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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Nintendo Adds Three New Titles To It’s Nintendo Selects Line On Nintendo 3DS

Starting February 4th, Nintendo will be adding three new titles to its popular and cost efficient Nintendo Selects line up for the Nintendo 3DS, including Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, Star Fox 64 3DS, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D.

Nintendo Selects, the successor to the company’s Player’s Choice branding, began in 2011 with select titles on the Nintendo Wii, and has been found on both the 3DS and Wii U since then. With the 3DS in particular, a wide variety of best selling games have donned the red labeling such as Super Mario 3D Land, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, to name a few.

Super Mario Maker for 3DS, a port of the popular Wii U title, first built its way onto Nintendo’s vastly popular handheld in December 2016. Fans can build, play and share their own creative and challenging Super Mario Bros. levels right from the palm of your hand. The game also offers the Super Mario Challenge, which pits you against 100 pre-built courses.

Solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and uncover the evil behind the iconic spiked mask in this remastered and enhanced classic entry in The Legend of Zelda series, Majora’s Mask 3D. Join link as he travels across Termina and time, releasing spirits, gaining new abilities through unique masks, and stop the Moon from crashing into the world and ending humanity. First released in February 2015, the 3DS remastered version offers updated visuals, and quality of life changes.

Released in 2011, Star Fox 64 3D offers a remade experience of the 1997 classinc on Nintendo 64, now in the palm of your hand. Take control of Fox McCloud and the classic Arwing as you blast your way through the Lylat system. Fight off hordes of enemies, collect power ups, and defeat bosess on your way to a final confrontation against the notorious Dr. Andross.

Titles within the Nintendo Selects program retail at a suggested price of $19.99.

For updates on upcoming Nintendo Selects titles, 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.

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.

Todd Howard: “Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 will not get a new graphics engine”

While Bethesda fans are looking forward to the newest entry into the Fallout series, Fallout 76, that releases this Wednesday, many are also looking towards the horizon for what is next for the major AAA publisher/developer. With the announcements (and very small teases) of both Starfield and the Elder Scrolls VI at E3 this past June, Bethesda has continuously reminded fans to set their time tables to the realm of realism, as both games are quite a ways off still; and to the expectation of most, to be next generation experiences (especially the Elder Scrolls VI). But, according to a new report, both titles may not see the technological leap that many are expecting.

In an interview conducted GameStar (a German publication) that was recently referenced in a Forbes discussing Fallout 76, Todd Howard, Director and Executive Producer at Bethesda Game Studios, touched on a multitudes of things, including the company’s quite dated Creation engine and why they choose to continue using it. “(Speaking on Fallout 76) The game uses a new renderer, a new lighting system and a new system for the landscape generation.” the storied game developer and “face” of the legendary game developer stated. “For Starfield even more changes. And for the Elder Scrolls VI, out there on the horizon even more.”

Bethesda’s Creation engine, which was first implemented in the massively successful the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, was developed to succeed the aging Gamebryo engine, to provide more visual realism to the developer’s games moving forward. Fast forward seven years and two additional games using the engine (2015’s Fallout 4 and the multiplayer focused Fallout 76), Bethesda seems content with keeping status quo. “We like our editor. It allows us to create worlds really fast and the modders know it really well. There are some elementary ways we create our games and that will continue because that lets us be efficient and we think it works best.”

While the Creation engine has been graphically updated throughout its lifetime, including a physically based deferred renderer and working with Nvidia to add volumetric lighting specifically for Fallout 4, it is by all accounts starting to show its age. For Starfield beginning development in late 2015, it’s possible to see understand why the studio decided to stay with same engine for the forthcoming space epic, as one would assume it could theoretically release within the next few years; the Elder Scrolls VI on the other hand? From what the public has been allowed to know on the development of the game, it is quite a ways off and almost certain to be a next generation game. But, it makes you wonder, with one of the primary benefits of using the same engine being “efficiency”, it couldn’t be completely outlandish to have both titles within the next four years.

As for now, fans of Bethesda Game Studios can look forward to Fallout 76, which drops for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018.

 

For updates on what’s to come from Bethesda Game Studios, including Starfield and the Elder Scrolls VI, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @BonusAccessory, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.