EA CFO Blake Jorgensen has spoken out about the publisher’s decision to shut down Visceral Games and cancel the studio’s single-player Star Wars game, saying that there wasn’t enough interest in linear, narrative-driven games to justify the company’s investment.
Speaking during a talk at the Credit Suisse Technology, Media & Telecom conference, Jorgensen suggested that EA had attempted to cut its losses on a format they believe is no longer financially viable. “You gotta cut the bridge when you realise you can’t make a lot of money on something,” Jorgensen continued.
Seemingly expressing surprise that the studio hired to develop a single-player Star Wars game were creating a linear experience, Jorgensen said: “As we kept reviewing the game, it continued to look like a much more linear game [which] people don’t like as much today as they did five years ago or 10 years ago.” Though he added that EA and Visceral were looking at creating a Star Wars game that “really pushed gameplay to the next level,” it wasn’t enough to save the unreleased title, which met its demise alongside its developer.
Jorgensen concluded that the decision to shut down Visceral “was an economic decision at the end of the day,” indicating that there would be some layoffs at Visceral after saying that they are “trying to keep as many [Visceral staff] as possible” by way of relocating them to other EA studios.
Star Wars fans were upset by the announcement of Visceral’s closure, and Jorgensen’s claim that the studio was looking to push the boundaries of a single-player experience probably won’t help quell this disappointment. With EA now reportedly looking to transform the unfinished game into something that will be more of a live service, those hoping to get lost in a narrative-driven game set in the Star Wars universe will have to hope that EA reverses its stance on single-player games.