The closure of Visceral Games was a turning point in today's gaming community. It seemed to symbolise a lot of the fears gamers have voiced about story-centric, and linear, games becoming more and more a thing of the past. When EA, the company that decided to shut down the studio, made the commentary that they are no longer interested in making linear games because that's "what the market wants," it spurred a huge debate about what do gamers really want and is EA out of touch?
At an investors presentation at the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen from EA talked a little bit more on the subject of Visceral Games. He once again reiterated their previous stance on the subject, citing that because "it's not" what players want, that's why it was closed down. He referred to it as an "economic decision" based on careful market analysis. The problem is, a very large portion of this same market - both professionally and consumer-wise - have a contradicting niche opposing that statement.
According to Jorgensen, of the past six years, Visceral has shrunk in size exponentially. Once it was dropped down to about 80 developers, EA decided that it was considered sub-scale to their normal practices and lent their help from EA Vancouver and Motive in Montreal to aid in their highly anticipated Star Wars action-adventure game. The game in question was a linear title, much different from the EA Battlefront staple.
The mysterious Star Wars title boasted a lot of unique qualities and was meant to be a title that "really pushed gameplay to the next level." Upon review, however, EA decided that the linear direction was not something they, or the market, wanted. As of right now, EA is looking at the discarded game in an effort to revamp it into a more online-focused venture with parts they deem usable. At this point, it's simply a waiting game to see what happens with the Star Wars project and what EA has in store for the future.