An announcement was made earlier today by Patrick Söderlund, the executive vice president of EA Worldwide Studios, who gave an update on both the Visceral Games Star Wars project and the studio itself. It’s unfortunate news, as EA is closing Visceral Games. The untitled and unfinished game is being handed off to a new team from EA Worldwide Studios to finish development. That’s not all though, it looks like some serious changes will be made.
Patrick states that “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.”
Visceral Games has quite an impressive history, being responsible for titles such as the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King video game, the Dead Space series, Dante’s Inferno and more. For several years, Visceral Games had been working on an untitled Star Wars game. The team was led by Amy Hennig, a veteran of the industry known for her incredible work at Naughty Dog.
The use of the phrase “in its current form” raises my eyebrows. At a guess, the project is likely being retooled into a more multiplayer-friendly title. It certainly makes sense however, I emphasize that’s just a guess. It’s definitely disappointing to see a studio like this closing and our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. Here’s hoping they all find new jobs soon.