Typically, when gamers think of Electronic Arts, their minds tend to drift toward the developer’s myriad iterations of sports titles. Whether it’s football, basketball, or soccer, the developer annually drops a brand new Madden release, NBA Live game, and a fresh version of FIFA, so it’s really no wonder why fans’ brains immediately associate EA with their simulations of those athletic past times.
Despite EA’s successful slew of sports titles – Madden continues to be their top draw, as it became the top selling game of August 2015 – the firm also tackles its fair share of other genres by publishing games like the rhythm-based Rock Band, the fantasy-RPG Dragon Age, and the sci-fi survival horror title Dead Space. In fact, Electronic Arts’ subsidiary DICE believes that its parent company’s library is quite diverse. As it happens, when talking to Official Xbox Magazine about the Mirror’s Edge series, DICE‘s studio manager Patrick Bach claimed that EA Games takes a lot of risks when it comes to new intellectual properties.
Regarding the matter, Bach clarifies that Electronic Arts has the ability to take such chances due to the financial buffer built from previous games’ successes, saying:
“The reality is, you need to at least make your money back – and if you fail to do that, no one will rescue you. I think that’s also the benefit of EA today – there’s a lot of cushioning when it comes to taking a risk. Like, we wanted to do crazy shit because we are in a position to do that. That’s the benefit of the EA mentality where you understand what it means to be big. Rather than do less and less crazy stuff, you do more and more because you can – instead of thinking that if we do more of the safe stuff we will be a lot bigger and better.”
While it is true that Electronic Arts occasionally makes titles that expand beyond the more familiar terrain set with their long list of sports games – Brutal Legend and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst immediately come to mind – Bach is making it seem as if EA is known for shaking up the industry with dicey moves, when that’s not completely the case. Sure, some might argue that the forthcoming Star Wars Battlefront is an example of the company taking a chance, but since the sci-fi franchise is already established and ingrained into the zeitgeist, it’s hard to imagine that the game will fail financially upon release.
However, the showing of Unravel‘s gameplay trailer at E3 2015 is a definite bit of proof that EA has the capacity for putting out unconventional titles. Should the company continue such a trend of fostering original and imaginative games in the future without releasing them as broken and incomplete, maybe they can eventually shake off the stink of being named the worst company in America two years in a row.
Do you agree with the DICE studio manager’s claims that Electronic Arts takes risks when it comes to game development? Or do you think that Patrick Bach is simply blowing smoke in an attempt to sway people’s opinion about the company for which he works?
The next game slated for DICE is Star Wars Battlefront, which is set to release on November 17, 2015 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, while Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will be available next year for the same platforms on February 26, 2015.