(Bloomberg) -- Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. has canceled a game that was in development at its Montreal office for nearly six years, according to people familiar with the matter.The game, code named Gaia, was first hinted at in 2015, but was never officially announced or given a title. Since then, EA executives have released a drip feed of information, sharing tidbits every few years on what it described as a brand new franchise.Last summer in a video showcasing future games, EA provided a few seconds of footage from Gaia, describing it as “a highly ambitious, innovative new game that puts the power and creativity in your hands.”The cancellation is part of a recent resource shift by the company as it evaluates projects and decides which ones will move forward. Earlier this month, the publisher reviewed in-progress games including Gaia and a new iteration of the poorly received online game Anthem, which was also canceled. Gaia’s development was turbulent and the game went through at least one major reboot, which may have been a factor behind its demise, according to the people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the press.Asked for comment, EA spokesman John Reseburg said, “We have a deep and robust pipeline of new content with more than 35 new games in various levels of incubation and development.”Gaia was teased in 2015 when EA hired veteran video game industry executive Jade Raymond to start a new studio called Motive in Montreal. Raymond, best known for overseeing the Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs series while at Ubisoft Entertainment SA, joined EA to make similar open-world, action-adventure games, starting with Gaia.In the years that followed, Motive went through some growing pains. The studio absorbed staff from fellow EA-owned studio BioWare’s Montreal office, which was shuttered in 2017 after the poorly received role-playing game Mass Effect Andromeda. A team at Motive was also assigned to work on the action game Star Wars Battlefront II, which also came out in 2017.By the beginning of 2018, the Gaia team had absorbed the creative leads from Star Wars Battlefront II and faced cultural clashes as a result. The tension culminated with the game’s top directors departing for Ubisoft, which also has a large office in Montreal. Gaia was then rebooted, the people said. Raymond left EA in the fall of 2018.Motive will remain intact. The studio has found success with a smaller project in Star Wars Squadrons, a fighter ship simulator that came out last fall, and has continued to help with other games across EA.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Share prices of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) dropped sharply after reaching a high of $104 earlier this month. Coincidently, the game producer held its annual BlizzCon event on Feb. 19-20 to discuss the latest developments with Blizzard titles, including Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Diablo. Here are two reasons why this could be causing the stock to fall and why Activision Blizzard shares may not be the best value among top gaming stocks right now.
(Bloomberg) -- Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. has decided not to move forward with a planned revision of Anthem, an online video game that was widely criticized following its launch two years ago.A small team at the EA-owned game developer BioWare had spent the past year and a half working on this revision, which they called Anthem Next. They had hoped to overhaul the game and get a second chance from fans.February marked the end to Anthem Next’s incubation period, which meant that EA had to decide whether to move forward or abandon the project, Bloomberg previously reported. Earlier this month, EA executives reviewed the current version of Anthem Next and decided not to proceed.In a Wednesday blog post, BioWare’s Christian Dailey pinned the cancellation on the coronavirus pandemic, writing that “working from home during the pandemic has had an impact on our productivity and not everything we had planned as a studio before Covid-19 can be accomplished without putting undue stress on our teams.”(Updates with developer’s comments in the fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.