Vince Zampella, the head of Titanfall and Apex Legends studio Respawn Entertainment, is taking over Dice LA to launch the studio's very own game for the first time.
"But Dice have released loads of games!" I hear you cry, and yes they have, but those releases have mostly come from the main studio, Dice Stockholm, while the LA developers have acted as more of a support studio, and haven't actually released a game by themselves since the studio was taken over by EA.
The LA faction started life as DreamWorks Interactive before being acquired by EA in 2000, and rebranded to Danger Close Games in 2010 to focus on the Medal Of Honor series. Dice LA was born in 2013 when EA rebranded yet again.
Now according to the Los Angeles Times, Zampella's plan is to rebrand Dice LA once more in an effort to give them a "new image", and after six years finally set them apart from the Stockholm mothership.
"We want people to say, ‘This is a destination you can go and make new content,’" he told the LA Times. "I think they’ve kind of gotten the branding that they are the support studio for Dice Stockholm. I think rebranding is important for showing people, ‘Hey! Come work here. We’re going to do some amazing things.’”
"I think we’re going to have a really strong studio out of our Los Angeles location, " says Laura Miele, EA's chief studios officer. "They can go from a support team to a full stand-alone studio to create a new game offering.”
It's worth noting Zampella isn't leaving Respawn, though his role there is "now as more of a head coach". In his absence, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be left in the capable hands of the game's director, Stig Asmussen, while Apex Legends will be looked after by Infinity Ward veteran, Chad Grenier.
Dice LA will operate separately from EA's other studios, and though the developers will still interact, Zampella says: “We do talk a lot, and the more we interact and learn from and teach each other, the better we’ll be. So there’s interaction, but as far as the games, they’re their own studio.”
As for this new game, it's difficult to say what we're in store for just yet. With no reveals on the horizon, it looks like we'll be waiting a while to find out.