Wed. Sep 28th, 2022
EA has now drastically shifted the development of the aforementioned unnamed Star Wars game.  This image is from E3 2016;  Visceral's game has long been hidden from the public eye with a 2019 release target.

EA has now drastically shifted the development of the aforementioned unnamed Star Wars game. This image is from E3 2016; Visceral’s game has long been hidden from the public eye with a 2019 release target.

EA

EA packed a double announcement into a single post on its blog on Tuesday. The company announced the dissolution of an internal game studio and a substantial reboot of that studio’s upcoming untitled Star Wars game.

Visceral Games, which started as EA Redwood Shores in 1998, is now “phasing out”. Members of staff will be moved to “as many other projects as possible,” said EA chief executive Patrick Söderlund. The studio is best known for the Dead Space trilogy, along with a number of games from the 90s and 00s in the Lord of the Rings and 007 franchises.

Visceral had recently made headlines for being put in charge of one of EA’s upcoming untitled Star Wars games. The project was led by game industry veteran Amy Hennig (best known for the Uncharted series). That game seems pretty much blown up, according to Söderlund’s long but vague statement. “It became a story-based, linear game,” he begins, only to get “feedback on what and how [fans] want to play” and “fundamental shifts in the market.”

Söderlund then goes on to confirm that the only things that have been retained from Visceral’s project are “the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life.” The rest?

“It has become clear that we had to adapt the design to provide an experience that players will want to return to and enjoy for a long time to come,” writes Söderlund. “We’re shifting the game to a broader experience that allows for more variety and player freedom.”

With those changes comes a delay in the game’s original fuzzy “2019” window, which has been changed to… no window at all. A date will be announced in the future, EA says.

The statement did not address Amy Hennig’s continued involvement in the former Visceral game. Meanwhile, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier said on Twitter that an EA spokesperson told him: “We are in talks with Amy [Hennig] about her next move.”

Then what comes? The above description describes the story-based, linear origin of the game in the past tense. Söderlund’s vague description of “a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore”, along with his recognition of market shifts, suggest something of a Destiny-esque, always online adventure into some sort of Ewok-driven lootbox nightmare.

By akfire1

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