far more range and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of your game to offer players a Star Wars adventure of higher depth and breadth to discover.
See, what Visceral (also as developers at EA Motive in Montreal) had been operating on was an entirely single-player, pretty-much linear encounter akin to Uncharted. But that’s not exactly where the AAA video game enterprise is headed right now. Big-budget games these days need to have open worlds, live events, multiplayer, loot boxes, RPG components, crafting, upgradeable weapons, microtransactions, and pattable animals. (OK, I’m not becoming snarky about the pattable animals.) We’ve observed the EA-owned BioWare move from story-driven RPGs to MMOs (Star Wars: The Old Republic) and on the web loot-shooters (Anthem); Visceral’s Star Wars game will apparently adhere to suit. It is unclear what shape it’ll at some point take, but it’ll most likely appear much more like Assassin’s Creed or Destiny than Uncharted.
For what it is worth, here’s the 1 tiny glimpse EA gave of your new game (amongst its other Star Wars titles) at E3 Expo last year:
Now, the game’s development will shift to other EA studios, principally EA Vancouver; its release has been pushed back from “2019” to “indefinitely”. Cherish what ever single-player, story-driven games get cheap SWTOR Credits released by major studios in the coming years. Support them, for the reason that they are unique.