Former EA boss Patrick Söderlund's new studio is making a PVP shooter

3 soldiers of varying nationalities stand in front of block colour backgrounds
(Image credit: Embark Studios)

Embark, a studio founded by former EA Games boss Patrick Söderlund, has begun work on a competitive first-person shooter.

Writing for the first time since July 2019, the former Battlefield executive penned a blog post covering the studio's year under the pandemic and gave updates on the team's first project (a free-to-play military action game). But after receiving questions regarding job listings at the company, Söderlund announced that Embark has a second game in the pipeline—an as-yet-unnamed team-based shooter.

"To be honest, I thought I was done with PVP-shooters having worked on them in one form or another for almost my entire career," Söderlund writes. "But a while back, some of us here put together a small pitch that was too irresistible to ignore."

There's not much to show right now, mind, save for a single screen of character concepts showing an international cast of soldiers wielding modern rifles and olde timey swords. If I were to wildly speculate, I'd guess we're looking at a hero shooter in line with something like Valorant or Rainbow Six Siege.

"It’s a concept that leans heavily into team-based gameplay and puts dynamism, physicality, and destruction front and centre. Some of the industry’s most experienced first-person-shooter developers are with us here at Embark."

Söderlund also reports that the studio's first game has now entered full production. Our first snippet of proper gameplay shows what looks like a vast, open-world military shooter, as a somewhat futuristic soldier bounces around an Unreal Engine landscape while dozens of shells burst from overhead. 

"Our ambition with this game is to combine new and old genres with groundbreaking technical innovation, into something unique and consequential. And now, coming to a point where all this work is starting to manifest itself as a real game, is really exciting."

The post also lightly touches on a third project, a game creation platform in line with things like Dreams or Roblox. It's still far too early to see what shape this'll take, though Embark has begun open-sourcing many of the tools they're using to make it happen.

It'll pay to wait and see what comes of Embark's competitive shooter. Recent years have brought plenty of new players into that field—but from Disintegration to Hyper Scape, few have found the staying power to keep themselves afloat, never mind become the next big thing.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.