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If you were looking forward to playing Visceral Games' upcoming Star Wars game, we regret to inform you that that day will never come. Electronic Arts has announced that, along with closing the studio, they will be "pivoting" the game in a new direction. So while a Star Wars game is still inbound, it doesn't sound like it will be anything like what the Visceral team had been hard at work on.
Over on the EA blog they've announced the closure of Visceral Games and, sadly, it's stated as a footnote to the fact that the game they were working on will be undergoing some drastic changes. The announcement, posted by Patrick Söderlund, explains that the games' landscape is constantly shifting. Because of that, he states that development has to shift, too.
Apparently, that shift with the Visceral Star Wars game wasn't going to be possible under the same roof. To that end, the studio has been shuttered and the project is being shipped off to some other studio. According to Söderlund...
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.
A couple of years back, it was announced that Visceral would be moving on to a new Star Wars game with former Naughty Dog juggernaut Amy Hennig at the helm. Given her experience with the Uncharted series, it sounds like her Star Wars project was looking to move in a similar direction; semi-linear maps, a focused story and, most likely, an emphasis on a single player campaign.
If you've been playing games these past couple of years, you're probably aware of the fact that fewer and fewer games are taking that route. Publishers want more "games as service" titles that ship as a $60 package and then expand on a regular basis through for-pay DLC. Based on the statement for EA, that's exactly what they want to turn their new Star Wars game into.
Söderlund states that the Star Wars game will not offer a "broader experience" with "greater depth and breadth to explore."
It sounds like they want a Star Wars game built on the Destiny model, but we'll have to wait and see what turns up. The game was originally expected to launch during late fiscal 2019, but that apparently isn't in the cards any longer.