#ElectronicArts (#EA) has canceled development of an open-world #StarWars game, which they had originally announced when they had also announced the shutdown of #VisceralGames back in 2017. The video game that had been under development at Visceral, codenamed #Ragtag and under the helm of Amy Henning, was being partially developed at EA’s offices in Vancouver, Canada. After the closure of Visceral, EA Vancouver totally rebooted the Ragtag project and transformed it into the open-world Star Wars game that EA was more interested in. Some of the art assets developed for Ragtag were all that was kept of Ragtag for the open-world game. (EA Vancouver handles support for a variety of the publisher’s games, including FIFA and Battlefront.)
Unlike Ragtag, EA had not shown any of EA Vancouver’s open-world Star Wars game publicly. EA talked about it when they 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.”
EA had codenamed the open-world Star Wars game as #Orca, which would have involved playing as a scoundrel or bounty hunter who could explore various open-world planets and work with different factions across the Star Wars universe.
According to insiders, EA canceled Orca so that it could instead focus on a smaller-scale Star Wars project that they could release sooner, possibly late 2020, which coincides with possible new next-generation game consoles will be released.
Reaction to the game’s cancelation has been largely negative, including from “Rogue One” writer Gary Whitta, who said,
“It has been catastrophically mismanaged. If I were Disney, I’d be fucking furious. I saw a bunch of that game, and it looked terrific. It would have been Star Wars Uncharted.”
EA’s record with Star Wars video games is certainly mixed. While Battlefront was good, Battlefront II became highly controversial when news of EA’s micro-transactions built into the expensive game infuriated the gaming community. Only time will tell how the community reacts to the future games.