EA announced today that they would be closing Visceral Games. The development studio was working on a Star Wars game that was going to be a story-focused action-adventure title with a linear focus. Playtesting, observations of shifts in the marketplace, and other feedback had led EA to believe that the game needed a shift in focus. The focus of the game’s narrative will be broadened and it will allow for a greater degree of player engagement, such as a game as service title. The game – (possibly formerly) codenamed Ragtag – will now be handed off to another team sourced from members at EA’s various studios around the world.
Some employees of Visceral Games will be given the opportunity to move to other studios within Electronic Arts, although not everyone may end up making the move. Amy Hennig, director of the Uncharted series of games, is currently in discussions with EA about what her next move will be and whether or not it will be with Electronic Arts or another company under their umbrella.
As for the unnamed Star Wars game, a leaked e-mail indicates that the game’s existing assets will be used as the base for whatever new incarnation the game will take. The new team will be led by Steve Anthony, an executive producer who has worked on a few titles in the Need for Speed and SSX franchises alongside some other titles. The release date of the game was originally slated to be sometime late in the company’s Fiscal Year 2019 (that is, early 2020 in the standard calendar), but that timeframe will now likely change with the shift in who’s handling the production alongside whatever other changes may be coming for this title.
What do you think of the closure of Visceral Games? Do you think EA will be able to hand off the Star Wars game to a team that can get the job done? What’s your favorite game that Visceral had released? Let us know in the comments below!