Back in October, Ubisoft Toronto’s managing director Jade Raymond made the decision to leave the company after 10 years. While many speculated as to why she chose to leave the highly successful publisher, Raymond stated that she was proud to have been part of some of the best teams in the business, having made some “truly remarkable games” during her time at the company. She also called it one of the hardest decisions of her career, but said that she would be leaving Ubisoft Toronto in the hands of Alexandre Parizeau (a founding member of the studio) in order to pursue “other ambitions and opportunities”.
At the time, it was unclear what those ambitious and opportunities would be, but fans of the director commented that she would certainly be in no shortage of studios looking to hire her. During her time at Ubisoft she worked on games such as Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. While not every one of those games knocked it out of the park, Assassin’s Creed spawned a longstanding video game series and Watch Dogs will soon be getting a sequel too, and so of course many would like to work with Raymond to try and emanate those games’ success.
Announced today, the company that Raymond will be working with next is Electronic Arts (EA), and together they have set up a new development team called Motive Studios. At a glance, many would be quick to assume that her work with EA would be similar to her work with Ubisoft, but according to the studio’s official website, Motive will be focusing on “incredible action experiences”, “entirely new IP”, and crucially, “more of what players are asking for”. The studio will also work “in close quarters” with BioWare Montreal, the development team currently working on Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Although EA has been massively successful with its franchises – such as FIFA, Battlefield, Need for Speed, and The Sims – fans have often criticized the publisher for not releasing enough original IP. Yarn-themed platformer Unravel was a pleasant surprise at their E3 2015 press conference, but many have argued that EA will need much more of these sorts of creative games if they are to cater to gamers’ needs and, as EA would hope, if the publisher is going to improve on its share prices even more.
In addition to this work at Motive Studios, Raymond will also be overseeing another EA developer, Visceral Games. Visceral is best known for their necromorph-blasting Dead Space games but currently, the developer is making a new Star Wars game with Amy Hennig, who left Naughty Dog last year after being their creative director.
Next to nothing is known about this mysterious Star Wars game but given that Raymond says that she has “admired [Amy’s] work on the Uncharted games” and that playing in the Star Wars universe is “once-in-a-lifetime stuff”, this secretive title appears to be in good hands.
Are you glad that EA will be focusing more on IP? Are you surprise that Jade Raymond has joined EA? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Motive Studios