Electronic Arts’ Montreal-based Motive studio recently developed the single-player campaign for Star Wars Battlefront II, but Motive also has another new action project in the works that will let the developer flex its creative muscles. Just don’t expect to get your hands on it anytime soon, as it’s still at least three years away.
Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen gave an update on Motive’s project during a talk at the UBS Global Technology Conference, saying that it will likely release in fiscal year 2021, which begins in April 2020.
“[It’s] a new game with a lot of new interesting gameplay that I don’t think anyone’s seen before,” Jorgensen said.
Motive’s title will be an open-world action game rather than a shooter, and BioWare’s Anthem is also action-oriented rather than the role-playing-heavy Mass Effect and Dragon Age series.
Regardless of genre, these games will likely see the implementation of microtransactions and other forms of monetization not typically found in traditional retail games until relatively recently. During the conference, Jorgensen said Electronic Arts is looking into “uncapped” subscription models, which will put additional microtransactions on top of the per-month fee players are already paying for services like EA Access.
Jorgensen’s language struck us as a little slimy, as he said the publisher wanted to “try and monetize” its fans continuously as they enjoyed a game they had already spent money on. We’ve seen controversy surrounding this in Star Wars Battlefront II, which uses a loot box system many have accused of being “pay-to-win,” so much so that an investigation has already been launched by the Belgium Gaming Commission. Depending on the findings of the investigation, the publisher could be forced to stop selling the game in the country.
Former Electronic Arts studio Visceral Games had been working on a liner action game with the Star Wars license before the studio was shut down and the project pivoted to a more open-ended structure. It appears the game, which is now being developed primarily by EA Vancouver, could be using this ongoing monetization strategy as well. It will be interesting to see how Electronic Arts’ strategy changes, or doesn’t change, following the recent controversy.
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