With the overwhelming success of the Star Wars: Battlefront II Beta it comes as no surprise that EA recently announced that they have dissolved Visceral Games, moving those that had been working for the developer onto other teams and other projects, which has subsequently halted production on the eagerly anticipated single player Star Wars game that Visceral Games has been developing for the past three years. With those that had been working on the single player game at Visceral having been assigned to other project's it will also come as no surprise that EA is looking to reassess its plans for the game to incorporate replayability and longevity with the title which has fueled rumors that EA, who have recently announced that future Star Wars games will be developed by EA Vancouver, will be remodelling the single player game into an open world shared shooter similar to Bungie and Activision's Destiny.
Unsurprisingly this move has sparked outrage among fans and gamers both who had been looking forward to a next-generation single player Star Wars game and those that had enjoyed Visceral Games' recent Dead Space series, whose future now remains uncertain following the reassignment of the developer's employees.
Historically for long time gamer's this news isn't actually that surprising. It may have seemed as though EA was moving away from the unpopular strategies it had practiced in years past with its revelation that Battlefront II would answer fans issue with the previous title and adopt a DLC and microtransaction policy similar to GTA Online and Overwatch, but ultimately a Leopard can never change its spots. In previous years EA has used their influence to publish, purchase and then dissolve great developers of yesteryear including Westwood Studios (Command & Conquer), Maxis (The Sims and Sim-City), Bullfrog Productions (Syndicate), Criterion Software (Burnout), and more recently Pop Games (Plants vs Zombies), and Lucasarts (the Monkey Island series). Sadly Visceral Games has become another casualty of EA's monopoly on promising new developers that enjoyed great yet brief exposure courtesy of the software publishing giant.
The rumor of a Star Wars game that would be similar to Destiny, may initially seem like a knee-jerk reaction from EA to Bungie's continued success with their shared shooter, yet looking past the loss of Visceral Games, this could actually be a good move by EA. With the right development team and design model, an open world Star Wars shared shooter could become one of the licenses greatest video game adaptations. Fans of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic will remember the games vast personalization options that allowed players to create the Star Wars character of their dreams.
Imagine the same concept together with the ability to hyperdrive from Coruscant to Tatooine in your own customized space-faring vessel, shopping for new weapons and armor in Mos Eisley, venturing out across the sand dunes on your own speeder before taking out an encampment of Tusken Raiders for some impoverished moisture farmers or tracking down a wayward smuggler for the regions Huttese gangster.
If EA can realize this game concept and make the personalization options wide enough they could be forgiven for this latest transgression. That said, one could also argue why EA couldn't have developed all three titles - Battlefront II, a single player title and an open world shared shooter?
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