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Letters from the Front

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“Work on the game will slowly wind down at Visceral as EA shutters the studio and will transfer to EA Vancouver, who had already been helping to work on the game. There is no word on how EA plans to proceed with Amy Hennig yet. As part of this shift, the Star Wars game is also being delayed from 2019 to an undefined date in the future. It is unknown if any of the original teaser or game design will remain.” 

This is saddening news. It’s terrible to hear, not just because of the Amy Hennig backed Star Wars untitled game but also for Dead Space, the original and Dead Space 2 were excellent games that brought Horror back to it’s roots in the wake of the revolutionary Resident Evil 4 but in the end it succumbed to the very thing that it tried to prevent with Dead Space 3.

Our industry this week received a shock of epic portions which was felt all across the spectrum when EA rebooted the untitled Star Wars game and shut down Visceral Games. EA announced that it would reboot the Star Wars game and take it to another studio in Canada,  Patrick Söderlund said that the industry is evolving faster then ever before and more dramatically then ever which is true, those changes had impacted Visceral’s unannounced Star Wars game.

It was a sad day, not just for us consumers and people who were excited for their Star Games game but also a sad day for our industry. Only time will tell if the closure of Visceral Games was even worth it and if it was the right decision for us as Gamers, the real reason why EA closed Visceral isn’t known just yet and we may never know what made them closed the studio down.

For EA, the closure of Visceral Games comes at a interesting time as we’re having a conversation about Microtranscations and Loot crates and on top of that, EA had problems with BioWare which released the less then stellar Mass Effect: Andromeda ( The game was so underwhelming that I didn’t even complete it. I should just complete it now for the review.) , the creative director for Dragon Age left and the management for Mass Effect has changed ( let’s hope they return Mass Effect to the REAL BioWare.) and now EA has cancelled all of Andromeda’s expansion content.

Viscera

Concept Art for Visceral’s Star Wars.

Personally, I think EA has done something inexcusable and this action has caused a scare through our industry, does this means that singleplayer is dead? Most certainly so, not right now but in a few years time, Singleplayer will most likely be non-existent as the industry moves towards “Games as a Service.” model and does this mean Microtranscations and Loot Boxes are the future? Most likely yes, most if not all games are now doing it.

These questions should make us shiver, EA is willing to take risks as seen with Battlefield 1, Anthem, and A Way Out but also it looks like they’re not taking enough risks and clearly seen this week, EA has less tolerance for experimentation.

What I think happened this week made me lose a little bit of faith in videogames and cemented that our industry is brutal and developing videogames is no easy task.

 

 

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