EA is shutting down Visceral Games, the studio behind the Dead Space trilogy and Battlefield Hardline spin-off.
It's said that as many of its team members as possible will be shifted to other projects and teams at EA, with the Star Wars title they were working on being moved to a different studio and becoming something completely different.
Patrick Söderlund, Executive Vice President of EA, announced in an EA blog post that Visceral’s linear and story-focused action adventure game will now be developed across EA’s Worldwide Studios with EA Vancouver leading production.
Speaking about the changes in game design, Söderlund wrote:
“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.”
“Our industry is evolving faster and more dramatically than ever before. The games we want to play and spend time with, the experiences we want to have in those games, and the way we play…all those things are continually changing. So is the way games are made.”
“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.”
The future of Amy Hennig, who joined the Visceral Star Wars project following her departure from Naughty Dog in 2014 after directing and writing Uncharted 1-3, is unclear as, in an e-mail response to IGN, EA commented that they are only in “discussions” about her next move.
Due to all the noted changes in development and design, the game’s originally planned fiscal year 2019 release is no more, and EA will announce a new timeframe of release in the future.
While EA will continue to live out their “dreams” of making games in the Star Wars universe, Visceral Games is now added to the long list of studios that EA has killed since purchasing, including the original creators of the Star Wars: Battlefront Games, Pandemic, who were shut down in 2009.