Remember that ill-fated Star Wars game codenamed ‘Ragtag’ that was being made by Dead Space developers Visceral? It was supposed to be an Uncharted-inspired single player action adventure, helmed by Amy Hennig, director of the first three Drake ‘em ups. But it got cancelled (amid various development problems) and the whole project was thrown to Canadian studio EA Vancouver who were then told to make an open world Star Wars game out of the bits and bobs. Remember all that? Yeah, that open world game is cancelled too now, according to folks who’ve spoken to Kotaku.
The project had changed to become an open world runaround in which you play as a roguish character (a “scoundrel or bounty hunter,” say Kotaku’s sources) and team up with various known groups from the Star Wars universe. But it’s been canned too, so the studio can pick up a “smaller scale Star Wars project” that can be finished sooner. There are no reports of the studio being closed down, though, unlike Visceral’s case in 2017. We've asked EA for comment about all this, and will let you know if they inform us of any more "fundamental shifts in the marketplace".
[Update: EA remain tight-lipped, as expected. "There’s been speculation overnight about one of our Star Wars projects," they said in a statement to us. "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’ll share more about our new projects when the time is right."]
EA is juggling a lot of Star Wars stuff these days, so you might understandably be confused. Don’t mix up any of the games I’ve mentioned so far with Jedi: Fallen Order, the Star Wars game that shooter studio Respawn is working on.
But yes, it’s all been a bit of a saga. Visceral was shuttered after Ragtag’s first cancellation, and studio head Hennig left EA to start her own independent studio. So far her new studio hasn’t told anyone what type of thing they’ll be making, but it’s unlikely to be Star Wars, which at this stage is honestly a relief.
In my hometown, there is a legend of a woman who died of fever and was dug up by graverobbers on the night of her burial, only to scream and wake up when they cut off her finger to get a ring. She went on to live for many years before dying for real much later. Her current gravestone reads: “Margorie McCall. Lived once, buried twice.”
Ragtag is the Margorie McCall of videogames.