Visceral Games closed by EA as Star Wars release sees major delay

Dead Space developer Visceral Games has been shuttered by Electronic Arts, the company’s executive vice president confirmed overnight.

The studio was in the midst of working on the highly anticipated Star Wars title headed by Amy Hennig. However, Patrick Soderlund has now revealed that the game has been moved to the talent pool across EA Worldwide Studios.

Not only that, but the project is also undergoing a major overhaul. Originally conceived as a single-player, linear adventure game in the vein of Uncharted, EA is now taking the title in a new direction to accommodate a “broader experience.” 

As a result, the Star Wars game has now been delayed from its original FY 2019 window to an undisclosed date. 

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,” commented Soderlund. “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.”

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.”

A representative for the publishing giant late told Polygon that, “We’re in discussions with Amy about her next move.”

Visceral Games was founded in 1998 as EA Redwood Shores, before adopting the Visceral moniker in 2009. The studio was responsible for a number of high-profile titles, including the Dead Space franchise and Battlefield Hardline.