Fans were dismayed when it emerged earlier this week that the long in-development open world Star Wars game had been cancelled by publisher Electronic Arts. Codenamed Orca, we’ve learned that the title would’ve allowed players to become “a scoundrel or bounty hunter who could explore various open-world planets and work with different factions across the Star Wars universe.”
The game went through a protracted development process, beginning as a single-player adventure before being retooled into a multiplayer experience (a transition which killed off Dead Space developer Visceral) before finally being cancelled altogether in favor of a smaller scale project. Those who worked on and have seen the game are dismayed that so much effort’s going down the toilet, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story writer Gary Whitta being particularly unhappy.
In an interview with Kinda Funny Games, he said the following:
“It has been catastrophically mismanaged. If I were Disney, I’d be fucking furious. I saw a bunch of that game, and it looked terrific. It would have been Star Wars Uncharted.”
Ever since the news came out, EA has suffered a barrage of criticism for their shoddy track record with the Star Wars license. Despite having the exclusive rights to develop console games in the franchise, they’ve only turned out the two Battlefront multiplayer shooters, the latter of which was greeted with intense international controversy due to its microtransaction and loot boxes, which aimed to milk consumers until their udders bled.
Save for the very brief and unsatisfying campaign bolted onto Battlefront II, it’s been a pretty long time since we had a fully fledged Star Wars single-player adventure, which is a real crime given that the franchise has never been more popular than it is now. Where’s our contemporary Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight? Where’s the next-gen Knights of the Old Republic (especially given that EA own Bioware)? Right now, all we can hold out hope for is that Respawn’s mysterious Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order can carry the torch for the franchise on consoles. But with EA on publishing duties, the verdict’s out on that until the day of release.