Star Wars bounty hunter game shelved as EA makes job cuts

Star Wars bounty hunter game shelved as EA makes job cuts

Gaming giant Electronic Arts has cancelled a Star Wars game as part of a second round of layoffs in just over a year.

The shelved title was reportedly inspired by The Mandalorian TV show and made by the studio behind the celebrated Star Wars: Jedi games.

EA, which publishes mega-franchises like The Sims and FIFA series, recently slashed five per cent of its workforce, or roughly 670 employees.

As part of the shake-up, the company is shifting its focus to its biggest hits over costly licensed projects. In an early sign of its changing priorities, EA was forced to rebrand the FIFA franchise to EA Sports FC 24 last year, after refusing to pay extra for rights to the famous moniker.

EA’s decision to axe the Star Wars game comes just two weeks after its existence was revealed. The game was a first-person shooter (FPS) that saw players hunting down bounties, while seeing off Storm Troopers, across the galaxy, according to Insider Gaming.

Although it didn’t feature the same Mandalorian as the TV show, the game’s protagonist had many of the hallmarks of the character, including a jetpack for traversal and combat.

EA-owned studio Respawn was working on the game. Aside from the Star Wars: Jedi series, the developer is known for the fast-paced Apex Legends and Titanfall games.

EA Entertainment president Laura Miele mentioned that EA was shutting down early development on a Star Wars game in a note to staff. She said Respawn would continue to work on the Jedi games and “new projects based on our owned brands”.

Miele attributed the move in part to player demand for large open-world games, massive communities, and so-called live service games that are continuously updated with new content.

Until now, EA’s game cancellations have largely impacted its mobile line-up. The company has scrapped a raft of titles since early last year, including Apex Legends Mobile, Battlefield Mobile, Kim Kardashian Hollywood, Lord of the Rings, Tap Sports Baseball, and F1 Mobile.