By Chris Pereira
REDWOOD CITY (GAMESPOT) – Electronic Arts has announced that it’s closing the doors of Visceral Games, the studio best known for the Dead Space series. The developer had been working on a new Star Wars game, which will now shift directions and move to a different EA team.
“Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe,” said Patrick Soderlund, executive VP of EA worldwide studios, in a post on EA’s website. “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.”
The untitled project will now be developed by EA Vancouver, which had already been working on the game. Soderlund says it 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.”
However, as an unfortunate side effect of this change, Soderlund said EA “will be ramping down and closing” Visceral. It doesn’t sound as if its entire staff will be laid off, as EA is “the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.” But this still marks the end for Visceral as we know it.
Visceral has been around for the better part of two decades, starting out life at EA’s Redwood Shores studio. Its name was changed to Visceral in 2009 following the release of the first Dead Space in 2008.
The Star Wars game had been due out in EA’s 2019 fiscal year, which runs from April 2018 through March 2019. The new timeframe has yet to be announced.
This story originally posted as “EA Shuts Down Visceral; Star Wars Action-Adventure Game To Be Revamped” on CBS GameSpot.
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