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EA prone to introducing new concepts, says DICE general manager

By: Jason McCarthy

  |   September 12th, 2012   |  
Earns Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (EA) is often lambasted by critics for not being innovative enough, a reputation that continues to grow with each new sequel of its popular franchises.

DICE general manager Magnus Troedsson, however, disagrees with the notion and believes that the publisher is carrying out a fair bit of innovation.

In a recent interview with Gamasutra, the Battlefield studio’s general manager asserted that while he has no trouble in understanding why the general opinion about EA’s proneness to show creativity was not very positive, creating such a strong association between the lack of innovation and the company is not an unfair.

According to him, the publisher is not simply hanging on to its popular video game franchises, but often comes up with new concepts and intellectual properties.

“EA is actually very prone to try out new things,” he said. “And I have to say that sometimes I think we get too much crap for not being innovative. We do release new IPs, and we do take care of IPs that have been out there. And perhaps not so successful, but we try to get new things out there as well.”

He acknowledged the fact that DICE has seemed a bit focused on its Mass Effect, Battlefield and sports franchises over the last few years and agreed that this is what led the critics to accuse the publisher of throwing the same concept in the market over and over again, with some critics going as far as stating that this sort of approach is killing the gaming industry and will eventually cause it to completely collapse.

Troedsson, however, argued that just because the studio was looking to keep itself on a safer ground, it in no way cast a shadow of doubt on the America-based publisher’s track record of innovation.

“Now, that might sound strange coming from me, working on Battlefield. We’ve been around for 10 years, and we just keep doing more of the same, but being innovative in that space,” he said.

He explained that the studio as well as the publisher defines innovation as a change that is made to make something better and making it fresh, which is something that EA does on regular basis. These changes may sometimes be really big and therefore stand out, or they may be relatively small and often fail to get identified. He contended that the latter scenario is what is followed by cries that there is no innovation because they fail to notice the changes. However, the people who actually play the game and have an eye for details are the ones who not only take notice of these improvements, but also appreciate them.

It remains to be seen how the claims made by Troedsson go down with the critics.