EA Cancels Open-World Star Wars Game From Vancouver Studio

According to reports from those close to the studio, publishing giant Electronic Arts has canceled its open-world Star Wars project. Originally developed by Visceral Games, the game has since continued its development under the arm of EA Vancouver.

First reported by Jason Schreier of Kotaku, the Vancouver based studio had been developing the project since October 2017, when EA shut down Visceral, While the project was under development at Visceral at the time of closure, reports suggest that the development of the game had changed quite drastically since the Vancouver studio took control. Code-named Ragtag, the game centered around a linear action-adventure play-style, with Uncharted director Amy Hennig leading the project. Since taken it over, EA’s in-house studio replaced much of the game, outside of a handful of art assets, to fit their open-world gameplay.

EA Vancouver handles support for multiple franchises within EA, including FIFA and Battlefront, with the Ragtag being a main focus with a portion of those within the studio. While it is not clear what EA Vancouver’s next project will be, but Scheier suggests that it may fall within the Star Wars IP.

In 2013, Disney and EA signed an exclusive, 10 year licensing agreement for EA to publish Star Wars games developed by then Visceral Games, DICE, BioWare, and now Respawn Entertainment. While the deal is approaching its sixth year, it has only beared witness to two console experiences (Battlefront 1 & 2), along with the mobile experience Galaxy of Heroes (iOS and Android). With the poor reception to both Battlefield entries from DICE, along with multiple game cancelations for the series, one must ask, at what point does Disney explore its options with the IP, including terminating its agreement with EA?

Respawn Entertainment, an EA owned studio, announced at EA Play event at E3 2018 that they were currently developing a new single-player, narrative driven Star Wars game, titled Jedi: Fallen Order. The game is currently scheduled for a 2019 release, with many expecting to see the game hit store shelves this fall.

We will continue to provide more information as it becomes available.

UPDATE (1/16/19): More details have began to surface since our previous post. Schreier notes those close to the project, codenamed Orca, have detailed that it would’ve set players in the role of a scoundrel or bounty hunter who could explore various open-world planets and work with different factions across the Star Wars universe. He also notes that the game was quite early in development, and that when EA’s top decision maker’s examined their internal road map for the next handful of years, they decided they wanted to get a project out sooner rather than later. Enter a new, smaller-scale project that EA and their Motive studio will be heading, that is planned to launch as early as 2020 (also noting this would line up well with the rumored 2020 launch of next generation hardware, although none of this has been confirmed). Also important to note that EA did not lay off anyone as part of this transition, and possibly rebooting the Ragtag project (technically again) isn’t off the table in the future.

For updates on EA and their canceled Star Wars experience, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

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Anthem Will Have Matchmaking For Every Activity In The Game

BioWare’s newest IP Anthem is shaping up to be one of the biggest releases of 2019, with fans itching to jump into the world the EA owned developer has created. While excitement is high for the upcoming multiplayer Sci-Fi experience, a common concern amongst fans is the issue of gaining the full experience intended within the game when other players aren’t available to play. Now, a lead producer on the project is confirming details that will help players ease themselves, knowing that there will always be players to group up with.

Responding to a question on Twitter yesterday, lead producer on Anthem Ben Irving confirmed that “there is matchmaking for every activity in the game.” While the statement does comes off a bit vague, Strongholds, free roaming, missions and much of the core gameplay seems to be a given at this point. Players will likely find this feature to be most useful when attempting to tackle Strongholds, which require four players to enter. Traditionally, matchmaking in experiences like Anthem and Destiny (open, shared world shooters) has proved to be a bit problematic. The latter of the two listed in destiny saw multiple revisions to its matchmaking system over its two entries. While the confirmation of matchmaking within the game does ease many players’ minds, Irving went on to clarify that matchmaking is an optional feature that you can opt out of.

Anthem, which was officially shown and announced at Microsoft’s E3 2017 press conference, sets players in the role of a Freelancer who sets out to leave their civilization to explore the surrounding landscapes. Controlling exosuits called Javelins, players will fight and explore their way through a vast world in hopes of finding a better tomorrow. In traditional BioWare fashion, the game will also feature a heavy emphasis on single player content, through their trademarked storytelling excellence.

Anthem is set to release on February 22, 2019 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

For updates on Anthem, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Analyst Predicts Respawn’s Titanfall 3 and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order Will Launch in 2019

A few weeks ago, a handful of job postings were found directly relating to the next entry in the Titanfall series (presumably Titanfall 3) on EA’s career portal. While both the company and the series’ developer Respawn Entertainment have confirmed a new Titanfall project is in the works, a release window of any sort was never provided. If new reports are true, it might be sooner than many are expecting, along with a new highly anticipated gaming entry to one of the world’s most beloved IPs.

In a recent report by GamesIndustry International, several analysts gave predictions for the gaming industry for 2019, and among them was Micheal Pachter. Pachter, employed by Wedbush Securities, has previously touched on a multitude of predictions for this year including the possibility of a new handheld only Nintendo Switch at a $199 price point. This time, when touching on the now EA owned developer Respawn, Patcher suggests that we could expect to see a Titanfall 3 announcement in the coming months, with a September 2019 release date to follow. On top of that, he also predicts that Respawn’s upcoming Star Wars game Jedi Fallen Order will also see a Q3 or 4 2019 release, possibly around the movie franchise’s ninth entry in December.

While Pachter has previously touched on the subject of Titanfall 3 in October, this is the first time that the analysts has attached a specific release window to the project. Jedi Fallen Order, an upcoming narrative-driven Star Wars project was announced at E3 2018 during EA’s Play conference. While many details aren’t known on the game, rumors have been making the rounds over the past few months that align to the game taking place between the prequel films and the original trilogy.

Respawn Entertainment, who developed the previous Titanfall entries, was acquired by EA in November 2017. Along with the acquisition, both parties announced their plans to continue the series, by stating the next mainline game was in development.

While neither EA or Respawn Entertainment has commented or confirmed release dates for either title at this time.

For updates on both the Titanfall series and the newest Star Wars games, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

Respawn Now Hiring Multiple Positions For Titanfall 3

Titanfall has had a confusing lifespan this console generation, to say the least. The fast-paced, first person shoot from Respawn Entertainment and EA saw its first entry release at the beginning of the current console generation. Due to limited libraries on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at the time, the series became very popular amongst early adopters the technology. While the first entry was considered a success, it lacked any single-player or local multiplayer experiences, leaving online play as the only game option. Its sequel, Titanfall 2 however, is considered one of the better games to release during this console generation, with many publications and outlets praising its emotional and captivating single-player campaign. Where Titanfall 2 succeeded in acclaim, it lacked in sales when compared to its predecessor, largely in part to releasing in the same time window as EA’s own Battlefield 1 and Activision’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Fans of the series have gained anxiety over if EA will publish another Titanfall due to the poorer financial performance of the series’s second entry. Since EA’s acquisition of Respawn Entertainment in 2017 though, the publisher has stated a new Titanfall project would be in the works. Now, with a recent set of job listings on EA’s career portal, it looks like development on the next entry into the Titanfall universe is starting to heat up. Currently, there are 15 listings of job vacancies on the publisher’s job board, all specifically citing their direct involvement with Respawn Entertainment on what is assumed to be Titanfall 3. The positions are as follows:

  • Senior Technical Animator (Art)
  • Build & Release Manager (Software Development)
  • Technical Animator (Art)
  • Senior Network Engineer (Software Development)
  • VFX Artist (Art)
  • Senior Animator (Titanfall)
  • Environment Artist (Art)
  • Tools Engineer (Quality Verification)
  • User Interface Artist (Art)
  • Network Engineer (Software Development)
  • Project Manager (Producer)
  • Developer Support Analyst (Quality Verification)
  • Senior Level Designer (Game Design)
  • Senior Game Designer (Game Design)
  • Senior Graphics Software Engineer (Software Development)

While no confirmation has been made on when to expect the next entry in the Titanfall series, these hirings may be indicate that the game is still quite early in its development cycle. Respawn also has a new Star War‘s project currently in development, entitled Jedi Fallen Order, which is rumored for a holiday 2019 release, along with an unannounced VR title.

While the wait for news on Titanfall 3 continues, players can hop into the first first two entries now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Origin.

For updates on Titanfall, and it’s future entry, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

RUMOR: New Details Leak on Respawn’s Star Wars: Fallen Order Game, Launching November

This past June at EA’s E3 2018 Play press conference, Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella confirmed that the studio will be bringing a new Star Wars experience to players in the near future, entitled ‘Star Wars: the Fallen Order’. While no gameplay footage or a release date was revealed during the event, Zampella assured fans that new information would be coming in the near future on the game; and while nothing official has been stated, we may have just landed a plethora of info surrounding what the game truly is and when we can expect to play it.

According to Reddit user u/Xyzsvtabc’s post on the subreddit r/StarWarsLeaks, the game will be coming out in November 2019 and takes place five years after ‘Revenge of the Sith’. He/she stated:

They said this is coming out in November. It takes place about 5 years after Revenge of the Sith and follows the main character whose name is Cal (I forget his last name). He’s was a paduwan that survived the efforts to kill all of the remaining jedi. Not a ton of gameplay info but some of the other story lines are that he has a mentor figure who is a woman named Ceres. The only other thing I remember is them talking about other characters they would come across from some of the comics. The mentioned the 9th sister and 2nd sister? Something about Inquisitors? I wish I could remember more about this. They showed a ton of artwork.

The user states that he was invited to a marketing presentation held by Disney, which provided details on what the Star Wars brand has for the upcoming new year. Along with the details regarding Fallen Order, he/she also provides details on a number of other Star Wars related projects, including the newly announced Mandalorian streaming show and the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode IX.

Respawn Entertainment, who are responsible for both entries in the Titanfall franchise, have been an EA owned development studio for over a year now, being purchased in November 2017 for an estimated $151 million in cash and $164 million in equity. The studio had also previously worked on the Call of Duty franchise before the implementation of Infinity Ward in 2010.

Many fans hope Respawn’s newest project will be a return to form for the Star Wars IP in regards to video games. This console generation has not been the kindest to fans of the classic space opera, as the franchise’s Battlefront series has negatively swallowed up the majority of the spotlight on its regards to gaming. Littered with loot bozes and microtransactions for basic elements to the gameplay at launch, the most recent entry, Star Wars: Battlefront II, was received an overabundant amount of negative feedback from fans and members of the industry alike; along with one of the most downvoted responses in Reddit history from an EA customer service representative, over 688,000 downvotes at the time of this writing.

Since this is strictly nothing but a rumor at this time, please remember to take this tidbit of info with a grain of salt. With that said, having a major blowout on Fallen Order at next year’s EA Play conference at E3 may tie in well to the 2019 theatrical release of Episode IX, set to release in next December. For now, we must use the force to help our patience while we wait.

EA, BioWare Announce Anthem Closed Alpha December 8th-9th, Register Now

The newest IP from developer BioWare and publisher EA, Anthem, is currently set to launch in February 2019. While fans have feared that the game may be in trouble of facing delays, due to the crowed February release calendar and rumored development issues, EA has announced that the game will be holding an Alpha testing phase in the coming weeks.

In a post released this week on EA’s support site, the publisher announced that they will be hosting a close alpha period for the upcoming multiplayer-focued from December 8th-9th, 2018. To participate in the upcoming Community Playtest, hopeful gamers can register via the EA Community Playtesting site with their EA account. The closed alpha will be available on all supported Anthem platforms, including PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

EA is only allowing those who register through their Community Playtesting site, including those who have pre-ordered Anthem, or have one of EA’s premium Origins packages. No exclusive offers to join will be available for those who do own one of the previous items/subscription. Those who are chosen to participate in the closed alpha will be bound to a strict NDA (non-disclosure agreement), in which player will not be able to stream, record gameplay footage, or share any information on the current build of the game, outside of previously released information or marketing materials. If servers become full, EA says players are welcomed to join a waiting list, assuming more sessions will be occurring as the release date for the game creeps closer.

Recently, rumors have begun to make the rounds on message boards and other gaming outlets stating that the game is struggling to be playable at a respectable level on current generation hardware, and may be pushed to a cross generation release with the heavily rumored 2020 launch date of the ‘PlayStation 5’. With news of this closed alpha being released very soon, fans of the upcoming futuristic third person shooter may be able to breath a sigh of relief.

For more information on how to register and the requirements to do so, head over to EA’s Help site. Anthem is set to release in February 2019.

For updates on Anthem, and its upcoming closed alpha, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in on Bonus Accessory.