EA has announced the closure of Dead Space and Battlefield: Hardline developer Visceral Games resulting from significant changes to the team’s unnamed Star Wars project.
Until now, the game has been billed as a linear, story-focused third-person action game, in keeping with the previous projects of creative director Amy Hennig (Uncharted), but focus testing and market forces have inspired EA to “pivot the design.” While specific details on the revisions have not yet been available, the company’s phrasing of “a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency” strongly suggests an open-world structure.
Alongside the new design, EA has decided to move lead development duties to EA Vancouver with assistance from other worldwide studios. Visceral Games, meanwhile, is being shuttered, with many of its staff members being shifted to “other projects and teams at EA.”
Furthermore, although a release date for the project was never officially announced, the latest developments have forced a delay beyond the internally-estimated late 2019 window.
Visceral’s Star Wars project was first announced in 2013, with a brief first look becoming available at E3 2016 and reported story and setting details leaking earlier this year. Whether any of that earlier work will be retained during the course of this redesign remains to be seen.
Although one project is struggling, Star Wars: Battlefront II remains scheduled for release next month.