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EA reportedly cancels open-world Star Wars project (update)

Updated January 18, 2019: Kotaku updated its story and said that EA Vancouver is now working on another small-scale Star Wars project. It's unclear if this is a single-player or multiplayer game, but we do know that it's not a sprawling open-world experience. Speaking with Kinda Funny Games, Star Wars writer Gary Whitta said, "It has been catastrophically mismanaged. If I were Disney, I'd be... furious. I saw a bunch of that game, and it looked terrific. It would have been Star Wars Uncharted."

It seems like EA's problems with the Star Wars franchise aren't going to end anytime soon. When Star Wars Battlefront II released, the title was panned by critics and gamers alike for its pay-to-win microtransactions. It even sparked an international crackdown on loot boxes in countries like the United States, Belgium, and Australia.

After that fiasco, EA announced that Visceral Games — the Dead Space team working on a linear Star Wars game — was shutting down. However, that wasn't the end for that team's Star Wars game. The linear adventure was rebooted as an open-world experience and placed into the capable hands of EA Vancouver.

You may recognize EA Vancouver as the support team from franchises like FIFA, but the studio is made up for industry veterans and features a lot of talent. According to a report by Kotaku, "when EA Vancouver took over, it rebooted this Star Wars project entirely, keeping some of the art assets, but transforming it into an open-world game."

The report claims that this open-world Star Wars game has been cancelled by EA. It's unclear why this is the case, and the company didn't respond to Kotaku's request for an official statement either. What is clear that there is considerable turmoil at EA when it comes to the Star Wars franchise. Respawn Entertainment — the developer behind Titanfall — is also working on a Star Wars game called Jedi: Fallen Order which should launch in 2019. Here's hoping that that project is on firm ground because the EA Vancouver cancellation is somewhat of a shock.

During the last earnings call, EA openly discussed EA Vancouver's open-world Star Wars game and assured investors that it was managing the property well. Hopefully we'll learn more about what happened at EA Vancouver in the coming days to get a better picture of the situation.

What do you think of this? Let us know. Do you think there's another open-world Star Wars game in development at EA?

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • EA has severely hurt the Star Wars image for gamers and it sucks. Battlefront isn't even a bad game, but it lacked content from the start, still doesn't have a ton, and their handling of it has sucked.
  • Graphically, it's not a bad game, but the maps were terrible. In order to make them look good they produced a lot of nice scenery but gave you limited access to it. Most maps were designed to funnel the battles into narrow corridors where you had to slug it out. Options for flanking or pincer strategies were extremely limited and it was almost impossible to sneak past anyone using alternate routes to a goal.
  • This would be a great concept for a game in the hands of ANY company OTHER than EA.
    So to be honest...I'd rather see it cancelled than released under EA. 'cause you'd likely pay 70€ for the base game with a limited territory and everything in it - including opening up the rest of the map - would be locked behind micro-transactions and loot crates.
  • I wonder how long it will be before EA start charging you extra for day one patches.
  • SW Openworld: Forgot that this open world game even existed. Thought it was cancelled after Visceral Games was removed from it. The Visceral (Amy Henning) game was rumoured to be a micromanaged mess which lead to the studios removal. Hence the reported completely reboot @ EA V and now cancellation. EA V has been moved onto a new SW game according to Jason Schreier. That Star Wars license must cost a lot. The EA management must be wondering why their fully funded, fully staffed new and old studios can't deliver a game in 3yrs. It will be interesting to hear what happens on the investors call. EA has had some mess ups this past 12months that make the day to day operations look chaotic. Set backs are one thing but poor structures and systems aren't good.
  • ea will most probably come out with something like nfs mw (2005) remake....when they just think they need money.
    something they know will sell crysis,dead space may be.
  • Both Crysis and Dead Space were canned because the sequels got way too expensive compared to how much they were selling.
  • A Star Wars done like the Witcher 3 and the latest Assassins Creed games would be damn amazing! There is a lot of potential for something like this with a SWKOTOR vibe
  • I agree Battlefront2 isn't a bad game. Dice can make great games. Total shame they aren't owned by someone other than EA. It's time for Disney to revoke EAs licence star wars and give it to square Enid or Ubisoft. EAs greed ruins great games fact.
  • I agree that the SW license should be considered to another publisher at this point. I remember when these games used to be FUN!
  • Just how hard could it be to do a proper Star Wars game 😂
  • Disney should really consider ending the licensing contract with EA and give another developer a chance to create some great Star Wars games.
  • I can't help but think that it's not helping that Disney has really tainted the whole Star Wars brand with that crappy movies they came out with. And as soon as I heard they were going to try the open universe angle, I immediately wondered if the devs have the chops or resources for that. I'm a huge Elite Dangerous fan (after getting tremendously excited and then tremendously disappointed by what was happening in the Star Citizen camp), and it's not a small matter to take on a living, open game like that. Star Citizen has been hacking at this almost since the Wing Commander/Privateer days, and they STILL don't have that thing ready to roll in any real sense. ED is MUCH more mature and successful, yet even THAT is a work-in-progress. When you have already played musical chairs with the Star Wars game regarding it's design, gameplay and even who's developing it, it would be no surprise if the potential customer base evaporates. I remember how much I enjoyed X-Wing and Tie Fighter. I just have no interest in the Star Wars franchise anymore from a gaming standpoint, and I'm just about spent when it comes to the movie universe. It's pretty sad when "Rogue One" was the only recent movie I've enjoyed.
  • I'm sorry to hear that you don't like the new Star Wars movies, I liked them very much.
    But whether you like the new movies or not doesn't chance the fact that any company should be able to create much better games for this franchise. I'm really disappointed in EA.
  • For me, as someone who loved episodes 4, 5 and 6 and hated episodes 1, 2 and 3, I had high hopes for 7 and 8. Both were just horrible story-telling, and ruined beloved characters--particularly Luke. As for the games, I always feel that games based on an established movie or comic franchise should be true to the concept, story and characters as well as be engaging as a game. So, I don't necessarily agree that "any company" should be able to do it. Some have better chops at certain types of gameplay than others. And, frankly, just I like I rarely like movies directed/written by people who weren't enthusiasts or even familiar with the pre-existing stories and background (because they usually suck at continuing the theme), I think games based on them should be developed with guidance from people who were also enthusiasts. At least, that's just me.
  • No, scuba is correct. The movies are terrible. Then take in the fact that Disney has tossed out some incredible canon (especially pre-episode 1) and it's depressing.
  • It's as if EA is f****ng retarded.
  • i love battlefield and pubg I don't care for EA
  • I delete PUBG 2 hours after starting to play it. Pure rubbish.
  • Don't agree. It's probably just not a game for you. It's a decent game (I'm not gonna call it good or innovative), it used to be trash at launch but much like NMS they stuck to it and tried making it better. Which they have. Servers are stable now, and hackers are minimum (unless you live in NA).