Visceral Games, the studio behind the Dead Space serires of games was shut down by publisher EA. In a blog post titled, “An Update on the Visceral Star Wars Project,” EA’s Patrick Söderlund wrote that the studio will be “ramping down and closing” and is in the “midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.”
Söderlund began the post talking about the fast-changing nature of the games industry before declaring the status of the Star Wars action adventure title long known to be in development at Visceral. “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 decision means the aforementioned closure of the Visceral Studio, and shifting development across EA Worldwide Studios with current staff from EA Vancouver at the helm. Söderlund says EA anticipated launching the game late in 2019, but will now be looking at a new time frame.
Jason Schreier, reporting for Kotaku, secured an internal email to employees from Söderlund that reads:
A development team from across Worldwide Studios will take over development of Ragtag, led by the EA Vancouver team that has already been working on the project. Steve Anthony will lead this team, and we will use much of the work that has been done to date by Visceral – the assets of Ragtag that have already been built will be the foundation of this new game.
Ragtag is presumably the code name of the mysterious Star Wars game, which watchful observers know is under the leadership of longtime Uncharted director Amy Hennig. Hennig joined Visceral in 2014 to direct this game. Schreier reached out to EA via email for comment on Hennig’s status, to which the reply was: “We are in discussions with Amy about her next move.”
Rumors had been swirling around the possibly troubled status of Ragtag. While EA may be pushing to retool the project, this only confirms the game in its current iteration is no more.