Visceral Games was closed due to economic reason and gamers don't like linear games anymore, says EA CFO
I can understand the economic part, but the latter... Not as much.
EA closed Visceral Games back in October and in doing so, woke up the fears that single-player games were slowly being pushed off until they no longer existed. The studio's closure came paired with the announcement that the Star Wars game the studio had been working on will be 'broadened' to allow more of a 'variety' of players to play the game.
According to a report from DualShockers, EA has finally come out to with more details on why they decided to close Visceral Games. EA's Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen participated in a presentation for investors at the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology, where he opened up about Visceral Games.
Jorgensen detailed that the studios' attempt to build a game that "really pushed gameplay to the next level" paired with the cost of development and the fact that, in EA's opinion, people do not enjoy linear games as much as they used to, made the studio an economic drain.
When the studio first closed in October, a bit of investigative journalism suggested that even developers at Visceral knew how expensive the studio was and were even surprised that EA was still invested in it. EA's wording in the announcement of the closure led plenty to believe that the game's linear single-player experience is what led to the closure.
Jorgensen detailed that the Star Wars games at Visceral was a “much more linear game, that people don’t like as much today as they did five years ago or ten years ago” and that EA wouldn't be able to pull enough money out of a game type that isn't popular anymore.
According to the report from DualShockers, Jorgensen went on to detail that EA had to act and their action was to “cut the bridge when you realize can’t really make a lot of money on something.” Because they couldn't make enough money to balance the development costs, EA closed Visceral and took the assets from the game they were working on and gave it to another EA studio to be repurposed into a game that is better suited for today's audience - meaning that it will be much less linear than it was shaping up to be.
Jorgensen added that a "large portion" of the developers at Visceral who were affected by the studio's closure are being re-employed on other EA games and EA is attempting to "keep as many as they can."