Tuesday, October 17, 2017

EA Shuts Down Visceral, Production of 'Star Wars' Game to Continue With New Studio

By: Dominic Jones 

Electronic Arts announced today that they are shutting down Visceral Studios as a result of the "evolving" video game industry and that production of the Star Wars game the studio had been working on will be taken over by a team at EA Studios in Vancouver.  This move means that the game will "pivot in design" as the new team takes over.  EA Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund said in a statement,

"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."

He also stated that EA is now "looking at a new timeframe" outside of the original 2019 target release date.  
What this actually means for the game is anyone's guess.  The game was announced in 2013 as part of the announcement that EA had acquired the license to make Star Wars games.  It was later announced that Amy Hening (creator of the Uncharted series) would be serving as creative director and co-writer (with Todd Stashwick) on the game.  Since then, little has been said officially about it, outside of a brief acknowledgement of it in EA's 2016 EA Play Star Wars update and an appearance by Hennig at Star Wars Celebration London in 2016.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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