EA has announced that they are closing down Visceral Games, the studio behind the Battlefield Hardline and the Dead Space series of games. The team will be absorbed into the other EA studios.
While the closure of such an important studio such as Visceral Games is sad news, it’s the effect that it will have on one specific titled that has many fans upset. Visceral games were working on a new action-adventure game set in the Star Wars universe.
Former Naughty Dog creative director Amy Hennig formed part of the team working on the new game set in a galaxy far, far away. The game, which has been described as a story based linear adventure in the same vein as the Uncharted series, has been in development for quite some time with EA only showing us a glimpse of the game at E3 2016.
Thankfully, all is not lost. EA is planning to have a development team from across EA Worldwide Studios take over development for the game. According to EA Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund, in order to develop an experience that players will come back to time and again, it is necessary to change the direction of the game to a more broader experience:
“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.”
This change in focus isn’t surprising as the new game from developer BioWare (a studio which also forms part of EA), Anthem, has similarly moved away from the single player story-driven experience that we are used to from the developer to a more open one, similar to what is currently found in Bungie’s Destiny games. It’s a move that many developers are deciding to make.
While there hasn’t been any news on whether Amy Hennig will continue to be part of the project, EA has mentioned that the company is currently in discussions with her about her next move.
There is another Star Wars game being worked on by Respawn Entertainment (the studio behind the Titanfall series) but, similarly to the Visceral Games‘ project, both EA and Respawn have as yet to reveal information about this title.