Electronic Arts these days shut down Visceral Games, the studio behind Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline – and that was busy working on a new Star Wars game by Uncharted director/cowriter Amy Hennig.
That is terrible news for Visceral’s employees, many of whom will most likely drop their jobs, joining legions of developers whose studios have already been bought, restructured, and ultimately shuttered by Electronic Arts. But for civilians, the reasoning is just as much of a pisser. The choice to close Visceral comes alongside a “pivot” within the style of its Star Wars game, as outlined by a statement by EA executive VP Patrick Söderlund:
Our Visceral studio has been creating an action-adventure title set within the Star Wars universe. In its existing form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. All through the development method, we’ve been testing the game idea with players, listening towards the feedback about what and how they wish to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts inside the marketplace. It has come to be clear that to provide an practical experience that players will choose to come back to and enjoy to get a long time for you to come, we necessary to pivot the style. We will keep the amazing visuals, authenticity within the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we’re shifting the game to be a broader practical experience that enables for far more variety and player agency, leaning in to the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements in the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to discover.
See, what Visceral (at the same time as developers at EA Motive in Montreal) had been operating on was an completely single-player, pretty-much linear expertise akin to Uncharted. But that’s not where the AAA video game company is headed right now. Big-budget games right now need open worlds, live events, multiplayer, loot boxes, RPG components, crafting, upgradeable weapons, microtransactions, and pattable animals. (OK, I’m not getting snarky regarding 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 net loot-shooters (Anthem); Visceral’s Star Wars game will apparently follow suit. It really is unclear what shape it’ll ultimately take, but it’ll likely appear more like Assassin’s Creed or Destiny than Uncharted.
For what it is worth, here’s the one tiny glimpse EA gave on the new game (amongst its other Star Wars titles) at E3 Expo final year:
Now, the game’s improvement 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. Assistance them, for the reason that they are specific.