EA Closes Visceral Games; Moves Star Wars Title to New Team

Visceral Games was once known for developing video games that left players on the edge of their seats with titles like Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline.  However, that time has come to a close as Electronic Arts, their parent company, has announced that they will be officially closing down the once-promising studio.

Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.

This quote, by Executive Vice President of EA Patrick Soderlund, was taken from a blog post made on the company’s website during an update on Visceral Games’ most-anticipated project, Star Wars.  In this post, he reveals that a development team, led by EA Vancouver will continue to develop the Star Wars game, while offering an update on the game, itself.

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.

As of now, there is no word on former Uncharted director Amy Hennig’s status, as she joined the Visceral Star Wars project back in 2014.  A spokesperson did say that EA is currently in talks with Hennig about her next move, which doesn’t sound very promising that she’ll be directly involved in the development of the title.

Furthermore, EA announced that the title was going to be released in 2019, but has since decided to move to a new unconfirmed date, which basically means it’s going to be a while until we anything else from the project once-known as Visceral’s Star Wars game.

The move, in general, is a disappointing one.  No one ever wants to see a, once-solid, gaming studio close up shop.  Especially, when it had something so exciting in the works.  Just the image we saw at E3 2016 of the Star Wars game the Visceral team was working on left fans gaping and wanting more.  

ea teases bioware jaderaymond starwars visceral 01

Stay tuned for more reactions as we digest this news.