Visceral Games, the studio that is mostly known for its Dead Space series, will be "ramping down and closing," EA announced today in a new blog post. The studio has been working on an untitled action-adventure Star Wars project with Amy Hennig of Uncharted fame at the lead.
With Visceral's imminent closure, The Star Wars game will be handed over to EA Worldwide Studios, with the project being led by a team from EA Vancouver. The announcement suggests that EA was not happy with the direction that the Star Wars project was going in, with its full statement on the issue saying:
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 reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore.
The Star Wars game's original 2019 fiscal year launch plan has now been shifted as well, with EA stating that it will announce a new timeframe in the future. Suffice to say, we may be looking at a long delay if the game is being completely redone from the ground up.
Other than the Dead Space series, Visceral has developed an odd compilation of games, such as Dante's Inferno, the third Army of Two game, an expansion for The Sims 3, and most recently, Battlefield Hardline.
It sounds like not everyone from Visceral will be let go, however, with EA saying it is "in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams".
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