This afternoon, EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund announced that the company was shutting down Visceral Games. He was working with Visceral Games back in the glory days of Dead Space, and his Twitter feed used to be flooded with discussions of Dead Space 2.
Visceral Studios recently shut down, bringing an end to any more possibilities of Dead Space titles, the upcoming star wars game will, however, remain in development. It was intended as a linear, story-driven adventure (not surprising given the involvement of Uncharted director Amy Hennig), but player feedback led EA to decide that a it should be a "broader" game with "more variety and player agency". However, through player feedback and industry trends, EA made a decision to change the design of the Star Wars game so that players will want to keep coming back to it and keep enjoying it for a long time. EA has said it plans to shift as many over to other projects and companies as possible.
According to CNBC, following the news that the Star Wars game now wouldn't see the light of day until at least fiscal year 2019, the company's stock dropped nearly three percent Wednesday. The original game, under Hennig's direction, was expected to arrive in 2018; that window no longer applies to the new project.
Closures for studios are never easy to report on, especially ones as special and unique as Visceral Games.
The untitled project will now be developed by EA Vancouver, which had already been working on the game. (OK, I'm not being snarky about the pattable animals.) We've seen the EA-owned BioWare move from story-driven RPGs to MMOs (Star Wars: The Old Republic) and online loot-shooters (Anthem); Visceral's Star Wars game will apparently follow suit. The Dead Space franchise is widely considered Visceral Games' best work and is ranked up there with the quintessential survival horror games, including Silent Hill 2 and Resident Evil 4. It's what has inspired us to deliver the massive new Star Wars Battlefront II experience launching in just a few weeks. Visceral will be missed very much but we can always look back on their incredible pieces of art.