Early last week the video gaming world received a shocker of an update as it was announced that Electronic Arts would be shutting down Visceral Games and moving the development of their untitled Star Wars game to a new division. The title was originally planned to be a story-based adventure game, but with this latest move to the EA Vancouver team, it’s anyone’s guess as to how much of the game will eventually be changed.
A former BioWare gameplay designer (via this Game Informer article) named Manveer Heir attempts to shed some (potential) light on what went into EA’s decision to close the Visceral doors and re-think the creation of the new Star Wars game. Heir believes EA has shifted their gaming focus to include more microtransactions in order to get players to keep returning to their titles over and over again to consume new content. More of Heir’s comments on the matter are copied below.
“The problem is that we’ve scaled up our budgets to $100M+ and we haven’t actually made a space for good linear single-player games that are under that,” he says. “But why can’t we have both? Why does it have to be one or the other? And the reason is that EA and those big publishers in general only care about the highest return on investment. They don’t actually care about what the players want; they care about what the players will pay for.”