EA Shutting Down Visceral Games

EA Shutting Down Visceral Games

Electronic Arts is shutting down Visceral Games, the studio behind Dead Space, Battlefield: Hardline, and the currently in-development Star Wars game from former Uncharted alumni, Amy Hennig.

In a statement on EA's website, Patrick Söderlund, the Executive Vice President of Electronic Arts, mentions the studios closure by saying "Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA."

With regard to the untitled Star Wars title, Mr. Söderlund stated 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." Continuing, he says that while EA were looking at a fiscal year 2019 release, that a new timeframe will be announced in the future.

The full statement reads as follows:

Our industry is evolving faster and more dramatically than ever before. The games we want to play and spend time with, the experiences we want to have in those games, and the way we play…all those things are continually changing. So is the way games are made. In this fast-moving space, we are always focused on creating experiences that our players want to play…and today, that means we’re making a significant change with one of our upcoming titles.

Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. 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.

This move leads to a few other changes:

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. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.

Lastly, 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.

Bringing new Star Wars games to life for every passionate fan out there is what drives us as creators. It’s what has inspired us to deliver the massive new Star Wars Battlefront II experience launching in just a few weeks.  It fuels our live service in Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes.  Making games in the extraordinary Star Wars universe is truly a dream for so many of us at EA, and we have so many more experiences to come for players on every platform.  We want to take the time to get each game right, to make it unique, to make it amazing.

We look forward to answering more of your questions, and sharing more on our plans and timeline for this new Star Wars experience, in the months to come.

Sources: EA



 

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Comments Comments (15)

 
Posted by Unfathomable-Ruination
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 10:09 AM
3
Damn, I guess any Dead Space sequel is out the window now. They were a good studio, this sucks.
 
 
 
Posted by Outlaw213
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 10:09 AM
3
Nooo :( another studio shut down by EA.

Thanks for Dead Space Visceral!
 
 
 
Posted by mchumdinghy
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 10:18 AM
2
That EA press release is so sad to read. It seems that they have all but given up on narrative driven single player experiences, something visceral have excelled at in the past.
I hope all of the developers land on their feet and are snapped up quick.
It will be interesting to see where Amy Henig ends up. AAA narratives clearly play second fiddle at places like EA. Maybe it is time for her to go indie or for a publisher who cares about single player experiences to come in with some support.
It appears that EA will publish pretty much just sports and multiplayer shooty games in the future. Good luck to them I guess
 
 
 
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 12:35 PM
2
We all knew it would happen, when this demon possesses a company, the company gets wrung out, every last drop of blood sweat and tears, then tossed away like garbage.
 
 
 
Posted by Yofunk
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 1:14 PM
5
Dev's for the new Star Wars probably didn't want Lootboxes and got the sack.
 
 
 
Posted by atipuss
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 1:35 PM
3
Thanks for Hardline ! :) never get to ride the couch but all in all great bf game
 
 
 
Posted by drunk_monk
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 2:47 PM
3
That sucks and kind of reinforces the critics of big publishers like this.

When I read their wording it really reads like "we couldn't micro-transaction/lootbox this amazing single player linear game that would have scored high and been beloved, so its changing".

ARGH Xenojay was right..
 
 
 
Posted by Jonathan-OverWorld
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 2:53 PM
3
RIP Dead Space. :(

EA gonna EA.
 
 
 
Posted by AdamC
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 3:14 PM
3
18 October 2017, 12:35 PM Reply to ThatUndeadLegacy
We all knew it would happen, when this demon possesses a company, the company gets wrung out, every last drop of blood sweat and tears, then tossed away like garbage.
Troll or not, the kid is right.
:)
 
 
 
Posted by siamese
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 3:41 PM
3
I read somewhere today that the Star Wars game that got canned was being produced by Amy Hennig (ex Naughty Dog) and that it was a single player linear story game. I'm fully gutted over that.

Open world games are all the rage at the moment but I've always preferred linear story games with set pieces etc. Take the Batman Arkham series for instance, I liked the first game the most due to it not being a sandbox type setup with the same repetitive task of driving over the map and doing the same thing but in different areas whenever you want, leading to pacing issues within the story that the game is trying to tell. If that makes sense.....
 
 
 
Posted by Outlaw213
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 5:16 PM
3
18 October 2017, 03:41 PM Reply to siamese
I read somewhere today that the Star Wars game that got canned was being produced by Amy Hennig (ex Naughty Dog) and that it was a single player linear story game. I'm fully gutted over that.

Open world games are all the rage at the moment but I've always preferred linear story games with set pieces etc. Take the Batman Arkham series for instance, I liked the first game the most due to it not being a sandbox type setup with the same repetitive task of driving over the map and doing the same thing but in different areas whenever you want, leading to pacing issues within the story that the game is trying to tell. If that makes sense.....
Yeah Amy Hennig and Jade Raymond as well (ex Ubisoft / Assassins Creed Dev). I prefer linear story games as well, guess we'll have to wait and see what the Star Wars game is going to be now.
 
 
 
Posted by Ron
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 7:05 PM
5
Games as service will be the end of this industry....
 
 
 
Posted by ptys
On Wednesday 18 Oct 2017 10:43 PM
1
That's a shame, they were better as a smaller studio for the original Dead Space. EA. Strikes again, do they not realise these things mean something to people?
 
 
 
Posted by guido
On Thursday 19 Oct 2017 2:30 PM
2
They've taken one of the best single player story based game devs lead by Amy Hennig's incredible skills & talent at making single player story based games and they've just flushed it down the drain - so gutted!?!
Also a probably awesome single player game/franchise is probably being turned into another generic loot box infested, skinner-box game-as-service roulette-wheel with a dozen different 'currencies' to grind out - so disappointing!!
 
 
 
Posted by ironfist92
On Thursday 19 Oct 2017 10:49 PM
1
Note to any future game developers, NEVER get bought out by EA no matter how much money they throw at you.