EA Shuts Down Visceral Games

EA is shutting down Visceral Games, the studio behind games like Battlefield Hardline and Dead Space, the publisher said today. The Star Wars game in development at Visceral will be revamped and move to a different studio, EA says, although it will now be something completely different.

"Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe," EA's Patrick Söderlund said in a blog post.

"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."

Söderlund added that Visceral will be "ramping down and closing" and that "we're in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA."

"Lastly," he said, "while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we're now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future."

In an email to employees obtained by Kotaku, Söderlund offered more details on the Star Wars game, codenamed Ragtag:

A development team from across Worldwide Studios will take over development of Ragtag, led by the EA Vancouver team that has already been working on the project. Steve Anthony will lead this team, and we will use much of the work that has been done to date by Visceral -- the assets of Ragtag that have already been built will be the foundation of this new game.

(Steve Anthony is an executive producer at EA.)

It's safe to presume that the new incarnation of this Star Wars game will involve "games as a service" elements, as has been EA's mandate for quite some time now.

EA was not clear about the status of longtime Uncharted director Amy Hennig, who joined Visceral to direct this Star Wars game after she left Naughty Dog in early 2014.

In an email, an EA spokesperson said: "We are in discussions with Amy about her next move."

I'd been hearing rumours for quite some time now that Visceral's Star Wars game was in trouble, and that studios across EA were brought in to help give it vision and direction. Now, that game is no more.


Comments

    Soooo....Dead space? I don't really care about another star wars game.

    Translation - Needs more MT's and Boxes.

      I thought it might mean the game was going open world.
      Current public comment has been pretty vocal about not wanting loot boxes.

      multiplayer with loot boxes. Mark my words.

    I wish there was a bigger market for Dead Space, those games were made with some real passion and I ended up loving the coop in the third. A shame.

    I really am dumbfounded by this decision.

    With all these 'merging' studios and now an outright closure. I dont know what EA is doing anymore.

    Are their testers the guys who run the company? Didn't see any potential for more money other then just giving players what they want in a single player experience?

      They've been doing this for the last 20 odd years, it is literally their MO, buy up a studio, milk it, then shut it down.

    Rip Dead Space's insane cliffhanger ending

      I don't remember a cliffhanger... *googles* Dead Space 3 had story DLC?! *starts downloading DS3* Mordor and South Park will have to wait a couple of days.

    So I guess instead of a really nice, tight, focused 10 - 15 hour linear Star Wars game we're probably going to get basically the same amount of game spread out across 40 hours in an open world padded out by boring side quests and pointless collectibles.

    Yay.

      I agree with you. It sucks.
      But have you seen how forums explode if there isn't over 40 hours of game play? No one thinks it's worth their money anymore. Even if 35 of those hours are pure padding, that's what people think they want.
      I almost don't blame EA for changing direction on the game.

        Yeah, I've seen it and I hate it.

        Give me a good, solid 10 - 15 hours and done. Not a huge, pointless open world where I enjoy the first 10 - 15 hours then spend the next 20 - 30 just wanting to get to the end.

        There are some games that can justify 40, 60, 100 hours. That doesn't mean every game can or should even try to.

          truer words never spoken. Last year & the year before there were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many open world games, it was just too much.

          Sometimes just need those simple 8-10 hour games to zone out too.

    This sucks. Still love the Dead Space series and was hoping for a reboot. Actually playing bits of Dead Space 3 again right now and hoping some of the DLC will go on special at some point while I'm doing so.

    This really sucks.

    The worst part is with the closure of Visceral, all future sales of the game will be 100% towards EA and no royalties (assuming there were contractual stipulations in the first place).

    Sterling said it best. Ludicrous amounts of profit and income for these publishers is still not enough.

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