In a slightly surprising move, EA has announced that the Star Wars game which Visceral Games was working on and was set for a 2019 release, will now be headed by EA Vancouver. With this news, comes the unfortunate announcement that Visceral Games will be shutting their doors as they “ramp down” on production and hand the keys completely over to EA Vancouver. This also means that the new Star Wars game will be delayed to a new date, which will be announced in the future.
I say this news is surprising because of many factors. In a statement released by EA’s Patrick Söderlund, he stated that the “way we play [games]… are continually changing” and then proceeded to outline that the untitled Visceral project was “shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game.” It’s not hard to read into the fact that Visceral was making a narrative-driven game that didn’t allow for as much player interactivity as they wanted. They even outright state that they would like “more variety and player agency” for the game. I find this baffling because you would think EA would know that the Star Wars name is enough to sell copies and people were really excited for what Visceral was offering. I was excited.
That being said, we don’t really have much of an idea of what the game looked like or how it played. It sounds like EA’s fear was that it wouldn’t offer much gameplay beyond its story, but I can think of recent games like Horizon: Zero Dawn that also offered little more than a great narrative. But this is all speculation. What is most disappointing is that Visceral Games is no more, after having created the Dead Space titles and some licensed games which I personally enjoyed back in the day (my nostalgia for The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age knows no bounds). It’s always a shame to see a studio disappear, especially one with a pedigree like Visceral. Some of the team will be spread out to other EA studios, and I’m sure we’ll see some other members bounce back on their feet in no time.
Were you excited for Visceral’s Star Wars title? Are you sad to see them go? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: EA News