It’s no surprise that DICE is working hard on Battlefield 4 for both current and next-gen consoles, but other recent activity from the Swedish development house is promising bigger things in the near future. Namely, the founding of a Los Angeles satellite studio to capitalize on talent in the area.
In a new interview with the studio’s head Fredrik Loving, the reasons for the new American location are examined, as well as the impact that the new team will (hopefully) have on Battlefield 4, the new Star Wars license signed by EA, and beyond. Sorry: still no confirmation of dinosaurs.
Many questions were raised when DICE announced they would be opening up a new LA studio. In the interview from IGN, Loving explains that the main reason was to establish a presence in one of the most highly-concentrated game development communities, and not require American talent to travel to Sweden in order to work directly under the company’s best and brightest creators.
That’s certainly a plausible explanation, as is the claim that the extra resources and employees are going to be helping Battlefield 4 reach the finish line before release later this year. With the return of Commander Mode, new ‘Battlepacks‘ being rumored for multiplayer, and details on the first DLC for BF4 already being released, there’s enough work to go around.
It’s also possible that the task of developing Battlefield 4 for two generations of hardware is running the risk of overwhelming the studio’s main teams. In that case, opening up another studio in a market flush with talent – for this game, or another in the future – makes sense. And with Loving’s insistence that the same standards will be maintained, that’s a proposition most fans would be able to support.
It’sÂ also possible that DICE and EA have other reasons for opening a new studio a bit closer to home. With more Star Wars titles expected from EA’s “top developers” in the coming years, DICE certainly ranks among the most likely (and anticipated) candidates. It’s obvious that founding DICE LA has been in the works for some time, but it’s hard to know how long ago EA was assured the deal would be completed.
More information will be coming on both Battlefield 4 and Star Wars at E3 2013. Even though Loving isn’t confirming that the DICE LA studio has been founded to help produce a new series for EA – with Star Wars: Battlefront 3 among the most logical – it’s no secret that Disney and EA are already planning their future together; and DICE is sure to be playing a part.
How do you feel about DICE opening up a new American studio? Is this the kind of expansion you’d like to see from such a respected developer, or does this raise fears that yet another studio will be spread too thin? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Battlefield 4Â releases October 29, 2013 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, and after for the PS4 and Xbox One.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.