It was a coup for Electronic Arts when it announced that Jade Raymond was heading up its new Montreal-based Motive studio. Raymond had previously spent a number of years at Ubisoft, serving as producer or executive producer on the Assassin's Creed series, Watch Dogs, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Motive is helping out with Visceral's new Star Wars game, whatever that turns out to be, but it's also working on something entirely new. In fact, according to Executive Vice President of EA Studios Patrick Soderlund, EA is "building lots of new IPs" as part of an effort to increase its presence in the big-budget action genre.
"If you look at the biggest segment in our industry, which is action, we don't have a lot," Soderlund told IGN. "EA is not known to make gigantic action games like Assassin's Creed or Batman or GTA or those types of games that are really big. The strategic direction that we put in motion is to expand our portfolio more into that segment, to see what can we bring to gamers that maybe hasn't been done before."
Soderlund wouldn't say whether Motive's new game is open-world, although he added that EA isn't looking to "go after GTA and sell 50 million units," as much as it would like to. "What I'm saying is that those types of absolutely triple-A, big productions is what we want to do," he said. It will require both the right people on the job—ergo Raymond—and a willingness to spend money, which EA apparently isn't shy about either. "We're building a lot of new IPs today but we want to invest more money into new IP," Soderlund added.
I'm not entirely convinced that what the world needs now is another blockbuster action franchise, but legitimately new stuff—or even stuff that's not entirely new but still occupies a unique space? That's an idea I can get behind.