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EA makes shooters, racing, RPG, sports games and more. But there is one genre the mega-publisher hasn’t touched. The ‘gigantic action’ genre. Think GTA V, Assassin’s Creed, Fallout and The Witcher 3. EA publishes scores of games every year, but it’s been years since they’ve published an open world game.
EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen talked about the publisher expanding into the action genre at the UBS Global Technology Conference.
“We’ve never really operated in the largest genre of gaming, and that’s the action genre,” said Jorgensen. “That’s the Assassin’s Creed-style games; more open-world, more single-play versus multiplayer. It’s not been an area that we’ve operated in. We recently hired Jade Raymond, who was behind the Assassin’s Creed franchise for Ubisoft and she will be building an action genre for us through a studio we’re building out in Montreal right now. So a lot of excitement around the action genre.”
Hmm, if only they had bought a developer who designed a solid open-world game? Oh wait, they did. Remember Pandemic Studios? They were the studio behind the first two Star Wars: Battlefront games. They also developed the Mercenaries series.
Take a trip back in time with Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction.
What will it be?
The new studio Jade Raymond is leading is called Motive Studios. The first project Motive is tackling is assisting Visceral with a new Star Wars game. Earlier this year, voice actor Nolan North (voices Nathan Drake) talked about the departure of Uncharted writer Amy Hennig (now works for EA/Visceral on new Star Wars game). North described the game as “along the same lines” as the cancelled Star Wars 1313.
As for the open-world action game? I’m leaning towards it being in the Star Wars universe right now. I would love to see another Mercenaries-style game, but EA has a 10-year licensing deal with Disney. If I were them, I would focus on Star Wars too.
Speaking of Star Wars, Jorgensen also touched on that at the same conference this week.
“It’s a big effort for us, and I don’t think there’s a human being in the world who hasn’t heard of the Star Wars movie coming,” Jorgensen said about Battlefront, which launches today.
“We struck a licensing deal with Disney a few years back that’s almost ten years in length. The game that comes out tomorrow, Star Wars Battlefront, is a traditional first-person style shooter game. Our goal is to make future Battlefront games as well as other style games around the Star Wars franchise, both on mobile as well as console and PC. It’s a huge opportunity for us.”
Jorgensen added they will not be making movie tie-in games. They want to “use the IP in the movie to make great, exciting games.”
So, there you have it. Fans of open-world games can expect EA to jump in the party soon. The genre is as popular as ever and is showing no signs of letting up. I would love to see EA resurrect the Mercenaries series, but my money is on Star Wars.