EA Working On Their Own Open-World Action Game

The sheen of open-world murder simulators has worn off for me – Assassin’s Creed is going down the pan, Far Cry’s formulaic, Watch Dogs is daft, The Phantom Pain lost its magic half-way through, Batman’s suffered shoddy porting, and even GTA V I didn’t finish – but hey, apparently this is the time for Electronic Arts to enter the field.

They’re either five years late to the trend, or have carefully calculated when folks will be bored of ’em and want something new. If they could liven open murderworlds back up, that would be exciting. They haven’t announced a specific game yet, but say something’s in the works at Motive Studios, their new studio headed by former Ubisoft Toronto managing director Jade Raymond.

EA have mentioned this hole in their lineup before but, GameSpot report, chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said at a business-y tech conference yesterday that they’re already plugging it:

“We’ve never really operated in the largest genre of gaming, and that’s the action genre. That’s the Assassin’s Creed-style games; more open-world, more single-play versus multiplayer. It’s not been an area that we’ve operated in. We recently hired Jade Raymond, who was behind the Assassin’s Creed franchise for Ubisoft and she will be building an action genre for us through a studio we’re building out in Montreal right now. So a lot of excitement around the action genre.”

Ah, yes, the action genre. EA has been short on action games. Too many quiet, peaceful, inactive games with nary a murder to be found. I’ll be interested to see EA moving into the action genre.

That’s enough marvelling at that delightfully awkward language. If EA can bring something new to a genre that’s now formulaic and stale, that would be jolly nice. I hope they don’t just ‘put a twist’ on the same old tat. Now the technological novelty of open murderworlds has worn off, newcomers kinda need to have more at their heart. Sounds like it’ll be a few years before they have much to show of what Motive are working on, though.

41 Comments

  1. Gordon Shock says:

    “If EA can bring something new to a genre that’s now formulaic and stale, that would be jolly nice”

    I, for one, am not holding my breath.

    • geisler says:

      I, for one, welcome our new advertising overlords. Any new EA open world will be GOTY for sure.

  2. NicholasTimothyJones says:

    If only they would revive Mercenaries…

  3. KwisatzHaderach says:

    Go Play the witcher 3. Together with the expansions it will keep you occupied till 2077 is released. No need for hoping that EA of all companies will produce something worthwhile…

    • Freud says:

      What The Witcher 3 did well was that it avoided the icon hunting chore. When you had to kill monsters, they were unique monsters and when you had to collect stuff it was armor recipes you could craft.

      Add the wonderful world building, good writing and great cut scenes and it felt nothing like Far Cry or AssCreed, despite it techinically being an open world game with icons.

      When I play Ubisoft open world games I feel like I’m vacuuming the map for no other reason than to satisfy my OCD. I then realize that when I finished the game I wasn’t particularly enjoying myself and end up resenting the game and myself for wasting my time with that.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        Mad Max needs credit for this. Yes, it’s heavy on the icons but none of it was a chore. Every location was hand-crafted and unique, and getting there was full of emergent car-chase shenanigans. It’s also got a world and story that a) is true to the source material and b) not full of standard tropes.

        Mark of a good story? People complaining on the forums that the ending is too dark and isn’t a happily ever after.

        it also helps that it has the best looking explosions I’ve ever seen and runs like butter on my very modest system.

        • Jakkar says:

          So happy to see people recognising Mad Max’s beautifully crafted world. Nothing else in the genre has managed that. Red Faction: Guerilla held the prize before, but Mad Max brought, at times, Metro 2033 levels of… Soulful detail to its locations.

          Extremely basic gameplay, repetitive objectives, but the world in which you pursue those objectives is just so well made.

          Not just the little stories to be interpreted either, I mean the geology and dead ecology of the Great White. I’ve never seen such an imaginative post-apocalyptic setting in a game. Even in cinema only Nausicaa manages to be so *interesting* in its depiction of the world-after-the-end…

          • Blackcompany says:

            I am currently playing Witcher 3. I also own Mad Max.

            Coupled with a full time job, a relationship, friends and other interests, including books and shows, and I figure this is enough open world shenanigans to last me into late next year easy. By which time modders will have been at work on FO4.

            So yeah, got the open world thing covered for now and then some.

        • fish99 says:

          *spoilers*

          Mad Max was alright for maybe 20-30 hours, then it became an unbearable repetitive grind, and the reward for actually slogging through that depressing horror was a dreadful miserable story where everyone dies. Yipee!

  4. ainokmw says:

    $10 says it takes place in or close to the present.

    I view this more as a means for them to sell advertising space on billboards and radio broadcasts in their modern American metropolis than an actual interest in creating gameplay.

    Nothing says “we’ve got a great vision for a fantastic game” like opening with “our analysts were looking at what holes we have in our portfolio…”

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      FhnuZoag says:

      It’s a speech by the chief financial officer at a conference sponsored by a bank, what did you expect?

      • ainokmw says:

        I expected exactly that.

        There’s a difference between “I find this shocking” and “I find this to be a sad reflection on the current trajectory of video gaming.”

        Ultimately it demonstrates that EA titles are dictated from above by marketing analysts rather than anyone who actually cares in the slightest about games. Am I suprised or shocked? Not in the slightest. Is EA the only company that does this? Of course not. Does it explain why so much of AAA gaming is currently dominated by brain-dead annually churned corporate slop with little substance but substantial marketing? Absolutely.

        • Jimbo says:

          EA seem to rely on this MO more heavily than most of the other big publishers I’d say. The others at least *occasionally* try to set the agenda by coming up with the next big thing.

          EA don’t even seem to try to get ahead of the curve, they just look at whatever was hot 2-5 years ago, make a slightly worse version of it and then wonder why their game sold like 1/4 as many copies as the thing they ripped off.

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          FhnuZoag says:

          I don’t think it really proves anything or other. It just means that when the money men talk to other money men, different perspectives and priorities apply. In the context of where the discussion took place, what the CFO needs to do is establish credibility for the financial future of the company. Expressing any enthusiasm or boldness of vision is not his job, indeed it’s a downright liability. And he’s also not allowed to talk about what this game is actually going to be, since it isn’t a product launch.

          This game could well be good, or even great. See for example Titanfall, which was interesting and innovative (even if you don’t like that sort of thing), despite being apparently born out of a decision to undercut Call of Duty.

        • Unclepauly says:

          Guess there’s no need to reply, you’ve already answered all of your own questions :(

    • satsui says:

      I would take your bet if “present” was defined. How close is close?

      • ainokmw says:

        Hmm… I don’t know. Depends. Close enough that selling billboard, radio and television ads in game to the likes of Taco Bell, Pepsi and T-Mobile wouldn’t feel weirdly out of place.

        Let’s say 1980 to 2050.

  5. aliksy says:

    I expect it to be bland, origin exclusive, possibly console exclusive, overpriced with lots of dlc, and something a few of my rich/impulsive friends will buy and play for a week or so.

  6. theapeofnaples says:

    That’s sure to be good

  7. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    I would pay a lot of money if they gave Mirror’s Edge an open, explorable world.

  8. Jimbo says:

    EA seem to exist in a permanent state of ‘late to the party’.

  9. naetharu says:

    Alas, I’ve found myself at a point where I simply avoid all stuff made by EA. Not in some epic protest against their nickle-&-diming policies mind. Rather just as a result of a limp kind of tiredness resulting from having purchased a few too many games that their frankly in-excusable publishing habits had ruined.

    • Sian says:

      It was protest for me at first. I really didn’t like the look of Origin. Haven’t bought an EA game since they all require it, but now it’s more because I can’t muster one iota of interest for anything they’ve published in the meantime.

      • Blackcompany says:

        Agreed. I simply cannot get interested in anything on offer from EA. Dont do mutiplayer FPS games. Dragon Age Inquisition had me curious, until I saw that MMO like combat, and it really turned me off.

        So yeah, for me its not so much about protesting against EA as it is just not being interested in anything they have on offer, coupled with my having no desire to take a chance on any game they release which requires an online connection, simply because I have no faith it will last.

      • rumtotinggamer says:

        Yep BF3 in 2011 was the last time for me, came out in a crap buggy state, needed Origin to play, half the player items were unlockables, and the game wasn’t even that fun.

        I just play BF1942 now its free fun and tiny in size with no BS.

      • Czrly says:

        I can identify with this feeling of apathy but I do feel obliged to point out that it is not a feeling that is exclusive to EA. I couldn’t be arsed to play anything released by any triple-A developer, these days. (Barring Starcraft which is more of an eSport than a game.)

        … oh, and the new Unreal Tournament pre-alpha. This is the most intriguing thing, to me, because I am certain it is triple-A, Epic are definitely one of the big-money dev houses of yore and, yet, I can’t help feel that they are one of the best things ever to happen for Gaming. Look at the cool stuff Indie developers have made with their engine? Even Unity, the darling of Indie, is better off because they have Unreal to compete with! (The game, itself, is exactly what we fans of the late-’90s multiplayer FPS have always asked for: good, pure old-school gun-play with modern net-code, modern physics, modern graphics and modern hit-detection, without sacrificing old-school movement and old-school, hilarious fun.)

        • fish99 says:

          I dunno about the new Unreal Tournament. I like the new clean art style and being able to actually see the enemies (unlike UT3), and it looks great, but there’s nothing really new in it so far in terms of weapons and modes. I think shooters need something more nowadays, whether it’s progression/unlocks (COD/Battlefield style), classes/abilities (like TF2/Overwatch), or a different format like BR.

          I fear the new UT will only attract old UT players like me, and never grab a sizeable audience.

  10. iambecomex says:

    Open-world Star Wars it is then.

  11. AlexClockwork says:

    Wasn’t The Saboteur EA’s? I really enjoyed that game, to be fair. That mix of climbable buildings, stealth, disguising, driving and some shooting felt quite refreshing to me.

  12. minijedimaster says:

    You lost me at EA making a game from a studio run by a former Ubisoft employee. Run… away… very quickly.

    • Czrly says:

      “You know what makes life better? No, not just third-party DRM on Steam games – don’t be so narrow minded. Think: Third-party DRM on Steam Games AND unskipable splash screens of the EA logo AND in-game advertising!”

  13. Siannah says:

    EA had that all with The Saboteur. Then they killed Pandemic Studios….

  14. harley9699 says:

    At the picture’s first glance, before I realized what it was, and after reading the title, my thought was, “American Wild West!”. Man, somebody could make a killing with that. Not talking about the way “Hard West” seems, with all the weirdo-ness,but an open-world wild west—conventional weapons and all. Like Fallout 3/NV/4 without anything futuristic, magic, etc.

  15. vingt-2 says:

    Great f*cking amazing news.

    Who cares ?

  16. Mario Figueiredo says:

    EA may do whatever they want. I just don’t buy from that company. Ever.