EA has cancelled Motive's 'Gaia' after six years in development

EA has pulled the plug on Gaia, an ambitious sandbox adventure that had reportedly been in development for the last 6 years.

The cancellation comes as part of the same internal review that saw EA ultimately shut down plans to rework Anthem. While it was never formally announced, Gaia was teased in 2015 as a brand-new IP in development at Motive, the studio behind last year's Star Wars: Squadrons. 

Last year's EA Play gave us our first, very early tease, teasing a creative sandbox that appeared to be a kind of sci-fi free-running take on Garry's Mod. But it was an extremely rough work-in-progress showcase of a game that was, at that point, five years into development.

Anonymous sources familiar with the project told Bloomberg that Gaia's development was particularly troubled, going through at least one major reboot. In 2018, the development team was also joined by creative leads from Star Wars Battlefront II, though "cultural clashes" created a tension that ultimately saw many of the game's directors leave for new roles at Ubisoft. Studio head Jade Raymond left Motive to head up Google Stadia—a role she wound up leaving this month.

The cancellation shouldn't affect jobs at Motive, which will continue assisting development on other projects at EA. When asked for comment, EA spokesman John Reseburg told Bloomberg: "We have a deep and robust pipeline of new content with more than 35 new games in various levels of incubation and development."

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.