Dead Space creator Visceral Games shut down; upcoming Star Wars game changes direction
The untitled Star Wars game will no longer be a story-based, linear adventureBy Rob Thubron 8 comments
Despite the weaknesses of the third entry, the Dead Space trilogy still holds a place in the hearts of many horror fans. Sadly, the studio behind all three titles, Visceral Games, is being shuttered by parent company Electronic Arts.
Visceral was also behind 2015's Battlefield Hardline, but it was the team's next project, the still-untitled Star Wars game, that people were really excited about. But according to a statement from EA vice president Patrick Soderlund, it's about to undergo a "significant change."
"Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe," Soderlund explains. "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."
Soderlund added that Visceral was "ramping down and closing," with many of the staff moving to other EA projects and teams.
Uncharted director Amy Hennig had been brought on board to direct the Star Wars game. But an internal email obtained by Kotaku suggests she's off the project, with EA executive producer Steve Anthony now leading the team.
It sounds as if Star Wars is moving away from an Uncharted-style linear adventure and will now embrace the lucrative "games as a service" model the industry so loves. While that could mean it contains plenty of paid content, updates, and even the dreaded loot boxes, it might also see the game turn into a Star Wars version of Destiny or Anthem, which also uses the Frostbite engine.