EA’s Soderlund: “The day we stop thinking about new things is the day I leave”
Top exec stresses the importance of new IP
While it’s easy to focus on big publishers’ key franchises, Patrick Soderlund over at EA games has stressed the importance of working on new, original titles.
“To me, the day we stop doing new IP is the day we put ourselves on life support and then we’re slowly going to die,” he said.
Soderlund notes how important the creation of entirely new material is to developers, who need somewhere the channel new thoughts and ideas.
“[Creatives] need something different to think about. They have a lot of creativity built into them that they need to get out.
“The day that we stop thinking about new things that are not Need for Speed is the day that I’ll probably leave the games industry.”
Soderlund also spoke at length about getting the most out of their employees by empowering them, showing them that EA is willing to go the extra mile; citing Battlefield 3 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted as examples of allowing developers the freedom to innovate.
“We demand so much from our employees that frankly if we can’t show them that we’re willing to go all out, why will they? That’s my philosophy. And we have certainly made some difference to other studios with that mentality.
“A lot of people criticise EA for not being innovative. But look at what EA has done with Battlefield 3. We said, here’s a game that looks like nothing you’ve seen before. We looked at animation, we looked at audio, we looked at audio, we looked at every single part of the visual experience and we said: how can we change this? I think if that’s not innovation, I don’t know what is.”
“Those things don’t just happen by mistake, those are all diligent strategies with someone saying: ‘probably not good enough’.