It appears EA has halted work on its open-world Star Wars game in favour of a smaller project that would release sooner.
As originally reported by Kotaku, multiple sources inside the studio have claimed the publisher has shifted focus in order to aim for a 2020 release date.
EA's rather coy response to the article reads: "There’s been speculation overnight about one of our Star Wars projects. As a natural part of the creative process, the great work by our team in Vancouver continues and will evolve into future Star Wars content and games."
While EA's non-answer states that work continues at EA Vancouver, it also does nothing to refute the claims made by Kotaku.
Development for the Star Wars open-world title has had a troubled history. It started as an action-adventure title – codenamed Ragtag – helmed by Uncharted director Amy Hennig.
While in development at EA Vancouver, the project transitioned from action-adventure to open-world. The project took on a new codename of Orca, with many of the assets from Ragtag being carried over.
As described by those same sources, players would take on the role of a scoundrel or bounty hunter-type character and explore a number of open-world planets and work with different factions from the Star Wars universe.
Thankfully the transition to a smaller project has not resulted in layoffs, and some inside the studio hope for Orca to resume development once the new game has been released.
In other good news, Respawn's Jedi: Fallen Order remains in the works and is scheduled for a late 2019 release.