Earlier this week, publisher Electronic Arts announced that they will be shutting down Visceral Games, the studio best known for the Dead Space series.
Visceral had been working on an unnamed Star Wars project over the past three years. The game was teased as a linear, single player, action-adventure experience hemmed by former Naughty Dog writer and director Amy Hennig. However, according to EA’s Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund, the market simply wasn’t there for a large scale single player experience.
Per Söderlund’s post:
“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.”
The studio’s staff will be redistributed throughout EA’s other projects and an EA representative told Polygon that they are “in discussions with Amy about her next move.”
What was finished of the game will be handed off to EA Vancouver with several other studios jumping in as needed. The shift in direction will also push the release date past its intended Q2 2019 launch.
This announcement comes days after the news that Titanfall developer Respawn is joining the legions of studios working on Star Wars games for EA.
Visceral Studios began as EA Redwood Shores back in 1998 and changed their name in 2009. Their work on Dead Space made them a staple of previous generation consoles.