A series of
tweets from Oskar Gabrielson
announce his departure from DICE, where he had
served as General Manager. He does not get into why he's departing, focusing
instead on looking back at his work on the Battlefield series. He says leaving
DICE and Electronic Arts is one of the hardest decisions of his life. This does,
however, come following the poorly received launch of Battlefield 2042
Thus Gabrielson's departure is part of what
calls a "major shake-up" of the long-running military shooter
series. Among the details they reveal are plans for Vince Zampella to take
command of the series, for Marcus Lehto (Halo designer) to start a new studio in
Seattle to work along with Ripple Effect and DICE to develop "a new Battlefield
experience in the Battlefield 2042 universe." Some of what's planned will result
in a universe where "the world is interconnected with shared characters and
narrative." Here's a bit from the lengthy post:
Additionally, DICE GM
Oskar Gabrielson is leaving the company to pursue a new endeavor outside of EA.
The shake-up also includes Respawn's Vince Zampella taking on a bigger role as
the new overall boss of the Battlefield franchise, while Halo designer Marcus
Lehto is building a new development team in Seattle focused on injecting more
storytelling into the Battlefield universe. Ripple Effect, the developer of
Battlefield 2042's Portal mode, is developing a new Battlefield experience in
the Battlefield 2042 universe.
In the immediate future, EA told GameSpot that DICE, Ripple Effect, and Lehto's
new Seattle studio will work together to expand upon and improve Battlefield
2042. The other Battlefield games and experiences in the works are meant to
serve as extensions, to a degree, of the new Battlefield universe that EA is
trying to create. There are no specifics available about the new games and
experiences that EA intends to create or when they will release, as of yet.
As for Lehto, the man who designed Master Chief and played a major role in
making Halo what it is today, he is heading up a new, unnamed studio in the
Seattle area. It will collaborate with DICE and Ripple Effect with the aim of
expanding the narrative, storytelling, and character development opportunities
in the Battlefield series. There is no word yet on what this means in terms of
specific products or strategies, however.
In a big shift, Battlefield 2042 did not have a single-player mode, instead
opting to focus on three main multiplayer pillars: All-Out Warfare, Portal, and
Hazard Zone. Lehto previously started an independent studio called V1
Interactive that made a sci-fi shooter called Disintegration. The game failed to
find an audience, and V1 closed its doors. Lehto was hired by EA earlier this
year, but it isn't until today that we're learning what he's working on.
Byron Beede, the longtime Call of Duty veteran who EA hired earlier this year to
grow the Battlefield series as the shepherd of its long-term strategy and
business decisions, said Lehto and his team in Seattle will expand Battlefield
2042's narrative across a "variety of experiences." These will lay the
foundation for "storytelling opportunities now and well into the future," Beede
teased. Whatever Lehto's team creates, it will show up in "later seasons" for
Battlefield 2042 and "beyond."