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Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction

An Update on the Visceral Star Wars Project on the EA website has word from EA's Patrick Söderlund of a change in direction for the Star Wars game that was in development at Visceral. This includes the news that Visceral is being closed down, saying, "Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA." This also brings into question the future of Uncharted Writer Amy Hennig who joined the project in 2014, as Kotaku says an EA spokesperson stated via email, "We are in discussions with Amy about her next move." Here's the news:

Our industry is evolving faster and more dramatically than ever before. The games we want to play and spend time with, the experiences we want to have in those games, and the way we play…all those things are continually changing. So is the way games are made. In this fast-moving space, we are always focused on creating experiences that our players want to play…and today, that means we’re making a significant change with one of our upcoming titles.

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. We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, 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.

This move leads to a few other changes:

A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.

Lastly, while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we’re now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future.

Bringing new Star Wars games to life for every passionate fan out there is what drives us as creators. It’s what has inspired us to deliver the massive new Star Wars Battlefront II experience launching in just a few weeks. It fuels our live service in Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. Making games in the extraordinary Star Wars universe is truly a dream for so many of us at EA, and we have so many more experiences to come for players on every platform. We want to take the time to get each game right, to make it unique, to make it amazing.

We look forward to answering more of your questions, and sharing more on our plans and timeline for this new Star Wars experience, in the months to come.

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37. Old companies... Oct 22, 2017, 20:30 Ant
 
... before they got greedy. Remember EA in the 80s?  
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Ant @ The Ant Farm: http://antfarm.ma.cx and Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net ...
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36. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 19, 2017, 09:01 Verno
 
EA killed so many good studios, they are fucking chaos walking in the gaming industry.

Bullfrog
Westwood
Maxis
Mythic
Pandemic
Black Box

I'm sure there are more, those are just the ones I remember.

On their way to killing:
Bioware
Dice
 
Playing: Super Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein II, SNES Classic
Watching: An Inconvenient Sequel, The Orville, Star Trek Voyager
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35. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 18:58 RedEye9
 
Prez wrote on Oct 17, 2017, 23:50:
Fuck EA.
A well-deserved roast
perfect!
 
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https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/andy-borowitz
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34. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 13:27 Nullity
 
Cutter wrote on Oct 17, 2017, 21:52:
Why is this rocket surgery? Just make a game like Witcher 3 set in the SW universe where you're a Jedi traveling around doing Jedi shit.
Bam! Printing money.

Also, wasn't this the one that was based off of the canceled 1313 game? The one with Uncharted-like gameplay? If so, they're idiots for changing this, it would have sold like gangbusters, especially with Amy Hennig on board.
 
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33. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 09:54 Ozmodan
 
Wear blinders much? Battlefront II is about as pay-to-win as you can get!  
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32. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 09:29 The Half Elf
 
DangerDog wrote on Oct 18, 2017, 05:17:
The Half Elf wrote on Oct 18, 2017, 05:07:
How hard is it to make a single player game with Jedi Knight/Outcast's Saber combat?!?

They already made that game, Force Unleashed 1 & 2.

I guess they could do an updated version with the new star wars themes from the latest movies, I guess some people actually like it but I know I sure don't.

I would fall out of my chair laughing if they made an entire game focused on playing as Rey or Finn.

Re-Read what I said, with saber combat like Outcast/Jedi Academy (yeah I missed academy). Force Unleashed's SABER COMBAT was nothing like it, and was more of a Devil May Cry/ God of War system.
 
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31. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 08:25 Task
 
Not sure why people are saying a linear Star Wars game would be bad. Games like the Uncharted series and The Last of Us did pretty well. I actually picked up a used copy of Uncharted 1 for my PS3 the first time to see what the games are like and they are pretty fun, like playing through an over the top Indiana Jones adventure.

Star Wars 1313 could have been pretty interesting too if it was about just some random new character made-up, not a force user, living it up in the Star Wars universe dealing with tertiary stuff and not having anything to do with main characters from the movies. And now its dead for good it seems.
 
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30. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 08:13 Slashman
 
DangerDog wrote on Oct 18, 2017, 05:17:
The Half Elf wrote on Oct 18, 2017, 05:07:
How hard is it to make a single player game with Jedi Knight/Outcast's Saber combat?!?

They already made that game, Force Unleashed 1 & 2.

I guess they could do an updated version with the new star wars themes from the latest movies, I guess some people actually like it but I know I sure don't.

I would fall out of my chair laughing if they made an entire game focused on playing as Rey or Finn.

The Force unleashed was NOTHING like Jedi Outcast/Jedi Academy. It was a horribly over-the-top beat 'em up with a million pointless combos and angst-driven force power scenes meant to make kids wet themselves in glee. There is a reason I finished both Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy multiple times and none of the Force Unleashed games.
 
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29. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 07:34 Beamer
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Oct 17, 2017, 22:26:
Yet another studio gets gobbled up and torn apart.

Visceral was always an EA studio, so it wasn't gobbled up, it was birthed. It existed for 19 years, in which it made 2 good games.

It sucks for people losing their jobs, but let's not make this out like EA bought some darling and killed it. It made Visceral, Visceral made not much great, it killed Visceral.
 
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28. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 06:05 Slick
 
Lol, I just remembered in BF3 you could buy Slim Jims (dogfood-grade beef jerky for our non-American friends) that would give you a 1-hour XP boost in-game for BF3.

I don't for a minute recall people freaking out that this was unfair pay-to-win greedy mechanics. These people would get xp faster than me! They'd get access to better weapons and items more quickly! Slim Jims are OP!

LOLOL

Even Space Balls couldn't think up a more ridiculous merchandizing cross-promotion, and I don't remember people freaking out about Space Balls toilet paper.
 
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(Regarding SW:Battlefront II) Frostshite is a horrible piece of shit engine that makes games look artificial as if you were playing on a movie set instead of the actual location. -CJ_Parker
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27. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 05:57 Slick
 
I'm not "defending" anything, I'm just trying to parse the hyperbolic vitriol.

It's quite simple, as I've said, and I'm sure I'll say again, possibly in this very thread:

Convenience shortcuts does not equal pay-to-win. DICE have done convenience shortcuts with BF1, BF3, and BF4. No one so much as batted an eyelash, let alone went full "Chicken Little" on this.

The only difference is the random chance of a loot box, which as I clearly said above, can be traced back to the roots of modern gaming with rolling the dice in Dungeons and Dragons. This is hardly a new mechanic, and this is the only variable that changes from BF1, BF3, BF4 and SWBF2.

If the convenience shortcut I can pay real money for gets me the EXACT SAME shit with the EXACT SAME CHANCE to get good shit as just playing the game normally, then there is no scandal. This is no different than a paid XP boost, you just get loot boxes faster. You can still just play the game, and no one will get access to overpowered weaponry or items that are ONLY available to people who pay real money. They can just throw money at it to get them sooner. This is the dictionary definition of a convenience shortcut.

There ARE games that follow the actual pay-to-win formula... giving weapons and items that are BETTER than anything that can be obtained normally by playing the game. SWBF2 isn't one of these games.

so

1) people are mad at loot drop random chance mechanics. Welcome to gaming for the last 40 years.

2) people are mad at pay-to-win. It's not pay-to-win, it's a convenience shortcut, same as many games have and no one ever cared.
 
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(Regarding SW:Battlefront II) Frostshite is a horrible piece of shit engine that makes games look artificial as if you were playing on a movie set instead of the actual location. -CJ_Parker
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26. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 05:28 DangerDog
 
Slick wrote on Oct 18, 2017, 05:12:
So does anyone who's mad at loot boxes remember % chance drops from just about any game, especially RPGs for the last 40 years? I do.

Just saying.

The whole RANDOM DROPS thing is A PART OF GAMING THAT'S ALWAYS BEEN THERE! But people act like they woke up today and all of a sudden there's a random chance in video games! That's never been there before! It's like these bitches have never rolled a fucking D20 for Christ's sake. WAAAH I'm an entitled gamer, I should be able to get EVERY ITEM in the game I paid for, how dare anyone tell me otherwise, it's always been this way! WAAAAAHHHH.

If it's loot that you can ONLY buy with real money, then it's Pay-2-Win and should be shunned. If you get the EXACT SAME THING that you'd get from just playing the bloody game normally, then it's a convenience shortcut, so "meh", not amazing, not the end of the world. Games have been doing that shit for a long time, this isn't a new trick in the slightest.


It's yet to be seen how much EA/DICE have pulled back from the beta of Battlefront II but as it was implemented in the beta (it's only words till it's released), but you can't possibly defend that shit.

Some theorize that they put out the worst case scenario for the beta to see if they could get away with it just because "OMG Star Warz!" while all along planing to pull back to make them seem like good guys.

Mixing the cash grab of free to play games mechanics into full retail games is just pure bullshit, oh look no season pass... If they made a fun and engaging game people wouldn't mind spending a little extra money on some bling for their character but let's be reasonable - nothing should alter the game balance.

May the schwartz be with you!

 
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25. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 05:17 DangerDog
 
The Half Elf wrote on Oct 18, 2017, 05:07:
How hard is it to make a single player game with Jedi Knight/Outcast's Saber combat?!?

They already made that game, Force Unleashed 1 & 2.

I guess they could do an updated version with the new star wars themes from the latest movies, I guess some people actually like it but I know I sure don't.

I would fall out of my chair laughing if they made an entire game focused on playing as Rey or Finn.
 
Avatar 6174
 
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24. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 05:12 Slick
 
So does anyone who's mad at loot boxes remember % chance drops from just about any game, especially RPGs for the last 40 years? I do.

Just saying.

The whole RANDOM DROPS thing is A PART OF GAMING THAT'S ALWAYS BEEN THERE! But people act like they woke up today and all of a sudden there's a random chance in video games! That's never been there before! It's like these bitches have never rolled a fucking D20 for Christ's sake. WAAAH I'm an entitled gamer, I should be able to get EVERY ITEM in the game I paid for, how dare anyone tell me otherwise, it's always been this way! WAAAAAHHHH.

If it's loot that you can ONLY buy with real money, then it's Pay-2-Win and should be shunned. If you get the EXACT SAME THING that you'd get from just playing the bloody game normally, then it's a convenience shortcut, so "meh", not amazing, not the end of the world. Games have been doing that shit for a long time, this isn't a new trick in the slightest.

 
Avatar 57545
 
(Regarding SW:Battlefront II) Frostshite is a horrible piece of shit engine that makes games look artificial as if you were playing on a movie set instead of the actual location. -CJ_Parker
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23. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 05:08 DangerDog
 
Their attempt at making Battlefield Hardline's single player was pretty weak and that's putting a positive spin on it.

I thought they were working on an open world game that would tie into the new Han Solo movie, something along the lines of Assassins Creed but with Star Wars themes. Doesn't sound like it, just a linear game? I don't think that would work today as a stand on its own title. Battlefront II is just doing what sounds like a check box linear single player portion, most of the focus is on multiplayer.
 
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22. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 05:07 The Half Elf
 
How hard is it to make a single player game with Jedi Knight/Outcast's Saber combat?!?  
Avatar 12670
 
Using a steering wheel on a Burnout game is like using the Space Shuttle controls to fly a kite.
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21. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 03:30 ZeroPike1
 
Everything is not, Multiplayer match making and loot boxes and monitizing players. Whales and Dolphins logic.

I know the new Star Wars Battlefront 2 is crap. Its slightly better crap then Battlefront 1 was. And much like Battlefield 1 it will have a single player story that mainly serves to drive people into trying/playing Multiplayer modes. Thus getting loot boxes, thus finding the gamblers who spend money on loot boxes. Thus finding the whales to keep paying the company money for them doing nothing more to enhance the game.

There is always a market for Single Player games. And I am in that market. Even if the future of this stuff is like Shadow of Mordor and Assassins Creed's micro-transactions/Pre-order culture crap. I will use my wallet to vote for the game with less bullshit.
 
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20. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 01:33 Vall Forran
 
Cuz Deadspace (prior to EA effing it up) and the Witcher 3 are horrible examples of successful single player games. I see your logic there. I know I only play Uncharted for the multiplayer.  
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19. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 01:28 Slick
 
Jerykk wrote on Oct 17, 2017, 22:59:
Open-world Star Wars confirmed.

This isn't really surprising, though. The linear, story-driven SP experience is on its way out. Publishers want you to play their games for as long as possible because it increases their opportunities to monetize. Linear, story-driven SP games don't have that kind of longevity.

I don't know how many single player games you've played where open world = monetization, but I can't think of any off hand.

I think the real reason is to just pad the experience, so you can say it's a "40 hour game". That's the real goal, is so you can fill in all these fetch quests, or collect the whatthefuckevers and boom, you have a 40-hour game.

Gamers seem to feel that the "value" of their $60 is better spent on a padded out 40-hour game, rather than on a tight 10-hour experience. That's just gamer psychology going back years, EA didn't invent this phenomenon.
 
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(Regarding SW:Battlefront II) Frostshite is a horrible piece of shit engine that makes games look artificial as if you were playing on a movie set instead of the actual location. -CJ_Parker
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18. Re: Visceral Closing; Star Wars Game Changing Direction Oct 18, 2017, 00:28 Darks
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Oct 17, 2017, 23:18:
And... another studio EA killed

Was going to post the same thing. I loved the dead Space series. Now we will never see another one. Leave it to EA to fuck up everything they touch!
 
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