Publisher EA recently confirmed the closure of development studio Visceral Games, known for making games like Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, Dante’s Inferno, but more importantly they created the action-flavored suvrival horror series, Dead Space. The news arrived about a week ago, and with it there was much talk of the studio’s Star Wars game.
Here’s what Patrick Soderlund, exec VP of EA worldwide studios had to say on the subject: “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.”
However, there’s more to it than that. The secretive Star Wars project was codenamed "Ragtag" and Kotaku kept digging some more, which prompted Patrick Soderlund to came back with a bit more info on the whole thing. “That’s not new, but it bears saying again because if anything, it’s getting more complex. But that’s what gets us up in the morning, we love it. We have amazingly talented people making games, and very powerful tools… but expectations are going up at an even faster rate. We see it when we talk to players. We see it in our own games, in the feedback people give us, and how they play. We see it from what other games people love…and which ones they don’t. There are a ton of factors.”
Soderlund continued by denying that Ragtag was canceled because it was intended to be a single-player action-adventure game, that was supposed to be similar to Uncharted. “This truly isn’t about the death of single-player games–I love single-player, by the way–or story and character-driven games.” He added: “Storytelling has always been part of who we are, and single-player games will of course continue. This also isn’t about needing a game that monetizes in a certain way. Those are both important topics, but that’s not what this is. At the end of the day, this was a creative decision. Our job is to give people a deep enough experience and story, and it’s also to push the boundaries forward. We just didn’t think we were getting it quite right.”
The news has the gaming community in a kind of uproar, and even after failed projects such as Star Wars 1313, people are still very eager to see a proper single-player Star Wars game. Meanwhile, Star Wars fans are preparing for the launch of the highly anticipated multiplayer shooter Star Wars Battlefront 2, which, incidentally has a far more complex single-player mode this time around; complete with characterization (the game begins right after the ending of the movie Return of the Jedi).