EA have teased what some of their biggest studios are working on for the next generation of console. With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X coming out at the end of this year, it doesn’t sound like EA will be there on day one with non-sports games, but will be striving to deliver some eye-popping new experiences in 2021 and beyond.
In the teaser, EA’s Chief Studios Office Laura Miele spoke about four of the company’s key studios and showed us glimpses of their upcoming projects.
Criterion Games are resurgent in recent months, with EA having decided to fold Ghost Games back into Criterion and hand the Guildford-based studio the keys to the Need for Speed franchise once more. The glimpse of some incredibly shiny and reflective ray-traced cars looked practically photorealistic to my eyes.
Next was a glimpse of what BioWare are working on, already commonly understood to be a new Dragon Age game. Codenamed Morrison, this is the studio’s second attempt at a fourth Dragon Age game, and will come after the very public failures of Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem. We got to see a very pretty looking tree and some moonlit ruins covered in red glowy stuff. Ominous!
Then came DICE, another studio with a similarly troubled resume of late. They’ve recently announced the end of support for Battlefield V and Star Wars Battlefront II, so that they could focus on a next-gen Battlefield game rumoured to be coming in 2021. To greyboxed footage of a lot of soldiers running around, Miele said they are “creating epic battles at a scale and fidelity unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
Finally, Motive are working on what seems to be a new IP, with a character seemingly able to fly through the sky and move objects with telekinesis or technology. It’s not the most arresting of the four demos, I must say.
Naturally a lot of this will rest on DICE’s shoulders. They’ll leading the charge in developing the Frostbite Engine that powers most of EA’s games these days, pushing the envelope as they go. However, the finger has been pointed in exposés on EA’s less successful releases of the last few years at production problems stemming from the engine. Hopefully it’s more settled and better fleshed out for the next generation.
All told, EA look to be bringing some big franchises to next gen in 2021, with all the potential and resources that a huge publisher can bring to bear.