Electronic Arts shutters Dead Space dev Visceral Games

Electronic Arts has confirmed it is shutting down its in-house development studio Visceral Games, the studio which is best known for the Dead Space series and Battlefield Hardline.

The confirmation came via an open letter (https://www.ea.com/news/an-update-on-the-visceral-star-wars-project) from EA’s vice president Patrick Soderlund. Most recently, Visceral, which was founded way back in 1998, was working on an as-yet-announced Star Wars game, a game it has been working on since 2013. Fortunately, despite Visceral’s closure, the Star Wars game will live on and has been transferred over to other internal studios within the company. However, as Soderlund noted in his letter, the game will also be undergoing some major changes:

“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 also naturally means that the game’s previously planned release window of mid 2018 to early 2019 is being pushed back, with a new release timeframe set to be announced in the future. Former Naughty Dog team member Amy Hennig was leading the Star Wars game before Visceral’s closing, EA says it is currently in discussions with Hennig to determine what her next move will be.