EA has closed down Visceral Games

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

  1. DSoup

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  2. Jupiter

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    "Honestly, it was a mercy killing,” said one former Visceral employee. “It had nothing to do with whether it was gonna be single player. I don’t think it had anything to do with that. That game never could’ve been good and come out.”
     
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  3. Nisaaru

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    They also blame Dead Space 3 not reaching 5m sales. But is that a surprise? If you release games 6 months before the next console generation without a port their sales will suffer. The same happened to the excellent Splinter Cell Blacklist.

    P.S. DS3 was the last 360 game I bought 2013 and I waited for a XB1 version of Blacklist which never came so I got the 360 version almost a year later at a fire sale.
     
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  4. Billy Idol

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    Interesting read. Gives a good perspective on many things that happened/many bad decisions made and surprisingly reveals that it is not all EAs fault, but that at the end, the dev team just wasn’t productive and had nothing to show.

    At the end, all things considered, very understandable why EA moved on. Also, this studio had nothing to anymore with the studio that brought us DS1-DS3, so I have a hard time feeling emotional about it.
     
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  5. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    The stuff about Amy Hennig is quite surprising. Excepting her sudden departure from Naughty Dog I had the impression she was well liked and got on with others but she clearly had problems settling into the way that Visceral was setup. It sounds like she was wanted to ape teh Naughty Dog setup but with her in total control of absolutely everything, including level design and gameplay, which is outside of her experience. No wonder nothing ever got done, you just can't have one person being in charge of everything. :nope:
     
  6. Rangers

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    Yeah I read one article That Amy's big visions was going to be the hero was a wisecracking rogue. Gosh, sounds NOTHING like Uncharted! Way to do something new, Amy.

    Reminds me how Cliffy B left epic and went dark a few years to bring us basically, Unreal Tournament 2017. How creative, Cliff.
     
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  7. BRiT

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    IN SPACE!


    :lol:
     
  8. BRiT

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    EA cancels the Star Wars game that transitions from Visceral to Vancouver.

    Maybe Disney's plan all along was to kill off as many EA Studios as it could?

     
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  9. Tkumpathenurpahl

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    Haha. In that case, bravo Disney! Shitting the bed with The Last Jedi was almost worth it.

    Really though, EA keeps impressing with their reverse Midas touch.

    Time to just rename themselves to "FIFA co."
     
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  10. ToTTenTranz

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    Jason Schreier updated the story by saying the open-world game (codename "Orca") was cancelled because it was somehow still in very early production stages, so they're instead rushing out a linear game to come out in 2020 for next-gen console release window.

    What I think:

    1 - EA Vancouver doesn't make anything other than FIFA an NFL. The last non-sports game they did was a Call of Duty port for the Wii, 11 years ago. So they probably didn't have the know-how and talent to properly kickstart a vast open-world game, and production obviously got delayed.

    2 - Disney has been massively fucking up the Star Wars brand and interest for the franchise is at a historical low since before Force Awakens. This is an especially bad timing for them because they're just opening this year the two Star Wars theme parks which reportedly cost >$1B each (with massive maintenance costs of course). Also because they were counting on Star Wars content to be an added value to their brand new streaming service, which is becoming less valuable by the day. After Last Jedi, Solo was a flop of massive losses and enthusiasm for Ep. IX isn't great. So Disney is more desperate than ever to breathe new life on Star Wars.

    3 - With news that "Orca" was only coming out in 2021 or later, Disney cast its wrath on EA like they did with the Battlefront II loot boxes, and rightly so because EA has been nothing but incompetent with the brand. So they probably put a deadline on EA to launch a decent Star Wars game in time for 2020 or else.

    4 - EA could either A) start a spending spree and relocate lots of other teams to work on Orca to accelerate development, or they could B) scratch it to make a single player linear game with the assets they already have. Now "Orca" was initially designed as a Wilson Lootbox game when those were at an all-time high, which is why Visceral and Amy Hennig were booted and the Wilson Lootbox experts (FIFA devs) were brought in. After Battlefront II fucked this up so much to the point of bringing government attention worldwide, their original lootbox design wasn't going to succeed. Also, there's a AAA videogame crash going on right now, and EA is cutting costs across the board, so they went with B).

    5 - EA cancelled "Orca" and is now scrambling to find assets to build a game in ~18 months. 1313 assets, Visceral assets, Amy Hennig story, plus whatever frostbite optimizations for adventure games they can gather for a single player game (maybe they'll go with a FPS just because Frostbite is friendly with those).



    So for all the constraints the game will probably have no lootboxes, no open-world, no multiplayer. Just a single player linear game so that Disney doesn't find contractual reasons to cancel EA's Star Wars license and sue them in the process. Which is exactly what Amy Hennig was making with Visceral, and LucasArts before them with 1313.
    I bet and hope Amy Hennig and the Visceral team are laughing right now.



    If you look at EA Vancouver's repertoire, that's pretty much what that dev studio does.
     
  11. ultragpu

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    Never knew it was used to be open world but hey can't say I'm half disappointed since it's now aiming for next gen and linear experience. However I doubt EA has the talent to pull a God of War at this stage tho, at the very least it would look shiny on 10 tf machines.
     
  12. ToTTenTranz

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    They could pull it off if they got DICE working on it. But after 2 failed/lukewarm projects in a row (Battlefront 2, Battlefield V), their future at EA might be a bit trembled.

    But EA Vancouver being able to pull off a great linear story game?
    Unless they acquired lots of talent from elsewhere, I don't see how the team that's been basically making re-skins and roster changes of the same FIFA+NHL games for the last ~20 years with increased focus on lootbox monetization were going to make a story-based single player game.

    I mean we all know why EA Vancouver got the job the Star Wars project, and it wasn't for their library of successful story-based games:
    Imagine coming from Naughty Dog and being the writer for the pop culture juggernauts that are the Legacy of Kain and Uncharted series, you're making a presentation on what you're universally known to do best and all of a sudden some no-name shit-for-brains asshole with a degree in economics makes you a question like that.
    Good thing she bailed, honestly.
     
  13. Tkumpathenurpahl

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    I'd never seen that quote before.... Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!

    Well, that's reason enough to make my own, impotent protest and never give EA any money. You don't squander Amy Hennig. Amy Fucking Hennig! And you certainly don't pick loot boxes over having a great artist produce great art. Fucking nitwits.
     
  14. AlBran

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  15. ultragpu

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    Not that I was gonna buy Anthem anyway but after hearing all that I'm skipping whatever EA is making next until they repent.
     
  16. milk

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    How much lower has EA's public image have to be dragged down into until they loose their drunk on loot boxes?
     
  17. ToTTenTranz

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    There's way too much money to be made with the wilson lootbox for EA to ever stop using it in games because of just public image.

    [​IMG]

    Yeah you'll see Andrew Wilson in interviews saying over and over that EA is "100% committed to the gamers", "giving full creative freedom to developers", blah blah blah but EA is only ever going to stop with the slot-machine paid lootboxes when the governments worldwide declare that games carrying those are for adults only.
    And until that happens, EA (and Valve, Activision & friends) are going to fight tooth and nail (lobbying, fake news, social media, etc.) to keep those sweet hundreds of millions of revenue coming from the dopamine rush of children addicted to gambling.
     
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  18. AzBat

    AzBat Agent of the Bat
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    Thanks for that, but the original source is Kotaku of all places.

    Tommy McClain
     
  19. ToTTenTranz

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    You're right.
    It's linked in these last couple of pages also.


    I just re-read the whole thing now and it went like this:

    ?? - 2013: LucasArts working on Star Wars 1313 - a single-player linear game
    2013 - 2014: Visceral picks up on it, turns it around and starts working on Star Wars Yuma - a multiplayer space pirates game
    2014 - 2017: Amy Hennig joins Visceral, turns it around and starts working on Star Wars Ragtag - a single-player linear game (with secondary multiplayer mode)
    2017 - 2018: EA Vancouver takes over the project, turns it around and starts working on Star Wars Orca - a multiplayer open world game
    2019 - 2020: EA Vancouver can't make Orca in time, takes up whatever was left from 1313 and Ragtag, tries to wrap-up a single-player game in time for 2020 next-gen release window.


    This thing has Duke Nukem Forever written all over it.
    Who wants to bet we'll see 10-year-old looking assets in the middle of the game?
     
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  20. milk

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    I can understand them wanting to milk that trend. That's one thing I understand well, in fact.
    But not going all-in for a single race horse is just basic healthy business practice. Specially in entertainment. You don't wanna be the AllwaysOnline-OpenWorld-Microtransaction-Only games company when that market segment crashes.
    A company the size of EA, of all places, should have a wealth of studios making different types of games from the one trend that happens to be popular right now. Even if the majority of studios is still going for the easy cash, leave some different stuff going on, just in case. It's a contingency measured if nothing else. It's not like single player story driven games are a dead genre anyway. Sony has been making a killing with them. They sold millions with Spiderman just now, on a single platform, a game commissioned by Marvel (read Disney) because I assume they were tired of seeing that IP being associated with crap cash-grab products. I would also assume that same Disney does not want that same thing to happen to their other recently acquired Star Wars IP.
    Sure successful lootboxey games print EA lot's of money, but how much can you saturate that market? How many people who are of the type that will actually buy these games and fall for the micro-transaction trap actually are there. Can you keep making more games that operate that way and new consumers for them will keep popping up out of nowhere? Or are they just investing millions in making more games to compete for the same pool of idiots? Not that smart of an investment if that's the case. Specially if by insisting on certain market trends you suck out all appeal out of titles and they end up disappointing in sales and online playerbase like it already happened other recent EA releases, including a Star Fucking Wars one. A successful single player title makes more money than a always online microtransaction flop.
    Beside the wasted money, one could even argue more of these titles just accelerates the process of government wanting to regulate that madness, and their consumer themselves realizing they are being played with.
    Sounds like they'll just waste even more money than they already did with this thing. Tarnish yet more their reputation, drag Star Wars along with it, and shine a light on how shit EA and loot boxes are for a potential new group of people who didn't hate either of these things yet (casual gamer Star Wars fans) all while straining their relationship with Disney, who they must have spent top dollar to lure into partnering up with them.
    But what do I know, I'm not an executive taking partners to strip clubs and telling my creators to stick whatever the new market trend is inside their damn product because I saw some graphs that tell me they make money.
     
    #60 milk, Jan 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
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