Electronic Arts has closed the Visceral Games studio. The developer was working on a future Star Wars project. The development of this game is now being taken over by a team from EA Worldwide Studios.
A vice president of Electronic Arts, Patrick Söderlund, has said in a blog post that a significant change is being made to the future Star Wars game. Led by Visceral Games, this game was supposed to be a story-based single-player adventure game set in the Star Wars universe, but that’s about to change.
Söderlund says that the game concept of the future Star Wars titles has been tested with players during the development process and that they have listened carefully to their feedback and how they want to play the game. Based in part on that and certain “fundamental changes in the market,” EA concluded that the design needs to be tweaked to ensure players keep coming back and playing the game for a long time to come. This may mean that there will be more room for microtransactions.
The game’s graphics remain unchanged; it uses the Frostbite engine. The Star Wars authenticity and central story also remain. According to Söderlund, the game will be adapted to become a “wider experience that offers players more variety.” According to Söderlund, the intention is that the player ultimately gains more influence on the game world around him through choices and that choices made have real consequences.
Perhaps EA felt that the original design led too much to a linear game experience, with too little open world and insufficient space for exploring the world, although Söderlund does not provide specific details.
The game was originally supposed to be released sometime in 2019, but that schedule is now being reversed. EA will not announce a new release date until later.
Visceral Games is the developer responsible for titles such as Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline. According to Söderlund, as many Visceral Games employees as possible will be transferred to other EA projects and teams.