Pumping out an annual game, no matter how well crafted it is, will always be something that is open to criticism. When a studio becomes a one trick pony, it can only survive for so long, something which EA wants the Stockholm based studio DICE to avoid.
Speaking to OXM, EA vice-president Patrick Soderlund said that of the 300 people employed over at DICE, quite a few of them were working on projects that didn’t rhyme with cattle-field.
“Not all of them are working on Battlefield things, and that’s intentional, because we don’t want to become a Battlefield factory,” Soderlund said.
The minute we start saying ‘you’re going to make a Battlefield game for the rest of your life’, they’re going to go some place else. So for them to make great Battlefield games there need to be other things for them to do as well.
That’s why we have people who move around quite a bit. And then obviously we have a boatload of people that just want to make Battlefield because they love it.
Same thing with the team in San Francisco that are making Dead Space. It’s a stunning team and they’re passionate about what they do, and they love making Dead Space. Then the answer’s ‘well, then make Dead Space’. Then we have to figure out how to sell it and make it successful.
This isn’t the first time that Soderlund spoke about expanding the EA library with new IPs, as last month he cited a need for innovation, otherwise EA would have to “put ourselves on life support and then we’re slowly going to die.”
I’m all for new games and ideas in the industry, especially when it comes from publishers who can easily afford to take a risk. What I’m not for though, is said publisher shutting down a studio after one failure.
But if DICE can take all the advances that it made with the Battlefield series and funnel that towards something new, the results could be pretty darn good at the end of the day.