EA Launching DICE LA Studio to Work on Star Wars Games
EA’s policy of cutting jobs and whole studios to save money has to be undone for the publisher to get to work on their new exclusive Star Wars license. New job postings show that EA’s DICE studio, the developer of the Battlefield franchise and one of three EA devs working on Star Wars, will be opening a studio in Los Angeles.
According to an article by the Wall Street Journal, the new DICE LA studio is being put in place to gather the best talent in the industry who is generally in Los Angeles. However, the company will be bringing their Swedish management practices such as staff consensus for major decisions and extended time for maternity and paternity leave.
The size of DICE LA isn’t going to make up for the 900 jobs that EA cut over the last few months. Current plans are for DICE to hire 60 people by the end of the year.
It’s also very important to note that EA and DICE don’t have any firm plans in place for what DICE LA will develop. Specifically, I mean that they haven’t decided if they’ll work on a new Star Wars IP or a sequel to an existing IP. Considering that most of the fans are expecting DICE to work on a Battlefront game because of their FPS expertise, it would make sense for DICE LA to do Battlefront 3.
However, that’s far from a certainty. Job postings for DICE LA are looking for people to work on things everything from mobile games to PC games to MMOs. However, that Disney still holds the mobile license for Star Wars, I don’t think DICE will be making a Star Wars cow clicker. Similarly, since BioWare Austin is still working on expansions for The Old Republic, I don’t think we’ll see a Star Wars MMO FPS (a Star Wars take on Planetside, for example) anytime in the very near future.
At least it seems that EA and DICE are going to dedicate the necessary resources to Star Wars games rather than quickly cash in on the license. Given the sad state of their public image and the developers committed to Star Wars games, I’m optimistic that we’ll get some good, or at lease, well-intentioned, games out of the deal.