Respawn co-founder takes charge of DICE LA, developing a new game

Respawn Entertainment co-founder Vince Zampella has taken charge of another EA studio, heading up a DICE LA as they get to work developing a new and original game. The studio will also be rebranding as they branch off on their own.

However, this isn’t Zampella leaving Respawn, EA are broadening his remit to look after a second studio. DICE LA has up until this point been charged with supporting the main output of DICE Stockholm, but EA want to change that with Zampella charge with expanding the studio and creating a new game.

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In the process they will also be getting a new name as they create a separate identity from both DICE and Respawn. Zampella explained to the LA Times, “We will probably rebrand. We want to give it a new image. We want people to say, ‘This is a destination you can go and make new content.’ I think they’ve kind of gotten the branding that they are the support studio for DICE Stockholm. I think rebranding is important for showing people, ‘Hey! Come work here. We’re going to do some amazing things.’”

EA Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele said, “I think under Vince’s leadership the expectation is to have them work on and create a game on their own, and I genuinely believe that he is going to help guide them creatively. He’s going to help them further fortify and build out their talent and their team. I think we’re going to have a really strong studio out of our Los Angeles location. They can go from a support team to a full stand-alone studio to create a new game offering.”

Zampella will continue to have oversight of Respawn, but even there the scope of what he’s managed has grown dramatically over the last few years with three teams that we know of within the studio. Having founded Respawn Entertainment with Jason West in 2010, they remained independent through the development of Titanfall and its sequel before being acquired by EA in November 2017. Just two years later and Respawn have become a huge part of EA’s business, diversifying their output to include Titanfall battle royale spin-off Apex Legends, third person action adventure Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and upcoming VR shooter Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond for Oculus Rift.

It’s fascinating to see the importance of Respawn to EA at the moment, with many fearing in 2017 that the developer would be gobbled up by the oft-maligned publisher. Instead, it seems as though the studio has as much creative freedom as ever, with Apex Legends launching to rival Battlefield’s battle royale mode and Jedi: Fallen order taking some bold gameplay choices for a mass market Star Wars game. That Zampella’s role is being elevated further is another sign of the creative spark that his studio has helped provide to EA.

Source: LA Times

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