EA has shut down Visceral Games, the studio behind Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline, and will "pivot" the direction of its untitled Star Wars game.
Although relatively little was known about Visceral's story-focussed Star Wars project - which was first announced back in 2013 - numerous high-profile names were attached, including Amy Hennig, Kim Swift, and Jade Raymond.
A statement released by EA today links progress on, and the direction of, Visceral's Star Wars game to the studio's closure. "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", the statement read.
"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. We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life."
EA's statement implies that the game's current linear, story-focussed approach will be jettisoned in favour of something with greater mainstream appeal, "we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore."
Development on the Star Wars game will shift to EA Worldwide Studios, led by a team from EA Vancouver "that has already been working on the project". EA says that it's currently relocating as many Visceral staff as possible to other projects and teams at EA.
EA anticipates that the game's previously announced 2019 release date will no longer be viable, and is "looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future."