EA wants to expand into the “gigantic action” sandbox genre

3 min read


Like sands through the hourglass, so are the games of our lives. Just about every studio out there has a sandbox game these days, a genre which some say is about as over-played as a late 90s Kart racer.

But when you think about it, Electronic Arts hasn’t really dipped their toes into those waters. Which is odd actually. After all, whether you love or hate them, EA is still a big presence in the industry.

It’s the equivalent to Activision not having any first-person shooter games in their library or a Japanese publisher not having any games featuring scantily-clad ladies that look barely legal.

Looks like EA wants to change that perception however. Just don’t call it a sandbox game. It’s a “gigantic action” game space.

“If you look at the biggest segment in our industry, which is action, we don’t have a lot,” EA Studios boss Patrick Soderlund said IGN.

EA is not known to make gigantic action games like Assassin’s Creed or Batman or GTA or those types of games that are really big.

The strategic direction that we put in motion is to expand our portfolio more into that segment, to see what can we bring to gamers that maybe hasn’t been done before.

Pressed for further details, Soderlund revealed a less-ambitious direction for an entry into the genre:

I’m not suggesting we’re going to go after GTA and sell 50 million units. We would love to! But what I’m saying is those types of absolutely AAA, big productions is what we want to do. And I think for us to do that, we need the right people.

I’m not too surprised to hear that. Sandbox games consistently sell well, and I’m still waiting for that Star Wars sandbox that was brought up two years ago when I finally buried my dreams of Star Wars 1313.

Read  EA and DICE respond to Star Wars Battlefront II’s loot box problem

That gigantic action game is reportedly being worked on Dead Space developers Visceral Games, as well as new studio Motive. Which happens to have Assassin’s Creed co-creator Jade Raymond in charge. I’m pretty certain that she knows a thing or two about sandboxes.

EA has done an open-world game or two in the past. Notably, one of my favourite underrated titles in the genre, The Saboteur. That game had plenty of great ideas, both internally and externally. More of that, please.

Last Updated: October 16, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    “scantily-clad lads that look barely legal” Fixed it for you!

  • Jonah Cash

    Boooooo!!!! Oh wait it is EA, I only play one of their games and haven’t even done 10 matches on that yet this year as I can’t find people to play against…

  • Hammersteyn

    LOL good luck, phone me when they can pull off a game like Planetside 2

  • WitWolfy

    I dunno… I cant see this ending well. It will probably end up being like.. “To go to City X please pay $$$”


  • Bagel

    Im going to keep the short and simple.

    Fuck you EA

    • Hammersteyn

      Preach it!

  • Nikola

    So I know this sounds probably dumb but what about DA:I it’s still EA made by Bioware though which is their studio? Or do they mean a completely open game with no loading screens.

    • Brady miaau

      You make an interesting point, but I think Sandbox is a game with open ended, non linear game play. Like Skyrim, there is a main mission, but it is entirely optional. Or forgettable. Or both.

      • Nikola

        There is a main story in Skyrim???

        Yeah I also think it’s fully open like GTA, Skyrim and Witcher 3!

        • Brady miaau

          There is. You see, it starts when you join the Ancient Assasins guild, a guild in turmoil. You get instructions from the “Night Mother” and go on varied and exciting missions. It was AWESOME.

          I remember that more than the main story.

          Witcher 3 is both sandbox and a linear, woven very well together.

          • WitWolfy

            A thing what makes a game a “sandbox” is RANDOM EVENTS AND ATMOSPHERE!!!
            *looks at MGS V*

          • Brady miaau

            Is MGSV more linear or more sandboxy? I guess, from hearing about it, more linear?

          • WitWolfy

            Its only open world for the sake for Konami to say “HEY! We made A HUGE MGS MAP game”… No NPC to interact with, no random events, MASSIVE empty spaces streching on FOREVER and to make it worse MGS V only has like 5 hours campaign stretched paper thin across a 50hrs+ playtime of repetitive fetch quests and capture missions..

          • Nikola

            Hahaha very true though I mean Skyrim main story was very terrible! Comparing to Oblivion who’s main campaign was way better. For me personally Oblivion > Skyrim

          • Brady miaau

            I did not even get halfway on Oblivions main story. Whoops. Played that game for many, many hours

          • Nikola

            hahaha u really get side tracked easy:)

  • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

    How dare you put EA and The Sandman in the same picture!!!! Sacrilege!!!!

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      I agree, it’s very D-rude.

  • E Seminolus

    Well EA, if you didn’t trash the Mercenaries IP maybe you’d already have a decent uh, gigantic action game space.

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