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Dead Space Developer Visceral Games Closes as Star Wars Project is ‘Reimagined’

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Visceral Games Star Wars

EA has announced the closure of Dead Space and Battlefield: Hardline developer Visceral Games resulting from significant changes to the team’s unnamed Star Wars project.

Until now, the game has been billed as a linear, story-focused third-person action game, in keeping with the previous projects of creative director Amy Hennig (Uncharted), but focus testing and market forces have inspired EA to “pivot the design.” While specific details on the revisions have  not yet been available, the company’s phrasing of “a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency” strongly suggests an open-world structure.

Alongside the new design, EA has decided to move lead development duties to EA Vancouver with assistance from other worldwide studios. Visceral Games, meanwhile, is being shuttered, with many of its staff members being shifted to “other projects and teams at EA.”

Furthermore, although a release date for the project was never officially announced, the latest developments have forced a delay beyond the internally-estimated late 2019 window.

Visceral’s Star Wars project was first announced in 2013,  with a brief first look becoming available at E3 2016 and reported story and setting details leaking earlier this year. Whether any of that earlier work will be retained during the course of this redesign remains to be seen.

Although one project is struggling, Star Wars: Battlefront II remains scheduled for release next month.

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Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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Judgment Producer: Friendship System Makes Yagami “A Much More Deeper Character”

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Judgment

Judgment producer Kazuki Hosokawa has discussed new introduction of the friendship system and its effect on creating Yagami’s deeper character.

Judgment shares a lot with the Yakuza series, and, as it turns out, both games were in development at the same time. Players will go back to the streets of Kamurocho, but this time as a dynamic detective named Takayuki Yagami in a new courtroom-thriller narrative. Players will have to subtly follow suspects and search crime scenes for evidence. Judgment will suit Yakuza fans, but casual players should not miss it.

In an interview with Twinfinite, Hosokawa shares more details about the introduction of the friendship system, and the effect on Yagami’s personality.

When asked about why he chose to develop the friendship system, Hosokawa explained the main reason is to reinforce Yagami’s character.

The friendship event actually developed when we were thinking about how to solidify the character of Yagami… Interacting with the townspeople that are also living in Kamurocho gives Yagami a much more deeper character.”

Hosokawa is significantly trying to focus on depth of character for Yagami. His aim appears to be to create a fully dimensional protagonist who draws players into the story. Therefore, using aspects like a home neighbourhood and friendship events help to create simple everyday examples of relationship and character building.

Whilst Hosokawa is predominantly used to making games for PlayStation, he indicated that Rya Ga Gotoku Studio is considering making internal preparations enabling easier switching to the PlayStation 5 for future developments.

“We are definitely thinking as a studio and considering the changes in the platforms… we want to utilize these new specifications whenever we are developing anything new.”

However Hosokawa also did not rule out the possibility of cross-platforming Judgment by porting the title to other platforms.

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