No doubt you’re familiar with the Star Wars title that was being developed under EA’s Visceral Games studio. The development team that brought out the popular Dead Space franchise was being headed under Amy Hennig, a famed video game director responsible for Uncharted under Naughty Dog. When EA gained the rights to develop Star Wars titles, there was some real general interest over what Amy Hennig was bringing out with Visceral. Little to no information was revealed other than reports that EA was more or less forcing some drastic changes to the game. Then out of nowhere, EA pulled the plug on Visceral Games and the Star Wars game was being rebooted by EA Vancouver, though they too found the game cancelled.
Now that some time has passed, it’s not a shocker to see fans start to seek out what would have been and exactly what happened. In a recent interview with VentureBeat and Amy Hennig, we got a bit more insight from the legendary game director. For the most part, Amy reiterates what we already for the most part know. At its core, the untitled Star Wars game was a linear third-person story much like how the Uncharted games were. Despite this, the development team attempted to flesh out the game modes to offer more gameplay to keep players enjoying the game, similar to the latest trends of games as a service and battle royale releases.
“We were very far into development. We had a lot of material. I just think that there was a shift that started feeling inevitable. EA is just not — they hired me for a reason. They know what I do. But I think that where EA is at right now, they’re looking more at games as a service, the live service model. More open world stuff, trying to crack that nut, versus this more finite crafted experience.
We were trying to make sure that we built in other modes and extensibility and all that stuff. But the fundamental spine of the thing was more like Uncharted than one of these open world, live service games. That’s a big gap to cross. I don’t know how you get from here to there.”
Likewise, we learned that Amy Hennig was also dealing with a few additional issues outside of the gameplay. Because of the engine, the studio was working with and past team portfolio, it was difficult to create a third-person game. Furthermore, the studio itself was located in the San Francisco Bay area and that alone made it very expensive to keep things running. In the end, the game was killed off and Amy has since moved on to work on virtual reality games.