Executive vice president of EA Patrick Soderlund announced today via the company’s official blog that Visceral Games, the developer behind titles like Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline, will be shutting its doors. Amy Hennig’s Star Wars game will be taken over by another development team at EA Worldwide Studios.
Soderlund had the following to say regarding the studio’s closing: “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.”
He continued to offer more information on Amy Hennig’s Star Wars project, stating, “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.”
Soderlund added, “The games we want to play and spend time with, the experiences we want to have in those games, and the way we play…all those things are continually changing.” This new Star Wars was slated for release in 2019, though now EA is “looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future.”
The closing of Visceral Games is no doubt sad given the studio’s pedigree and the many people who work there. Thankfully no layoffs have been reported yet.