Like a phoenix rising from some particularly smoldering ashes, Electronic Arts appears to be hiring for a new open-world Star Wars game, just months after Visceral’s Star Wars project was unceremoniously canceled.
EA’s careers site is currently offering up the opportunity for Lead Online Engineer to help work on a “AAA Star Wars title” that’s currently under development at EA Vancouver. This tells us a couple of things: firstly, we’re getting a new Star Wars game; and secondly, it’s going to have some form of online component.
Visceral’s single-player Star Wars game was canceled in order “to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design.” At the time, the pivot was absurdly obvious, and here it is - online Star Wars. More specifically, this roll asks for a lead online engineer to provide "online features for a Star Wars open world project". Those online features will include “Matchmaking, Asynchronous interactions, Live services, Server-host migration, etc." From the sounds of things, EA is building off of Visceral’s project, which should help speed up the development process somewhat.
There’s not really much that can be gleaned from the job listing but we can at least speculate. If we were to guess, this Star Wars game will probably tap into co-op play, possibly with a shared open-world. This would make it similar to a Destiny or Division type game, although there are also obvious parallels with another key EA product - Anthem. Two co-op sci-fi open-world games may eat into each other’s lunch somewhat so it’s going to be interesting to see how EA hopes to differentiate the two.
The original vision for the Visceral Star Wars project was as a AAA single-player action adventure game. It was in development for some time before EA brought the hammer down. It’s also not the only unannounced Star Wars title in the works at EA. Titanfall developer Respawn is also working on a third-person action-adventure Star Wars game, which somehow we know even less about.
As ever, we’ll bring you more of either of these two Star Wars projects just as soon as we hear it. E3 2018 in June seems as good a time as any though, fingers crossed.