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EA Cancels Open-World ‘Star Wars’ Game, Issues Statement

Image copyright Lucasfilm

For ten years now, Electronic Arts has held the license to make Star Wars games.  In that time, they have managed two full releases in Battlefront and Battlefront II, both of which were embattled from the start.  Both improved over the course of their lifetimes.  Battlefront II is still releasing new content, having released Obi-Wan Kenobi and General Greivous as playable heroes last fall, and preparing to release Count Dooku this month.  Ultimately both failed to live up to the hype of their predecessors.  EA has also released a handful of mobile games, which are also performing to a middling level.

Now, as first reported by the website Kotaku, word is that EA has canceled one of it’s most hotly anticipated games–EA Vancouver’s open world Star Wars game, code named Orca, allegedly in favor a smaller-scale game that can be produced faster.  Orca had originally been developed by now-defunct studio Visceral Games, who are most famous for their Dead Space games for EA.  At that time, it was planned to be a third person action-adventure game. The studio was shut down by EA in 2017, and ownership of the game went to EA Vancouver, where it became an open-world game.

Electronic Arts released a statement this morning, in a conversation with Gamespot:

There’s been speculation overnight about one of our Star Wars projects. As a natural part of the creative process, the great work by our team in Vancouver continues and will evolve into future Star Wars content and games.  We’re fully committed to making more Star Wars games, we’re very excited about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Respawn, and we’ll share more about our new projects when the time is right.

While it is disappointing that EA has canceled Orca, it’s encouraging that they have done so in favor of multiple other games that can be produced more quickly.  Hopefully one of them, or preferably all of them, will get EA back on track.