EA’s CEO comments on the closure of Visceral Games

Last month, Electronic Arts stunned the gaming community at large when it revealed it was shutting down its internal development studio Visceral Games and was tasking other internal studios with re-tooling the mysterious single-player Star Wars game Visceral had been working on. Now, EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson has offered additional comments on both the closure and the future of Visceral’s Star Wars title.

Speaking in a recent conference call with investors, Wilson took the time to address Visceral’s closure and what it means for the as-yet-revealed Star Wars project. Within his statement, Wilson specifically addressed the rumors that EA is pivoting the Star Wars game to be more of a multiplayer-focused live service as opposed to a straight single-player game, rumors which Wilson said are untrue:

"Anytime you close a studio, it's a very, very tough decision and something that we take very seriously. We spend a lot of time working through before we make such a decision. But it does happen from time to time as part of the creative process.

During the development process of the game they were working on, we've been testing the game in concert with players, listening to feedback in terms of what and how they wanted to play. And really tracking that closely with fundamental shifts in the marketplace. We are seeing an evolution in the marketplace, and it became clear to us that to deliver an experience that players wanted to come back and enjoy for a long time, that we needed to pivot the design.

"You may have heard the conversation around single-player versus multiplayer or single-player versus live service. wasn't about that conversation. It wasn't about, 'This was just a single-player game needed to be a live service.' It was more about, 'How do we get to a point where the overall gameplay experience was right for players.' We still believe strongly in the Star Wars IP."

Wilson ended his statement by also saying that EA was very impressed with some of the concepts and ideas that Visceral had come up with, and that he actually hopes at least some of those ideas and concepts make it into the new version of the game, whatever form it takes.