Jason posted an update about why the game was cancelled after talking to a few people familiar with E.A. Vancouver’s project:
UPDATE: This project, which was code-named Orca, was very early in development but would involve playing as a scoundrel or bounty hunter who could explore various open-world planets and work with different factions across the Star Wars universe.
When EA’s top decision-makers looked at their road map for the next few years, they decided that they needed something earlier than the planned release date for Orca, according to two people familiar with what happened. So they cancelled Orca in favor of a smaller-scale Star Wars project that’s now aimed for much sooner — likely, late 2020, which also happens to be around the time that I’ve heard next-gen consoles will launch. (Might be a bit earlier; might be a bit later. From what I’ve heard, next-gen plans are definitely still in flux.)
To EA’s credit, those people said, the publisher did not lay anyone off as part of this transition. This news comes at a time of cost-cutting across the industry, at major publishers including both EA and Activision, as we’ve reported. Some at the studio also hope that Orca might be restarted after this new project is finished.
Something else somewhat related. @Gary_Whitta sat down to talk about his thoughts on EA’s handling of Star Wars recently.
Earlier in the week, news broke that yet another Star Wars game has bit the dust and the reaction to EA's cancellation immediately stirred up community ire among gamers. While EA issued a weirdly evasive statement to the recent reports, Rogue One writer Gary Whitta didn't mince words when he ripped the publisher a new one.
When asked about his thoughts on the matter, Whitta responded “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 .”
Well, “it looks good in small parts” describes lots of games that still have year(s) in development to go.
The primary point is still true, though. EA has absolutely pissed away that license. Star Wars is one of the few franchises were you can basically just clone a bunch of existing games with Star Wars skins over top and sell 10 million copies each, and EA can’t even do that right.
That does look great. And I’ve never heard of a game trying to blend city management and exploration before. That’s crazy talk! But in this case, they’re cities in the sky that are going exploring, so it makes sense, kind of.