EA, DICE axe mystery project

Citing falling current-gen game sales, the US publisher and Swedish studio cancel untitled PS2 Xbox game.

With the Xbox 360 on the market and the PlayStation 3 and Revolution expected this year, the days of current-generation gaming are clearly numbered. Sooner or later, publishers will cease developing titles for the Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2 as interest in the venerable consoles wanes and current-gen prices drop.

Further evidence that the focus is already shifting away from current-gen development came last week. That's when Digital Illusions CE (DICE), the studio behind the ever-popular Battlefield shooter series, quietly informed the public that it had canceled an unidentified "licensed game" for the PS2 and Xbox.

"In the middle of October 2005 Digital Illusions signed an agreement to license the rights to Electronic Arts' studio in the UK to develop the Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions of its untitled game with release in 2006/ 2007," read a statement posted on DICE's Web site. "Due to falling sales for games to both consoles EA and Digital Illusions have decided to cancel the development of the product for these two platforms."

DICE also moved to preemptively quash any speculation that the mystery game's cancelation might be because of poor sales of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, its only Xbox and PlayStation 2 game to date. "Digital Illusions' game Battlefield 2: Modern Combat for Xbox and PS2 has sold approximately 1 million copies to retailers until December 31, 2005," the company said. PSP and Xbox 360 versions of the game are due out later this year.

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