EA Talks About Closing Visceral And Single-Player Games

EA CEO Andrew Wilson says the company saw "fundamental shifts" in the marketplace.

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One of the biggest pieces of gaming news this year will surely be the closure of Visceral Games and the re-tooling of the developer's mysterious Star Wars game that was being made under the direction of Uncharted director Amy Hennig. While much has already been said on the topic, it was brought up again today during the latest EA earnings call.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson discussed the decision to close Visceral and spoke generally about why the developer wanted to "pivot" the unannounced game's design to better mesh with player expectations and industry trends. As announced previously, this game is not being canceled, though development is shifting to EA Vancouver and it sounds like it is going in a different direction than the previous iteration.

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Here are Wilson's comments in full:

On Closing Visceral Games

"Anytime you close a studio, it's a very, very tough decision and something that we take very seriously. We spend a lot of time working through before we make such a decision. But it does happen from time to time as part of the creative process.

On Visceral's Star Wars Game And Why It's Changing

"During the development process of the game they were working on, we've been testing the game in concert with players, listening to feedback in terms of what and how they wanted to play. And really tracking that closely with fundamental shifts in the marketplace. We are seeing an evolution in the marketplace, and it became clear to us that to deliver an experience that players wanted to come back and enjoy for a long time, that we needed to pivot the design.

"You may have heard the conversation around single-player versus multiplayer or single-player versus live service. [The decision to close Visceral and shift the focus of their Star Wars game] wasn't about that conversation. It wasn't about, 'This was just a single-player game [and it] needed to be a live service.' It was more about, 'How do we get to a point where the overall gameplay experience was right for players.' We still believe strongly in the Star Wars IP."

Other Takeaways

Wilson said EA was happy with some of the assets and content that Visceral created for its Star Wars game. He said he hopes some of this can be preserved and utilized for potentially the new version of the game or perhaps something else.

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Last week, Kotaku published an in-depth story featuring developers who worked on the game about what happened with Visceral's Star Wars game, which had the working title "Ragtag." The report also claims that EA Vancouver is "essentially starting from scratch" with a new Star Wars game. You can read the full report here.

The next new Star Wars game is Star Wars: Battlefront II, which launches on November 17 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Titanfall developer Respawn is working on its own Star Wars game, a third-person action title, but we don't know anything about it yet.

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