In a perhaps very shocking move by the publisher, Electronic Arts has announced that they have shut down Visceral Games, the studio responsible for some of the company's bigger hits over the past few years.
Visceral was responsible for many of the company's most notable hits, including Battlefield: Hardline and the Dead Space games. It was currently working with Uncharted writer Amy Hennig on a new unannounced Star Wars game, but now it appears that the project will be moving to a yet unnamed studio.
Speaking on the official blog page, EA's Patrick Soderlund explained, ""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."
It's a shame that Visceral is closing its doors, as the company has a history with EA, most notably with its Dead Space franchise. Many players consider the original Dead Space one of the greatest horror/survival games ever made, and quite a few were holding out for some kind of follow-up to come. Unless it arrives from another studio, however, that's not likely to be the case.
Our thoughts go out to all those who suffer layoffs from the Visceral studios today. We certainly wish them the best of luck in landing on their feet.
As for the Star Wars project, we'll let you know what changes will come with its development once it lands at a new studio.