In a story first reported by Kotaku, Electronic Arts has canceled their open-world game based in the Star Wars universe. The game would have been a continuation or reboot of Project Ragtag, which Visceral Studios, the creators of the Dead Space games, was working on when EA shut the studio down.
Ragtag was supposed to be a linear action-adventure game similar to the Uncharted games and was headed by Amy Henning, the director for the first three Uncharted games. When EA closed Visceral down on October 17, 2017, EA Vancouver took over development of Ragtag, re-branded the project as Orca, and changed the genre to being an open-world game. According to some people Kotaku spoke to after their article’s original posting, the game would have had players take on the role of a scoundrel or bounty hunter, explore a variety of open-world planets, and interact with various Star Wars factions.
EA didn’t show off any public footage or screenshots of the game, but they did speak about it back when Visceral was shut down. At the time they said that they would have to “pivot the design” if they wanted to make a game that players would keep returning to and “enjoy for a long time to come.” However, the insiders told Kotaku that EA decided they needed something earlier than Orca’s projected release date. Now they’re focusing on a smaller-scale Star Wars game that’s slated to be released sooner. Their sources suggest late 2020, which may or may not be around the time next-gen consoles launch.
It’s sad to see Orca cancelled, but Kotaku’s sources mentioned that there were no layoffs due to the project’s termination, which is nice to hear given recent news of other companies tightening the belt. The sources are hopeful that EA will revisit Orca when the new Star Wars project is complete.