Today, during Electronic Arts’ financial conference call related to the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson and Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen talked about the current situation of development in Frostbite Engine for the publisher’s studios.
We hear that there are currently a dozen new games in development in Frostbite.
Later in the call, Wilson mentioned that with increased processing power on devices and in the cloud, the new frontiers of innovation for the publisher are deeper forms of personalization, immersive and self-generating worlds, artificial intrelligence and deep learning.
For fiscal year 2019 (starting on April 1st, 2018) and beyond Wilson mentioned the Star Wars action adventure game in development at Visceral Games (directed by former Uncharted Creative Director Amy Hennig), BioWare’s Anthem, a FIFA game focused on the upcoming World Cup, the next “great game” in the Battlefield franchise. He also mentioned that the ongoing focus across established franchises and new IP will be pursuing the state of the art on every platform.
Wilson also explained that Frostbite evolves faster than other engines because there are so many studios developing so many games on it at the same time.
Jorgensen mentioned that the company hired about a hundred new developers for the Motive Studio in Montréal led by Jade Raymond. He himself visited the studio last month and it’s a “wonderful new addition” to EA’s team. We also learn that the team at BioWare Montréal has been moved to the same facility, so now the two studios sit side by side.
Wilson concluded the call by mentioning that the company doesn’t have a lot of news to share about virtual reality as it’s now widely accepted that the VR market will take at least another couple of years to become a real mass market opportunity. The company enabled core VR capabilities in Frostbite, and they’re pushing on the boundaries of experimenting of what a sports game might look in VR, or a first-person shooter, or an action-adventure.
He feels that AR is more interesting. Talking about a data overlay in mobile, console or PC games, that takes interesting things about the player like geodata, gameplay data, or friends data, that games can be authorized to use to enhance the gameplay experience, Wilson thinks that we’re likely to see more of that relatively soon. Electronic Arts’ creative teams are “really thinking” about what kind of real world data a player may want to use to augment the virtual world, and we should expect to see something about that from EA in the coming months and years.
If you want to read more details on Electronic Arts financial results for the past quarter, you can check out our dedicated article from earlier today.