EA 'doesn't want DICE to become a Battlefield factory'

New projects underway at the Swedish studio

EA doesn't want its flagship first person shooter studio to become "a Battlefield factory".


That's according to EA Games vice president Patrick Soderlund, who told OXM that non-Battlefield projects are in the works at the Swedish studio.

Asked if it's hard to justify risks on new IP like Mirror's Edge while a franchise like Battlefield performs strongly at retail, former DICE boss Soderlund said:

"Well it depends, right? Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. It's also important for us - the DICE guys are roughly 300 people in the Stockholm studio; not all of them are working on Battlefield things, and that's intentional, because we don't want to become a Battlefield factory.

"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," Soderlund added. "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."

DICE has been busy working on Battlefield 3 DLC since the shooter released last October, as well as a full blown sequel, with the Battlefield 4 release date expected to fall in late 2013.

And while the studio may be readying other projects too, earlier this year Battlefield executive producer Patrick Bach told us that consumers' calls for more fresh IP were somewhat hollow.

"Battlefield 3 could have been released almost as a new game because there are so many differences [between it and its predecessors]," he said, "but the problem then is that players seem to want sequels, they like the next iteration of the game they love, and even if people say they want new IPs, when new IPs arrive no one cares, they don't buy them, so I still don't understand why people see it as a problem when they're part of, they're creating the problem. I would love for people to buy new IPs and prove with their wallet what they mean, instead of blaming someone else. There's a big chunk of money you invest in games so you want at least your money back."

Speaking to us at E3, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau claimed the publisher is planning to launch "a lot of new IP" during the next console cycle. "I can tell you right now there's between three and five new IPs that we're working on that we're thinking about for the next-gen. Some of them might come to market, some of them might not," he said.