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Ridgeline's narrative-driven Battlefield campaign will endure despite the closure, but Respawn's unannounced Star Wars FPS will never see the light of day.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

February 29, 2024

2 Min Read
Key artwork for the Battlefield franchise and a screenshot of a Stormtrooper from Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Images via EA

EA's attempt to implement an "ambitious growth strategy" is crashing through the company's internal studios like a wrecking ball.

Yesterday, the publisher announced it would be laying off 5 percent of its workforce and moving away from licensed IPs that can no longer deliver success in a "changing industry."

EA expects to spend between $125 million to $165 million executing that restructuring plan, which will also result in office closures and project cancellations.

Elaborating on how the downsizing will impact individual studios, EA's president of entertainment and technology Laura Miele confirmed the company is torching a Star Wars shooter that was in development at Respawn and shutting down Battlefield studio Ridgeline Games.

Miele explained that Respawn, known for franchises like Titanfall, Star Wars Jedi, and Apex Legends, had been working on a "Star Wars FPS action game" but will now be focusing its efforts on new projects based on EA's own brands. She emphasized the project was in "early development."

"It's always hard to walk away from a project, and this decision is not a reflection of the team’s talent, tenacity, or passion they have for the game. Giving fans the next installments of the iconic franchises they want is the definition of blockbuster storytelling and the right place to focus," added Miele.

Related:EA will spend over $125 million laying off 5 percent of its workforce

EA closing down "instrumental" Battlefield studio Ridgeline

As for Ridgeline, the studio lost its creative director earlier this week and will now be shut down for good. The Seattle-based studio only broke cover in 2022 and was described as being an "instrumental" member of the Battlefield family. It had been working on a narrative campaign set in the Battlefield universe but will now be dismantled.

Work on the project is set to continue under the guidance of Criterion, while some members of the Ridgeline team will be joining Ripple Effect to work on the next Battlefield experience.

"Our vision for Battlefield is ambitious and exciting. The project is making meaningful progress, thanks to the strong leadership of Vince Zampella and Byron Beede and dedicated studios committed to building a Battlefield platform our fans will love. Today, we have the largest Battlefield team in the franchise's history, with passionate people in place across the globe and our studios organized to benefit from both franchise and local leadership," said Miele.

"Marcus Lehto recently made a personal decision to leave the project. To ensure our work continues uninterrupted, we immediately appointed leadership at Criterion to oversee our single-player work. As part of this change, we'll be winding down Ridgeline as a standalone studio in Seattle."

You can read the internal memo shared by Miele on the EA website.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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