During an EA earnings call, CEO Andrew Wilson fielded questions about the closing of Visceral Games and refocusing of their untitled Star Wars project from a linear single-player game to something else. Wilson mostly pointed the finger at changes in the games market as the reason the game was handed off to another studio.
According to Wilson, during the development of the Visceral Studios Star Wars game, playtesters reacted negatively to the title. The game was touted as having a Ocean’s 11 meets Star Wars vibe and would have looked at the effects of the destruction of Alderaan in addition to putting the player in the shoes of a group of scoundrels.
Visceral’s slow progress on the game and inability to deliver a product that players enjoyed are cited as the reason for the studio’s closure. Concerning the rumors that EA wanted to change the game to a more lucrative “games-as-service” model like Overwatch and Destiny, Wilson said:
“You may have heard the conversation around single-player versus multiplayer or single-player versus live service, and this wasn’t about that conversation. It wasn’t about this was just a single-player game, or it needed to be a live service, it was more about how do we get to a point where the overall gameplay experience was right for players.”
The assets Visceral created will relive, at least in part. EA Vancouver will be making use of them in the redesigned game, though how much of the original concept will remain is anyone’s guess.
I have to say that I’d be first in line for a Star Wars-skinned Destiny. Honestly, they could literally take Destiny 2 as is and put some Star Wars stuff in it and I’d be incredibly happy. Mostly this is because I like Destiny and Star Wars, but also because I’m starved for a decent Star Wars game. DICE made the opposite of every good decision they could have with the first Star Wars Battlefront, and that’s pretty much been the only actual full Star Wars video game that’s come out since EA got the license in 2012.
Honestly, if I were Disney, I’d be a little sore over Visceral closing. Its game was four years in and may have come out as early as mid next year. I’d want a bit more return from EA than one confused multiplayer shooter and a bunch of forgettable mobile games.