During the UBS Global Technology Conference in San Francisco, Electronic Arts Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen talked about the upcoming move by the publisher into the action genre.
According to Jorgensen, action games like Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto are the largest genre in gaming, and they’re “more open world, more exploratory and big experiences.” Electronic Arts has rarely played in that genre, as they have been deep in sports, first person shooters and simulation games. That said, that doesn’t mean that they can’t do well among action games.
To that purpose, they hired Jade Raymond, who is building her studio in Montréal, which according to Jorgensen is a “fabulous place for game development,” and it’s a great opportunity to build their action game there. Raymond’s game will “probably come in the next three plus years,” but it’s an “unique opportunity to start building a new franchise in the action genre.”
Jorgensen also talked about Amy Hennig’s team at Visceral Games, that is working on an action-oriented game in the Star Wars universe:
“It’s a huge opportunity for us to grow on a very large franchise, on a very large part of the market, and tap new growth alongside the sports, first person shooters and simulation.”
He then explained that Electronic Arts usually dedicates 75% of its research and development investment to existing franchises. That said the publisher is always trying to evolve even those, with initiatives like the implementation of a story mode in FIFA 17.
The remaining 25% is spent in brand new IPs, and in turning existing IPs into completely different experiences, and we’ll see more and more of this as EA “stretches the portfolio. ” On top of that, part of that 25% also goes into researching and implementing new live service opportunities.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see what Amy Hennig’s Star Wars game will be like. For now, not much has been shared, besides a few pieces of concept art and information on the philosophy behind the title’s storytelling.