Star Wars Open-World Game Is In Development At EA, According To Job Listing
Visceral's linear, story-driven game was rebooted just last year.
Electronic Arts is at work on a new open-world Star Wars game, if a newly discovered job opening is any indication. Although the publisher has shared little information about what to expect from the rebooted version of Visceral's game following the studio's closure, we may now have a clue as to what form it will take.
The job listing, discovered by GameSpot, was recently published on EA's jobs site. It's for the position of lead online engineer in Burnaby, at EA's Vancouver studio, and it makes no attempt to hide what applicants will be working on. The opening sentence reads, "Lead a team to deliver Online features for a Star Wars Open World project." The rest of the listing doesn't share much else, though there are references to the game being multi-platform (which is little surprise) and a requirement to have "experience implementing Online features such as Matchmaking, Asynchronous interactions, Live services, Server-host migration, etc."
We've reached out to EA for further details and will report back in the (unlikely) event it has anything to share. It's not the first time we've heard that EA might be at work on an open-world Star Wars game; a job listing back in 2013 also suggested as much.
EA currently owns the exclusive rights to produce console and PC games based on Star Wars, but the last six months or so have been tumultuous. There was the Battlefront 2 microtransaction controversy, and before that, EA shut down Visceral Studios and confirmed major changes would be made to its Star Wars game (pictured above), which EA's Vancouver studio will continue to work on. We also know that Titanfall developer Respawn is working on a Star Wars game of its own.
When the Visceral news was announced, executive VP of EA worldwide studios Patrick Soderlund said, "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. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. 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."
This sparked concerns about the future of triple-A single-player games. CEO Andrew Wilson denied that the moves were made because it was a single-player game that needed to become a live-service game. "It was more about, 'How do we get to a point where the overall gameplay experience was right for players?'" he said, adding that some of the assets and content Visceral had created might still be used in the new iteration of the game.
Soderlund also denied single-player was to blame; like Wilson, he pointed to the issue of quality, which was seemingly reinforced by a Kotaku report at the time. Subsequently, CFO Blake Jorgensen suggested the linear, single-player nature was at least partially to blame, saying, "As we kept reviewing the game, it continued to look like a much more linear game [which] people don't like as much today as they did five years ago or 10 years ago."