Yesterday, it was reported that Electronic Arts had shuttered one of their more well-known developers, Visceral Games. In the past, the Vancouver-based studio was responsible for the renowned sci-fi horror franchise, Dead Space as well as their spin-off Battlefield title, Battlefield: Hardline. EA confirmed the reports later that day.
Visceral Games was currently working on a new Star Wars project. The title was officially announced more than four years ago when EA signed a multi-year contract with Disney to make Star Wars games.
EA released an official statement regarding the closure and also spoke about the future of Visceral’s still unseen Star Wars game. “In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game,” EA’s Worldwide Studios executive vice president, Patrick Söderlund said. “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.”
Soderlund added that the project would now be passed into EA Vancouver’s hands and that EA will be attempting to move most of Visceral’s former employees to different positions within the company. As of now, the project has also been delayed indefinitely until EA releases a new timetable.
This is the second studio that EA has closed down in recent months, with the last being BioWare Montreal, the minds behind Mass Effect: Andromeda. That studio was merged with EA Motive, which is now finalizing work on Star Wars: Battlefront II.