Electronic Arts have decided to shutter Visceral Games, the studio behind both the Dead Space series and Battlefield Hardline, we learned today.
For the last few years, Amy Henning and a team at Visceral have worked on an untitled Star Wars game, which is now being moved to another studio and changed into something else.
Patrick Söderlund spoke about the decision to shutter Visceral Games:
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 re-imagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore.
He continues, confirming the game’s move to EA Vancouver,
A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.
Lastly, while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we’re now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future.
Söderlund confirms that Vancouver will lead the project but will rework the game, this means that instead of launching in 2019, the game will now release after that.
The silver lining is EA will work on integrating the existing studio into other projects and into other studios. I hope those affected find themselves better off and find employment.