In what is an unfortunate and shocking bit of news today, EA has announced that Visceral Games is officially shutting down. The studio behind the highly-regarded horror series Dead Space and the upcoming Star Wars game from Amy Hennig is now closing.
In a blog post on its official site, EA announced the closure earlier today. The Executive Vice President of Electronic Arts, Patrick Soderlund, wrote in the official news post:
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. 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 goes on to say that due to these immense changes to the Star Wars project, the game will be moved from Visceral's hands to a team comprised of developers from across EA Worldwide Studios. The team will be led mostly by EA Vancouver, known for many of the EA Sports games.
In the meantime, Visceral Games will begin shutting down its operations. Soderlund states that EA is "in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA." Further details on if any of Visceral - including leads like Amy Hennig and Todd Stashwick - will continue working on the project are currently unknown.
Formerly EA Redwood Shores, Visceral Games has been working in the industry since 1998. It worked on numerous successful EA titles from sports games like Tiger Woods PGA Tour, the Dead Space series, and 2015's Battlefield Hardline. Our thoughts and prayers go to anyone affected by the closure of Visceral Games.