Report: EA Cancels Motive’s Next-Gen Action Game Gaia After Six Years in Development

EA recently held an internal review to decide which of their current projects would continue in development. According to Bloomberg, one of those that didn’t make the cut was Gaia, the Assassin’s Creed-style action game in development at Motive for the last six years. Development on this game has now been cancelled.

Gaia began life back in 2015. After EA decided they wanted to expand into the action genre, Jade Raymond was brought on board to head development at the newly-created Motive studio. Here they would be working on an “Assassin’s Creed-style” new IP that was “more open-world, more single-play versus multiplayer”. Unfortunately, the title’s development was far from smooth. When BioWare Montreal was closed in 2017 following the poor reception of Mass Effect: Andromeda, their staff were absorbed into Motive and the studio was divided up. One team was drafted in to help with development on Star Wars Battlefront II, while the other continued to work on Gaia.

Eventually Battlefront II‘s creative leads also joined Motive, but this caused a series of cultural clashes which resulted in Gaia‘s top directors leaving EA to join Ubisoft, and the game was ultimately rebooted. Jade Raymond also left the team shortly after for a role as vice president at Google’s Stadia Games and Entertainment (which itself didn’t fare too well recently). Development of the game continued but very little was ever shown to the public, its only reveal being just a seconds long preview during a next gen games teaser video shown at EA Play in 2020. The project was described as a “highly ambitious, innovative new game that puts the power and creativity in your hands, and it’s an experience that would’ve been impossible without next-gen technology”. The game was clearly a project that still had a long way to go.

According to sources, the game’s reboot was one of the reasons it was eventually cancelled. This was also supposedly one of the reasons behind the cancellation of Anthem NEXT, whose fate was also decided during this meeting. Like BioWare, Motive will continue to develop other titles as well as working on updates for Star Wars: Squadrons. When asked for comment, EA spokesman John Reseburg insisted the company still had “a deep and robust pipeline of new content with more than 35 new games in various levels of incubation and development”, so it seems like Gaia‘s cancellation hasn’t made much of a dent on the publisher’s plans.

[Source: Bloomberg]