Electronic Arts is finally hoping to break into the AAA open world with a new Seattle studio led by Kevin Stephens, who previously served as VP of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor developer Monolith Productions. Not surprising, GamesIndustry.biz reports that Stephens and his team will be tasked with producing an open world action adventure similar to the one he oversaw before. Stephens will work under EA senior VP and group general manager Samantha Ryan, who previously worked at Monolith herself, so he should be at home.
Ryan had this to say about Stephens and the new studio, which doesn’t have a name yet …
The space for action and adventure is a hugely important genre in our industry, and for us at EA. Players and fans of those games are so passionate and it’s one of my personal favorite genres too. We’ve also had success with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order recently, and we’d love to entertain more fans with similar interests.
We are still figuring out many fundamental questions. How big? Which games? How fast to grow? Kevin and I both know the importance of getting the fundamentals of a studio “right” and will take the time to figure it all out. When you’re in a hurry, you don’t give yourself time to be considerate. Why rush?
It sounds like everything this new studio is working on isn’t going to come out for a while. For now, you have to wonder what Stephens’ move could mean about the state of Monolith Productions. The studio hasn’t released a new game since 2017’s Shadow of War, and Warner Bros. Interactive will be split due to the recent merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery. Can we see more Monolith dropouts as the studio is tossed around by its corporate masters?
What do you hope the new Stephen-led EA studio will be working on?
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