According to people familiar with the company, it would seem that Electronic Arts has canceled its open-world Star Wars game. The game, announced alongside the shutdown of Visceral Games back in 2017, had been in development at EA’s large office in Vancouver and was believed to be early on in its development cycle.
EA Vancouver, a large studio that mostly handles support for a variety of the publisher’s games including FIFA and Battlefront, had been working on this open-world Star Wars game since October 2017, when EA closed Visceral Games. Until then, Visceral—best known for its popular Dead Space horror series—was developing its own Star Wars game. That project, code-named Ragtag, was a linear action-adventure game directed by Uncharted director Amy Hennig. EA Vancouver had been assisting on the project, and when EA closed Visceral Games on October 17, 2017, the Vancouver studio took it over.
But it wouldn’t be accurate to say that EA Vancouver’s Star Wars was the same game as Ragtag. When EA Vancouver took over, it rebooted this Star Wars project entirely, keeping some of the art assets but transforming it into an open-world game.
Now, that project is canceled, too. (EA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
EA had not shown any of EA Vancouver’s open-world Star Wars game publicly, but the publisher talked about it when it announced Visceral’s demise. “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,” the company said at the time. “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.”
In June 2018, EA announced that it had expanded its Motive studio—previously a single office in Montreal led by industry veteran Jade Raymond—to a Vancouver location as well. That one would also be located in the publisher’s large office in Burnaby, British Columbia, as a division of EA Vancouver.
On October 22, 2018, EA announced that it had installed executive Samantha Ryan to oversee Motive. Subsequently, Raymond left the company.
It’s not clear what EA Vancouver’s next new game will be. We’ve heard it might be a different Star Wars project. Respawn, the Los Angeles-based studio responsible for Titanfall, is also making a Star Wars game, called Jedi: Fallen Order. That game is currently scheduled for fall 2019.
It is understood that no lays were made as part of this decision. Also, this cancellation has no effect on the release of Jedi: Fallen Order, which is still expected later this year.