During the quarterly Electronic Arts earnings conference call, CEO Andrew Wilson and Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen provided more information about the publisher’s upcoming Star Wars titles.
Wilson explained that Electronic Arts “feels really good” about the Star Wars: Battlefront at the moment: it’s made by a “tried and true team” and Frostbite is also a mature engine for this generation of platforms. They feel like they have put in place all the things they need to deliver a great product.
EA had hundreds of people play the game at E3 in the most robust setup they had in recent years for a shooter, and they’re looking forward to having tens of thousands of people play it on over 200 demo stations at Gamescom next week.
According to Wilson, the title is “very playable,” the quality is “high” and the feedback from the players has been very positive. We also learn that the game had extremely strong pre-orders coming out of E3, and expects a further boost after Gamescom.
Jorgensen explained that the publisher is “very confident” about being able to hit the scheduled release date.
Speaking of other titles from the Star Wars IP, Jorgensen clarified that that EA did not mention (as the question he responded to implied) that there is a plan for annual major Star Wars releases, but they know that Disney has plans for many Star Wars movies, and EA is going to try to take advantage of the IP coming out of these movies. There will be multiple Star Wars titles down the line both on consoles/PC and mobile. There’s “lots to come” on Star Wars, and we’ll hear about that in the future.
About the new Star Wars by Visceral Games, Wilson mentioned that as an organization EA is always trying to bring in the best and greatest creative leaders. Jade Raymond and Amy Hennig had a relationship for a really long time and EA has been working with Raymond for some time in order to bring her in.
Raymond isn’t only working on Star Wars, but also on another project, and Electronic Arts is “Very Excited” by what she is gonna be able to do on that front. While they can’s comment on rumors (like the Star Wars game being open world), EA is excited that Raymond is part of the organization and really looking forward to what she and her team will be able to do.
Electronic Arts would like to keep building more talent in Canada, and there are great people to be hired there, but it will take Raymond some time “to develop the IP ideas, and the core team.” That’s why the R&D costs there won’t impact this year’s results for the publisher and will start to build up next year, but we’ll hear more about it with next year’s guidance.
While a time frame wasn’t given during the conference call, Wilson’s wording seems to suggest that we’re looking at a title slated for 2017, but we’ll have to wait for an official announcement on that front.