“Frostbite Wasn’t Even an Option” for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
EA's divisive Frostbite engine apparently "wasn't even an option" when it came to choosing an engine for Star War Jedi: Fallen Order.
Unlike most EA games, Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order runs on Unreal Engine 4. This came as a surprise to some as EA’s studios typically use Frostbite as the mandated primary engine, which has reportedly been detrimental to games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Anthem in the past. Many have wondered why Respawn’s new game does not use the same engine as other EA titles. Surprisingly, Game Director Stig Asmussen and Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella have revealed that “Frostbite wasn’t even an option” when it came to choosing an engine for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
The pair revealed this to Game Informer in a recent interview, where Stig elaborated even more on why he chose Unreal Engine 4 for this project. “When we started this team, this was even before Star Wars, I was the only person on the team and we knew we were going to start hiring a few more people and we needed to start building from the ground up. I did a little bit of research on Unreal, there was a couple of other options out there, and remember we aren’t EA at this point so Frostbite wasn’t even an option. I started tinkering around with it and was like ‘Wow, this is pretty powerful with what an individual developer can do with it, imagine what a whole team could do with it,'” he said before reiterating that the team is “very happy with the decision.”
Despite what other sources have told sites like Kotaku, Stig Asmussen also told Game Informer that “there’s been no mandates for us to use Frostbite or change anything about the way that we’ve normally done things at Respawn.” It is also worth noting that none of their games have run on Frostbite yet as Titanfall, Titanfall 2, and Apex Legends all use Valve’s source engine.
As I mentioned, Vince Zampella also touched on Frostbite to Game Informer, stating “Frostbite is an engine that EA uses internally. At that point, we were an external studio so it wasn’t even available to us. Now, as part of EA, it would be available to us, but we’ll still make the choice on what’s best for the game because ultimately we are making something that has to be fun to play so it’s the tech that fits what you’re trying to do.”
It seems that Respawn Entertainment has a bit more autonomy with their engines than other EA Studios, so hopefully the studio won’t be impacted by a frustrating engine mandate in the future. You can check out the video discussing this decision below. The Unreal Engine 4 powered Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will come out for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 15, 2019 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon right now.
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