Here’s everything we know about EA Vancouver’s Star Wars game
Electronic Arts has several Star Wars projects in development, including November’s Star Wars Battlefront II, but there may not be any more intriguing than the action-adventure title, formerly in development at Dead Space developer Visceral Games. The project, which is now in production across EA Worldwide Studios led by EA Vancouver, is a largely unknown quantity. Even before the project “pivoted,” very little of the game had been shown to the public. Despite all the mystery, many fans were waiting with bated breath, as its team included (still includes?) some of the most talented developers in the industry. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it won’t suffer the same fate as Star Wars 1313. Here is everything we know so far about EA’s mysterious Star Wars action game.
What is it?
Well, that’s the million dollar question.
The game was originally in development at Visceral Games, under the stewardship of Uncharted series writer Amy Hennig. During Electronic Arts’ 2016 EA Play presentation, we saw a few seconds of what was labeled “early in-game footage.” It showed a human male protagonist exiting a building on a desert planet that looked like it could be Tatooine, with Imperial flags draped over two structures nearby. There are Star Destroyers overhead, which points to a galaxy firmly under the control of the Emperor. In 2015, voice actor Nolan North told Metrocon attendees that the game would be “along the same lines” of the canceled LucasArts game Star Wars: 1313 and the Uncharted series.
It’s unclear, however, how much of that original premise will make it into the final game. In October 2017, EA announced plans to shutter Visceral. The publisher said the game is still in development at EA Vancouver, which had already been working on the game in a support capacity. The company announced that EA Vancouver would be assisted by other EA studios as well. Executive Vice President of EA Patrick Söderlund described the Visceral game as “a story-based, linear adventure game.”
The decision to close the studio seems to be centered around the decision to drastically alter the game’s structure to create something more open-ended.
“We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life,” Soderlund said. “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.”
Hennig’s continued involvement in the project seems unlikely. In a statement to IGN, EA said it is “in discussions with Amy about her next move.” EA also specified that EA Vancouver will use assets made for the Visceral game in the new project.
From the sounds of it, the still untitled game will be reworked into a less linear experience.
What’s the story?
While there’s no way to know how the project’s story will change following Visceral’s dissolution, rumors about the game’s setting and characters suggested the game may take place between the events of the original Star Wars film and The Empire Strikes Back. Fansite Making Star Wars reported that Todd Stashwick, who is co-writing the game alongside Amy Hennig, will be playing a character called “Dodger.” Stashwick wrote and starred in an early version of Uncharted 4 prior to Hennig’s departure, and you can hear him in the game’s original teaser trailer.
On the run from the Empire after dodging the draft — hence his name — Dodger reportedly works with villain Jabba the Hutt in an effort to make enough money to remove his name from an Imperial hit list. During this time, he’ll encounter a much larger threat he must confront involving the destruction of his home world, Alderaan.
While these rumors came out when the game was in development at Visceral, it’s possible that the “reimagining of the central elements of the game” may still involve some of these elements.
When can we play it?
With the move to EA Vancouver, this untitled Star Wars project is now even further off than before. In the post about Visceral closing down, Söderlund said a new launch window will be provided “in the future.”
Update: Edited to reflect the closure of Visceral Games.