It has been nearly four years since Disney announced that it would partner with EA for Star Wars games. Visceral was one of the studios that were going to work on Star Wars. It had even snatched Amy Hennig, Naughty Dog creative director, to head up the game. Unfortunately, it seems that will not come to pass. EA announced on Tuesday that it was shutting the company down.
There is no specific reason for the shutdown or the true fate of the game Hennig was working on. However, it seems that other studios will continue work on the game. EA announced that the game, which was scheduled for 2019, has been pushed back indefinitely.
“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,” EA executive vice president Patrick Söderlund said according to Polygon. “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.”
There seems to be an aura of uncertainty. The production of the game for EA to “pivot” from Visceral to another EA arm seems telling. However, the shutdown of the Visceral studio comes as a surprise to many. The untitled Star Wars game was teased at last year’s E3.
“A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project,” Söderlund said. “Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.”
In regards to Hennig’s involvement, no one knows. “We’re in discussions with Amy about her next move,” EA representative said.