Electronic Arts (EA) hasn’t had the easiest time with its Star Wars projects. There have been multiple cancellations, including one which led EA to shut down Visceral Games in 2017, ending the studio’s work on a project known as Ragtag under Amy Hennig. Zach Mumbach, former producer at Visceral Games, spoke with the MinnMaxShow about his time working at Visceral and gave additional details on this canceled game.
“The sequence of events was like – ‘hey, we have a studio with their own engine who make really high quality single-player games – the Dead Space series, right – and we’re going to take that studio, move them to Frostbite and have them make a Battlefield game,'” Mumbach says.
As a result of this, a lot of the staff at Visceral who were experienced with singleplayer games left the studio and multiplayer-focused developers were hired. Then, the studio pivoted again from Battlefield Hardline over to Star Wars Ragtag, a third-person singleplayer title.
“That’s the thing which is hard for me to get over,” Mumbach explains. “Who’s making this plan? There is no plan, obviously. We were experts at this type of game two years ago and then we re-made our studio. And it was hard. And we pulled it off. And right when we were done it’s like ‘go back to what you guys did before’. And we were like ‘well those guys who were good at what we did before left’.”
Mumbach says that working with Amy Hennig was amazing, that under her the studio had a chance to make “the greatest Star Wars game ever made and a possible Game of the Year contender.” Mumbach notes that a lot of it came down to timing and that leadership executives at EA were focused on multiplayer titles like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and that they sent out a press release saying “No one cares about single-player any more.”
Needless to say EA has somewhat changed since then, with Respawn Entertainment’s singleplayer adventure Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order crossing 10 million players as of May. Another Star Wars game is slated for this fall, with Motive Studio’s Star Wars: Squadrons releasing on October 2, 2020.
5v5, Empire vs New Republic
Star Wars: Squadrons places players in Vanguard Squadron or Titan Squadron with vicious dogfights and a variety of different starships. It’s even got full cross-play, so you can play with your friends no matter where you buy it.