In recent years, EA has struggled to connect with gamers; with so many studios under its umbrella, this has caused a lot of concern for large franchises. With the recent report that EA abandon live service template for the early entry of BioWare’s Dragon Age (a series known for its solo adventures) and following the cancellation of the anthemLaura Miele of EA has confirmed that the publisher is going through a drastic pivot for the foreseeable future.
Miele is currently EA’s Studio Director and recently spoke to IGN’s Rebekah Valentine to talk more about her work and the future of the company. In her role, Miele oversees over 6,000 game developers from all kinds of backgrounds working on all kinds of projects. Through her work, she tells the site that she has developed an incredibly complex understanding of the “intricacies and sophistication” of game development, and this insight has strengthened her love for the craft tremendously.
Miele has explained a bit of what it’s like to allow studios under the EA name to create the stories they want to tell. “When it comes to our game development philosophy, our players are always our north star,” Miele said. “In starting this current role, I wanted to remove some of the preconceptions about which games we should invest in and really start listening to players and incorporating their voices into our development process. Since then we have announced a list of games that gamers have requested: a new Skate, College Football, a Command & Conquer remaster, the Mass Effect trilogy and we have been developing free content in Battlefront 2 for several years to completely change. the perception of this game. “
She also spoke a bit about how the goal was to engage players in the conversation during development, which was a big motivation for the release of the Command & Conquer source code. That being said, being able to keep players involved and bypass player requests is not as easy as snapping your fingers. Speaking of which, Miele brought up franchises like FIFA and Madden. Sports series under the EA name have been criticized the most in the past, mainly with regard to the more predatory practices of microtransactions adapting a Pay to Win model. Miele told IGN that this type of feedback is taken into account, but making changes to games like this on a larger scale takes work and sometimes those changes can take years to implement.
“We recently added advanced innovation teams that are heavily focused on technology development and dedicated to long-term game development,” Miele added of EA’s sports games. “These teams are exploring innovation initiatives that players can experience in two to three years.”
With that in mind, taking player feedback into account doesn’t mean all players are happy. Each individual player has different desires, different expectations, and EA is still a company that must appeal to shareholders and investors. That being said, she added that the publisher is undergoing a lot of changes right now, with the first major course of action being the cancellation of Anthem Next.
While BioWare explained why it would no longer continue in a previous statement, Miele added that it basically boils down to one question: does EA continue to invest in this area – something that a large portion of the community has already viewed as a failure – or is the company taking these resources and apply them to other franchises, franchises like Mass Effect, Dragon Age and even Titanfall, for a brighter future? We know which direction society has been leaning in now, which bodes well for those concerned about the future of galaxies and a demon infested Thedas.
For those interested in wall jumping and chaos, in particular with the success of Apex Legends, part of the pivot coincides for a drive to continue Titanfall. As Respawn works hard to keep Apex Legends going and make it even better with the new seasons, Miele added that EA has stepped back and given the studio full control over what it does with this franchise. So if players want it and Respawn hears it, then a new Titanfall is possible.
The first game in the Titanfall franchise received mixed reviews, but the sequel is where it really shone. Gone is the online-only adventure, and instead, the second game delivered a surprisingly deep narrative that left a positive feeling for the gaming community once the end credits rolled out.
While EA reserves the right to have the final say as publisher, the company is moving towards greater “creative autonomy” which has always existed at some level, but which will now be a more important focus. . Ultimately, the goal is to create a balance between developers, publisher, and gamers who enjoy every adventure that comes out of every studio. With the retraction of EA’s previous position that no one “love solo games, “It looks like the future for some of our most beloved gaming adventures is brighter than many feared.
To read the full interview, which we highly recommend as there is phenomenal insight into the company’s philosophy and how it has evolved here, you can check that out properly. here.