When Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog and headed to EA to create Project RagTag, aka ‘Star Wars Uncharted’ people were very excited. Unfortunately EA cancelled the game and shortly after closed the doors on Dead Space developers Visceral as well.
Why the project was cancelled has not, and probably never will be, fully explained, but Hennig has given a few hints as to why during an interview with US Gamer. She describes it as a “challenging time” as the studio was in the middle of a reboot, “had some reorgs and layoffs”, and it took time to build the team she needed. ” It wasn’t like we were starting like right out the gun from when I started in April ; it was very delayed. That gave us a lot of time though to sort of simmer on story and work with LucasFilm, which was great,” she said.
It seems some of her problems stemmed from trying to create an action game in Frostbite, EA’s in house engine, which up to that point had only been used for shooters and racing games.
“What that meant is we obviously had to take the Frostbite Engine, because there was the internal initiative to make sure that everybody was on the same technology, but it was an engine that was made to do first-person shooters not third-person traversal cinematic games,” explained Amy, “So building all of that third-person platforming and climbing and cover taking and all that stuff into an engine that wasn’t made to do that.”
“We did a lot of foundational work that I think the teams are still benefiting from because it’s a shared engine, but it’s tough when you spend a lot of time doing foundational stuff but then don’t get to go ta-da! [laughs] You know, here’s the game,” she added.
“I wish people could have seen more of it because it was a lot farther along than people ever got a glimpse of. And it was good, you know? But it just didn’t make sense in EA’s business plan, ultimately. Things changed over the course of that time I was there. So you know, what can you do.”
I think we cam all agree that EA’s business plan sucks, right?