It’s not good news if you were hoping for a sequel as EA close Battlefield Hardline studio Visceral Games. The developers were currently working on an action-adventure title based in the Star War universe, which will apparently now be taken over by the EA Vancouver team.
Battlefield Hardline was originally released in March 2015, with development led by Visceral Games. As with most modern major releases, plenty of other studios were also involved, including EA Dice, Criterion Games, DICE LA, EA Montreal and Hypnos Entertainment.
Focusing on police Special Response Units and criminals embroiled in a Miami drug war, Battlefield Hardlines was generally praised for the technical achievements and multiplayer. That includes new multiplayer modes, decent collectibles, and plenty of destructive set piece events, including sending a construction crane crashing into a building and much more.
But the game also drew mixed reviews for the single player campaign. The episodic story of new Miami detective Nick Mendoza promised a non-linear experience. But many people saw it as simplistic, lacking tension, and undermined by poor single player AI.
The single player experience might have been one reason Uncharted director Amy Hennig was hired by Visceral to helm the Star Wars game, but it sounds like EA has decided players don’t want a ‘story-based, linear adventure game’ according to a blog post by EA’s Patrick Soderlund.
“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.”
The timing comes just a month before the release of Star Wars Battlefront 2, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. That title is led by EA DICE, with Criterion Games and Motive Studios, and is looking pretty good.
It’s obviously sad for anyone whose job might be affected at Visceral Games. Formerly known as EA Redwood Shores, it was previously home to Sledgehammer Games founder Glen Schofield. And as EA Redwood it has a history going back to Future Cop: LAPD in 1998. It also developed first person Bond title ‘James Bond 007 in… Agent Under Fire’ in 2001 for the PS2, GameCube and Xbox, which is one of the few to not only not base itself on a film or book in the Bond series, but also not feature the current Bond actor (then Pierce Brosnan), instead combining English actors Adam Blackwood (voice), and Andrew Bicknell (likeness).
As Visceral Games it’s been best known for the Dead Space series.