Thanks to a long article published by Kotaku, we have come to know a lot about the development of the Star Wars of Visceral Games, now shifted into other hands, and the atmosphere that led to the closure of the studio.
It seems that several Electronic Arts executives like Jade Raymond, ex-Ubisoft, made a lot of pressure on the team to make a game that could compete with Uncharted 4. The Visceral Games developers’ request seemed absurd: they were creating a new title, the first of this type for many team members, and Electronic Arts already wanted to compete with Naughty Dog.
“Visceral hadn’t even made their own version of Uncharted 1, yet their game was supposed to be better than Uncharted 4?”
Indeed, it is not easy to achieve a title of those proportions. Neither the guys at Naughty Dog did it right away, but they came across a growth track on multiple titles on two different generation of consoles.
The leaders of the company also made a lot of pressure on Visceral to reach a quality level that would guarantee at least a vote of 90 on Metacritic. But the team considered it an almost impossible mission, especially when not even “Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs and even the first Uncharted, were viewed as first steps, games that could be used as stepping stones to reach the heights of something like Uncharted 2.”
“We didn’t have the foundation; we don’t have 13-14 years building on a single engine, doing this specific game like Naughty Dog did,” one former Visceral staffer said.
These, and many other development issues, then contributed to the failure of the promising project and the closure of Visceral Games.