Following the dissolving of LucasArts and cancellation of several in-development Star Wars projects, the future of gaming in that galaxy far, far way has become increasingly clouded. Furthermore, while positive buzz continues to build among movie fans for the J.J. Abrams-led Star Wars Episode 7, game fans were dealt a divisive blow with the announcement that mega-publisher Electronic Arts will oversee all Star Wars-related video game projects. While some gamers remain optimistic that EA and a host of talented third-party developers will return Star Wars video gaming to its former glory (after a string of middle-of-the-road titles from the in-house LucasArts), for the time being there are very few concrete details about what to expect.
Gamers continue to speculate that Battlefield series developer DICE is hard at work resurrecting Battlefront 3 (which was 99% complete before LucasArts scrapped the project) and a batch of domain registrations hint at possible Star Wars game titles (at least one belongs to a new animated TV series) – but the only official word from EA has been to wait for further announcements. However, thanks to job posting from the publisher, we now know that Visceral Games is being tapped to develop one (at least) next-gen title set in the Star Wars universe.
Gamers who are familiar with Visceral Games’ resume will likely point out that, in addition to blockbuster console games like Dead Space 3 and Dante’s Inferno, the developer is also responsible for a mobile Dead Space spin-off title. That said, the job description clearly states that this purposed Star Wars game is both next-gen and intended to deliver a triple-A experience.
Check out notable excerpts from the job description below (or view the full posting at SoloGig):
Senior Game Designer —Star Wars
EA’sVisceral studio is looking for an experienced Senior Game Designer to help lead the design and guide a pre-vis team currently in concept phase on a Next-Gen Star Wars title. You’ll be joining a new team within Visceral that is in the earliest concepting phase of game development.
What you will do:
- Help lead the game design on a next-gen HD Star Wars console title
- Conceptualize, build and script prototype levels for the game
- Develop and support the creation of innovative and engaging next-gen game mechanics through iterative prototyping while maintaining EA’s high standard of quality.
- Shipped 2+ AAA games as a gameplay/systems or level designer, the more breadth and versatility, the better.
- Excellent grasp of level design: scripting, laying out combat spaces, combining core mechanics into fun sequences
- Passion for Star Wars!
As mentioned, the key details point to a blockbuster next-gen game set in the Star Wars canon. However, what kind of game is unclear at this point. Considering the previously mentioned rumors that DICE may actually deliver Battlefront 3, coupled with the fact that Visceral Games hasn’t ever developed a modern first-person shooter (aside from the on-the-rails Dead Space: Extraction), it’s much more likely that the game in question is a third-person shooter in the vein of the core Dead Space series.
Given the high productions values, immersive settings, and cinematic storytelling of the Dead Space franchise, not to mention massive alien worlds and strange creatures, it wouldn’t be surprising if EA tapped the developer to take-on a similarly styled Star Wars game – maybe one that’s based on the Order 67 Expanded Universe storyline? Fans might also wonder if EA completed Battlefront development through DICE, maybe they’ve handed fan-favorite bounty hunter title Star Wars: 1313 over to Visceral Games. That said, count count on it – given that a key point of the job description discusses building and developing a new title from the ground up.
Still with Dante’s Inferno also listed in their resume, it’s possible that EA could have asked Visceral Games to develop a button-mashing action title – serving as a spiritual successor to The Force Unleashed series. That idea is probably less encouraging, especially given the mixed response Dante’s Inferno received from critics and gamers alike – many of which felt as it if was little more than a God of War clone.
It may be some time before we know for sure. While EA is teasing a Star Wars game announcement at E3 2013, it’s hard to imagine that Visceral’s Game will be revealed – given that it’s “currently in concept phase.” Either way, we’ll be in attendance at the expo – and will be sure to update you as we hear more.
Source: SoloGig [via VG247]
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