EA has closed down Visceral Games

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Jupiter, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Jupiter

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,420
    Likes Received:
    959
    “EA is shutting down Visceral Games, the studio behind games like Battlefield Hardline and Dead Space, the publisher said today. The Star Wars game in development at Visceral will be revamped and move to a different studio, EA says, although it will now be something completely different.

    "Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe," EA’s Patrick Söderlund said in a blog post. “In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. 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.”

    Söderlund added that Visceral will be “ramping down and closing” and that “we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA.”


    https://kotaku.com/ea-shuts-down-visceral-games-1819623990?IR=T
     
    #1 Jupiter, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
  2. Nisaaru

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    878
    Likes Received:
    196
    Yikes, I really enjoyed their Dead Space series. This is a huge loss.
     
  3. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    7,030
    Likes Received:
    3,101
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It's clear the game they were building did not have enough potential for season passes, DLC and microtransactions.
     
    Clukos, iroboto, London-boy and 10 others like this.
  4. JPT

    JPT
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes Received:
    281
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Amy Henning was unable to rescue the SW game then....
     
  5. Scott_Arm

    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    13,276
    Likes Received:
    3,725
    Damn ... I was looking forward to a good third-person star wars adventure game. I was kind of wondering why things had been so silent. I guess it never came together. Still, pretty terrible for the studio and staff.
     
  6. Pixel

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    981
    Likes Received:
    437
    Will AAA developing studios eventually go the way of the retail space? A few monstrously big entities that make games that are so monstrously huge, immersive and perhaps even graphically ahead of the pack they are good enough to service most of the consumerbase and they kill off a large portion of the industry? Maybe in 10 years there will be a handful of publishers making $1billion dollar mega projects that gobble up a large portion of the core gaming audience, at which point diversity in the AAA space will have shrunken to a small fraction of what it is now.
     
  7. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,145
    Likes Received:
    5,081
    AAA games are overrated as games and are more often than not an attempt at a graphical showcase (The Order, Ryse, etc.). It's relatively rare, IMO, for a AAA game to actually be a good game. Hence, most of my time now is spent with big budget indie games (almost AA?) like X-Com or just plain indie games (even some of the faux indie small budget games from AAA publishers).

    Regards,
    SB
     
    milk, iroboto and JPT like this.
  8. Entropy

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Arguably (or is it even arguable, really?) this already happened.
    Mobile, for better or worse, isn’t nearly as publisher driven.
     
  9. Rangers

    Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    Messages:
    12,322
    Likes Received:
    1,120

    There's been massive contraction already. There's charts that show retail consoles releases in a year, IIRC a few years ago they were 1000, now like 200. You still get the people saying "omg, fall season is so overcrowded with big releases!"

    Personally I haven't noticed too much, I imagine the bottom 800 games were the ones to go, so the 5-8 huge holiday titles, maybe 30-40 large releases a year, that I notice, are still there.

    Another thing really in danger is AAA single player games, now it's games as service, offering typically almost up to unlimited gameplay (Destiny, Overwatch, Battlefield, CS:Go, Minecraft, PUBG, or at least a huge open make your own fun world, etc).

    By the same token though, small indie creativity is alive and super strong on PC. You get games of all stripes. For the most part it's pretty great time to game IMO.

    The one game that's really an astonishing success right now is PUBG. Just a phenomenon. I've never really seen a game grow like that, really. So, I imagine all in the gaming space would love to figure out how to be the next PUBG. 18 million sales as last GAF update IIRC, and practically selling another million every few days.

    Player Unknown has a possibly Minecraft-ian phenomenon on their hands.

    Separate to all that, a ton of games are down huge physically in the UK this year. Almost all that I know of. Declines of 50+%.This has to be somewhat troubling for the industry. And as for it being the UK, it's just because that is where we get percentages. It's almost certainly the same in the USA and for that matter worldwide. Digital is increasing, but it by all accounts is not making up those kind of drops. Destiny 2 is one off the top of my head, where D1 sold over 400k physical Uk retail, D2 sold less than 200k of the same. The same type of 50% physical drop D1>D2 in USA was just confirmed by NPD. And again it's far from just Destiny.

    It almost could be that this is EA Visceral is one of the early casualties....
     
  10. ToTTenTranz

    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,979
    Likes Received:
    4,566
    The story-driven Star Wars game that was being developed by Visceral and Amy Hennig with Jade Raymond as executive producer was the only Star Wars game I was looking forward to. They even brought Portal's Kim Swift to work on the game not even 10 months ago.



    I wonder if Disney won't have a say in this. EA's exclusivity contract on Star Wars games certainly has a clause to develop a number of themed games within a time period so they probably can't just drop games like that.
    Disney stopped ABC from cancelling Agents of SHIELD, and this game was supposed to boost a much stronger brand than Agents of SHIELD.




    EA's statement stinks of trying to make the game into a Battlefront-like cash grab with loot boxes.
    I think they're blatantly lying when they claim the change was due to "players' opinions". They're changing because of ben counters' opinions.




    I kind of wish all the toxic Polygons and Kotakus of the world came up with some organized bullshit story about this being a prime example of sexism, how EA shut down the project because it was being helmed by women, toxic masculinity, problematic bla bla bla.
    Perhaps that would create a shitstorm capable of moving EA's hand on this.
     
    Picao84 likes this.
  11. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
    Legend Regular Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    7,895
    Likes Received:
    6,176
    Interesting POVs and tidbits of info here. It is sad to see them go. I do agree with the statements about AAA contracting. Even Shanon Loftis admitted in the recent interview that they've found no formula for success for games. Whether you spend a lot or a little, it's not guaranteed how well the game will be on the market.
     
  12. chris1515

    Veteran Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,503
    Likes Received:
    2,123
    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
    [​IMG]

    The cost of the game was 120 millions (60 millions for development and 60 millions marketing). Not cheap at all
     
  13. tongue_of_colicab

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,445
    Likes Received:
    652
    Location:
    Japan
    If 50% of your budget has to go to marketing you have to wonder if somewhere you aren't doing something wrong.
     
    BRiT, Nisaaru and RootKit like this.
  14. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    40,714
    Likes Received:
    11,167
    Location:
    Under my bridge
    Visibility is everything, so no, I don't know that you'd be doing wrong. How many sales would they have gotten with far less marketing? You also have to commit to marketing way up front, and if you under-do it, you can't realistically back-track. All in all, game economics are just incredibly difficult.
     
    Rangers and Silent_Buddha like this.
  15. mpg1

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,526
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    Something about the numbers from Dead Space 2 don't seem believable. Not profitable with 4 million in sales? 60 million on marketing? I guess if the second is true then the first could be also.

    There are definitely AAA games out there today that are not getting 4 million in sales...
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    40,714
    Likes Received:
    11,167
    Location:
    Under my bridge
    What's the average profit per unit factoring in sales and discounts? If they take $20 on every unit sold, that's only $80 million. If they take $30, that's $120 M - covering costs and advertising at no profit. Of the AAA games that aren't getting 4 million sales, how many make money for the publisher, rather than being supported as loss leaders in that pursuit of the big wins that actually make the money?

    You'd need good data on sales, costs, and profits for lots of titles to be able to make any sort of informed comparison, and we just don't have that data.
     
  17. chris1515

    Veteran Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,503
    Likes Received:
    2,123
    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
    https://kotaku.com/5479698/what-your-60-really-buys

    It is from 2010 but Kotaku collect some data about it

    https://kotaku.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-make-a-big-video-game-1501413649

    Another kotaku article from 2014 about video game budget
     
  18. chris1515

    Veteran Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,503
    Likes Received:
    2,123
    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
    And don't forget the rise of digital sales

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1116442&page=1

     
    #18 chris1515, Oct 18, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  19. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    40,714
    Likes Received:
    11,167
    Location:
    Under my bridge
    Yes, that breakdown has been shown before which is where I got my $20-30 estimate per unit from. $30 from full price sales, dropping from discounts and budget sales. So the max that 4 million sales could get you would be ~$120 million.
    With no data on profits/revenue, it doesn't help. Only shows that the cost of a AA could be anything, and the sales could be anything. You've no way of knowing up front how many sales you're going to make (unless creating a sequel), how much you should budget for marketing, and whether the venture will be profitable or not, or even how profitable if it is.
     
    chris1515 likes this.
  20. chris1515

    Veteran Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,503
    Likes Received:
    2,123
    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
    After the cost depends of where the game is developed San Francisco is very expensive. I think Horizon Zero Dawn is profitable since the last number they gave 3,4 millions sold the 30th April 2017 and 915,000 were from the PlayStation Store coming from the playstation store. And the game was full price all the time and Amsterdam cost of development is much cheaper than US...

    http://www.playstationlifestyle.net...ro-dawn-sales-passes-3-4-million-copies-sold/

    It is very simplified example but if the split for a 60 dollars games is nearly the same than in 2010 and knowing HZD is a first party game no royalties to pay and don't take into account than games are sold in different territory.

    physical release 2485000*34 = 84490000 dollars of revenues
    digital release 915000*60=54900000 dollars of revenues

    139 millions of dollars of revenues as 30th April 2017 for Sony Interactive Entertainment...
     
    bunge likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...