We could all use a little time at PAX South from time to time.
Out of nowhere, EA has decided to shut down Visceral Games today. Visceral was responsible for the popular space-horror franchise Dead Space, and most recently put out Battlefield: Hardline. Most importantly though, Visceral was working on a yet to be announced Star Wars game headed by Amy Hennig, creative director behind the Uncharted series.
EA made this statement about that upcoming Star Wars game:
“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.”
Clearly whatever game was being made wasn’t going according to plan, or at least wasn’t what everyone wanted it to be. Maybe the game was based on an old design, maybe it wasn’t coming together in a timely manner, or maybe it just didn’t have enough loot boxes. Whatever is left of this Star Wars title will be moved to another studio, and Visceral is just left to sink.
No word on if Visceral’s staff will be moved with the game, if Amy Hennig will continue to head up development, or anything else about the remaining staff. It does seem like Hennig’s version of whatever was being made is cancelled, and EA wants to go in a very, very different direction.