Visceral's Star Wars game was too linear, EA says, and it's still deciding what to do with it

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Remember when EA canceled the Visceral Star Wars game and people freaked out about it signalling the death of single-player games? Considering the phenomenal selection of single-player games released in 2017 alone, that idea seems a little sillier every day, but comments made by EA CEO Andrew Wilson at the Credit Suisse conference this week (via GamesIndustry International) make it clear that EA has indeed lost faith in one specific kind of single-player game.

"[W]e were trying to build a game that really pushed gameplay to the next level, and as we kept reviewing the game, it continued to look like a style of gaming, a much more linear game, that people don't like as much today as they did five years ago or 10 years ago," Jorgensen explained.

There were reportedly many more problems with work on the Visceral Star Wars game than worries about whether people still want linear games. Wholly representative or not, Jorgensen's comments reveal more top-level insight about why the company decided to nix the project and its developer; he said Visceral was already "down to about 80 people, which is sub-scale in our business" when it was shut down (several other studios inside EA were assisting with its creation).

When the cancellation was first announced, EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund said the company needed to step back and "pivot the design" behind the game to keep players coming back to it. As he explained at the time, that called for a fresh start with a new development team. Now Jorgensen has indicated that the game may not even remain its own dedicated project.

"We made the tough decision to shut down that game team and take the parts of that game, and today we're looking at what we're going to do with those," Jorgensen said. "Will we make the game in a different style at a different studio? Will we use parts of the game in other games? We're trying to go through that today."

To see how EA's other Star Wars developments are going, check out why EA decided not to do cosmetic microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront 2.