Updated: EA has provided a response, which we’ve included below.
In a move that strongly suggests once again that Electronic Arts (EA) doesn’t quite have a handle on the whole Star Wars thing, it appears that the video game company has canceled their open-world title that has been in various stages of development since 2017. The game, which apparently proved to be too ambitious for EA and its many-headed management teams, had gone through a number of leadership changes, reinventions, and different designs before being canceled entirely. However, the previously announced title Jedi: Fallen Order is still on track to debut later this year (as far as we can tell), and EA has set a 2020 release for a scaled back version of the canceled game. Perhaps all is not yet lost!
Kotaku reports that EA has canceled their open-world(s) Star Wars game in which players would take on the role of a bounty hunter in order to roam the known and unknown universe, make deals with different factions, and more than likely fight your way out of scrapes using blasters and jetpacks. That title was originally codenamed “Ragtag” when it was more of a linear action-adventure game under the now-defunct Visceral Games (Dead Space series); Amy Hennig (Uncharted series) was set to direct. Since the shuttering of Visceral, EA Vancouver took over the project in late 2017 and rebooted it as the open-world game codenamed “Orca”; this version of the game is now canceled, though it’s important to note that it was in early stages of development and little had been seen by the general public.
But while we may not get to see the intended version of the open-world Star Wars game anytime soon, there are more Star Wars titles still to come. There are few details as to EA Vancouver’s next moves where the franchise is concerned, but it appears that their outlook over the next few years favored a smaller-scale Star Wars project aimed at a late 2020 release, most likely. There’s a good possibility that some of the artwork and other content from the Ragtag and Orca projects will make its way into this new scaled-back version if only to save some time and shave some dollars off the budget. If the new, unnamed, unconfirmed, and unannounced title does arrive in late 2020, it might just be timed to the arrival of the next-gen gaming consoles, but that’s a lot of speculation with few details to stand on, at the moment.
Some more good news on this front is that EA did not let anyone from the in-development teams go, meaning they’ll likely get to continue their work on the Star Wars title and hopefully see it come to fruition in whatever shape it ultimately ends up taking. EA’s leadership, when it comes to the franchise, has been in a state of flux with members coming and going over the years the now-canceled game was in development, but outside of EA Vancouver, other studios are still hard at work. LA-based Respawn, the team behind the Titanfall games, has Jedi: Fallen Order set for a Fall 2019 release. We’ll have a better sense of what that game will be like when we see something (anything, really) from it.
Update: (Via EW)
“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.”