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EA Closes Visceral Games

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Gutted about this.

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EA has shut down Visceral Games, the studio behind games like Battlefield Hardline and Dead Space, the publisher said today. The Star Wars game in development at Visceral will be revamped and move to a different studio.

Statement from Patrick Soderlund:
 

Our industry is evolving faster and more dramatically than ever before. 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. So is the way games are made. In this fast-moving space, we are always focused on creating experiences that our players want to play…and today, that means we’re making a significant change with one of our upcoming titles.

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.

This move leads to a few other changes:

A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. 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.

Lastly, while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we’re now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future.

Bringing new Star Wars games to life for every passionate fan out there is what drives us as creators. It’s what has inspired us to deliver the massive new Star Wars Battlefront II experience launching in just a few weeks. It fuels our live service in Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. Making games in the extraordinary Star Wars universe is truly a dream for so many of us at EA, and we have so many more experiences to come for players on every platform. We want to take the time to get each game right, to make it unique, to make it amazing.

We look forward to answering more of your questions, and sharing more on our plans and timeline for this new Star Wars experience, in the months to come.

To hell with EA. They buried the Dead Space series when they started putting microtransactions in it and made it into a shooter.

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Never played Dead Space but the first two are only my list to get for PS3 after hearing great things about them. I think Easy Allies are going to have a lot to talk about with this news, yet another case of EA focusing too much on quick cash grabs than actually trying to innovate. I wonder how long it will be until Bioware suffer the same fate.

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4 minutes ago, killthenet said:

Never played Dead Space but the first two are only my list to get for PS3 after hearing great things about them. I think Easy Allies are going to have a lot to talk about with this news, yet another case of EA focusing too much on quick cash grabs than actually trying to innovate. I wonder how long it will be until Bioware suffer the same fate.

The original Dead Space is up there with the best survival horror games.

EA are probably now retooling the Star Wars game so they can incorporate loot boxes and microtransactions.

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In summary:

32b4229145de0a2c1171b9b5757f25dfaa1bbf7b

Trust me to not check the General Game Discussion thread for this :blank:

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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.

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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.

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It’s safe to presume that the new incarnation of this Star Wars game will involve “games as a service” elements, as has been EA’s mandate for quite some time now.

This certainly sounds like a Destiny-like game, which, ahem, IS NOT WHAT WE WANT EA.

Call me Anakin Skywalker and cut off my right arm, replace it with a mechanical one, then cut off my other arm and both of my legs, and leave me to burn by the side of a river of lava before giving me an uncomfortable black leather makeover and a voice-changer, can it be 2023 already so EA can wave goodbye to this franchise's license please?

Edited by Julius Caesar

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Fuck off EA

I was really looking forward to that game, now we get yet another f-ing multiplayer game-as-service title.

Edited by Ronnie

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Sounds like they're changing it to a singleplayer open world game similar to Assassin's Creed or Shadow of Mordor. Still a change that it will be better than anything LucasArts did with the franchise last generation. 

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39 minutes ago, Cube said:

Sounds like they're changing it to a singleplayer open world game similar to Assassin's Creed or Shadow of Mordor. Still a change that it will be better than anything LucasArts did with the franchise last generation. 

Sounds more like they're changing it to a Destiny-like shared world game-as-service that keeps people playing (and paying) for years.

Edited by Ronnie

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6 hours ago, Ronnie said:

Sounds more like they're changing it to a Destiny-like shared world game-as-service that keeps people playing (and paying) for years.

I don't think EA want to kill off Anthem already.

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10 hours ago, Dcubed said:

 

Jim pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter perfectly...

Jim on point, as always. I remember watching that Unicron episode, as well. :D 

  • Thanks 2

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2 hours ago, Cube said:

I don't think EA want to kill off Anthem already.

I suspect this will now release a couple of years after Anthem and I'm sure they're ok having two. The fact that EA mention that the game was becoming a "single player" experience points to it now being more online/multiplayer based.

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Shit, it didn't even click with me that Visceral were producing the Amy Hennig 'Star Wars' game. The Battlefront debacle showed EA that there was a market for a strong, story focused single player game in the Star Wars universe and rather than investing more resources into producing something the fans want they seem to be doing the absolute opposite. 

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Sounds like the project was a mess. It was in the making since 2010?

Insane amount of time to yield very little. Sounds like a salvage job is in progress. It happens. Lets see what they can get out of this.

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On 20/10/2017 at 7:11 AM, Choze said:

Sounds like the project was a mess. It was in the making since 2010?

Insane amount of time to yield very little. Sounds like a salvage job is in progress. It happens. Lets see what they can get out of this.

No, it hasn't been. EA didn't get the rights to the SW licenses until 2013; I think there maybe some confusion with Star Wars 1313 here.

I have to wonder how much Lucasfilm had a hand in this, and why they're willing to let EA kill a game that's been in development since 2013/2014 that was due for release in late 2019? 

Seems an odd move. A Destiny-like will be fun, sure, but it's nearly impossible to make players feel like they're having an impact in the Galaxy Far, Far Away when nothing but the basic outline of whatever story they come up with is accepted as canon. A linear, story-driven game lends itself to stuff like this.

I'm having a tough time seeing EA still have their exclusive rights when 2023 comes around.

At best they will have produced 2 - possibly 3 - Battlefront games, which have proved very divisive amongst players thus far; a game from Respawn, which we still no nothing about; and whatever their replacement is for Visceral's game.

They need to change the ways things are done fundamentally: have Lucasfilm hand out the licenses only after a studio has pitched the game to them, and worked with the Story Group for vetting.

There are so many other studios/companies deserving of producing a Star Wars game than EA.

Edited by Julius Caesar

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Here's an interesting interview from Eurogamer ( who got it from Waypoint ). They talk to a gameplay designer who worked at EA ( left after ME:Andromeda was finished ) about the situation at Visceral Games and how EA are quite happy to slap microtransactions on to everything.

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"The problem is that we've scaled up our budgets to $100m+ and we haven't actually made a space for good linear single-player games that are under that. But why can't we have both? Why does it have to be one or the other? And the reason is that EA and those big publishers in general only care about the highest return on investment. They don't actually care about what the players want, they care about what the players will pay for.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-10-23-manveer-heir-bioware-mass-effect-ea-monetisation

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It's a sad state of affairs. The best way for the industry to change is for people to not spend a penny on in-game microtransactions. That would send the clearest message to the likes of EA and others.

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Then again, maybe games just need to be more expensive which they arguably should be these days. I'd gladly pay an extra fiver or even a tenner for the bigger games if the publishers had a total mindset change.

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