EA shelved Starbreeze's Bourne - Report

LA Times says publisher sank Swedish studio's Robert Ludlum-based game, not Project RedLime; discussions to return to franchise ongoing.


Between 2008 and 2009, Electronic Arts commissioned Chronicles of Riddick developer Starbreeze Studios to craft two new games. Though announced only as a reinvention of one of EA's classic franchises, Project RedLime was the first to be announced and is rumored to be a reboot of Bullfrog Productions' cyberpunk action game Syndicate. The second announcement was for a game based on Robert Ludlum's espionage-themed Jason Bourne franchise.

Jason Bourne has a way of disappearing…
Jason Bourne has a way of disappearing…

However, in an effort to refocus its upcoming product portfolio on high-profit titles, EA opted to kill one of these projects off earlier this week. And while both the publisher and its Swedish partner were mum on which of the two had met an untimely demise, the Los Angeles Times reports that it was the Bourne project that has been put down.

The Bourne license was last used in High Moon Studios' Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy, which received solid reviews in 2008. However, following Activision's merger with Vivendi that same year, the Ludlum family reacquired the rights to make games based on Robert Ludlum's novels, eventually shopping them out to EA in February 2009.

As part of that deal, EA secured the worldwide licensing rights to create games based on the late author's acclaimed novels over a multiyear period. The first game to come about from this arrangement was to be Starbreeze's interpretation of rogue spy Jason Bourne, which had been the subject of a trio of Matt Damon-led summer blockbuster films.

According to the LA Times, EA will remain in partnership with the Ludlum estate, though no games based on the authors work are currently in development. An EA spokesperson reportedly told the newspaper that "EA and the Ludlum Estate are still discussing making a game based on the Bourne franchise."

EA had not responded to requests for additional comment as of press time.

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