EA’s recent announcement that it was shuttering Visceral and “pivoting” (ugh) the Amy Hennig-fronted narrative-centric single-player Star Wars project it had been working on probably didn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
It did, however, rekindle a discussion that last cropped up back in 2010 — once again involving Visceral, interestingly enough, this time with regard to the addition of multiplayer to Dead Space — when EA Games’ Frank Gibeau commented that he believed “fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out” experiences were “finished” and that “online is where the innovation, and the action, is at”.
The “pivoting” of the new Star Wars project is based on many of the same principles as Gibeau’s arguments from 2010: indeed, EA’s executive vice-president Patrick Söderlund claimed that the decision was due to a perceived need to “deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come” — or, to put it another way, the oft-mooted idea of “games as a service”.
I don’t want that. And I’m certain I’m not the only one.