EA is shutting down Visceral Games, and with it the yet-untitled Star Wars game the studio was working has gone into limbo. According to the announcement by EA's Patrick Söderlund, the ex-Visceral Star Wars game will be taking on a much different form, possibly as a games-as-service type experience rather than the narrative-driven single-player adventure it was originally developed as.
In a blog post Söderlund announced, "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."
However, with the news that Visceral will be ramping down, the new Star Wars game will be rebooted in a sense with Steve Anthony leading the new team at EA Vancouver (h/t Kotaku). The assets from project codename Ragtag will be the foundation of the new Star Wars game that Söderlund teased in the announcement post.
What shape will the new Star Wars game take? Söderlund's post actually makes this a fairly easy guess.
"Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concepts with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace," Söderlund writes. "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... 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."
By the sound of it, the new Star Wars game will become a more open-ended game, possibly with online services like Destiny or BioWare's own Anthem. Where the Visceral game presumably told an enclosed story based on characters, the new Star Wars game will offer players more freedom and reasons to "come back and enjoy for a long time to come."
Just as how Square-Enix announced earlier this year that the decline of single-player games will shift its focus towards games-as-services, EA seems to be doing much of the same with today's Visceral announcement.
We will continue to update this story as it develops.