Electronic Arts Announces Closure of Visceral Games, Star Wars Game Being Redesigned (Update)
Update: An internal email that was obtained by Kotaku reveals that Steve Anthony will be leading the new project, codenamed Ragtag. It also says that “the assets … that have already been built will be the foundation of this new game.”
Electronic Arts has announced that they are closing down Dead Space developer Visceral Games. The studio, formerly known as EA Redwood Shores, has been a mainstay of the publisher since 1998. Throughout its history, it developed high-profile games such as the Dead Space series, Battlefield Hardline, Dante’s Inferno, and The Godfather.
The studio was currently working on a Star Wars project led by Amy Hennig. That game is not cancelled, as EA has said that the game is being revamped from a “story-based, linear adventure game” to “an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come.”
“Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe,” said Electronic Arts’ Patrick Söderlund in a statement. “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.”
It’s currently unclear if Amy Hennig will stay on the project. Electronic Arts told Kotaku that they “are in discussions with Amy about her next move.” Söderlund states that a “development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project.” They’re also trying to minimize job losses by moving “as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.”