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Mirror's Edge Dev Enjoying The New EA

| 31 Mar 2009 19:24
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DICE are enjoying their parent company's new approach to intellectual properties and creative ideas, saying that the focus on quality is definitely the right direction.

The Electronic Arts we know today sure is a far cry from the "evil EA" of yore. Last year, they put out two new IPs in Mirror's Edge and Dead Space. And even in the midst of a catastrophic economic meltdown worldwide, CEO John Riccitiello has continually asserted that he believes "there is no inherent conflict between great creativity and achieving strong profitability."

That philosophy isn't just high talk from the mouth of a CEO - it seems that it's really being felt at the ground zero of game development, the studios themselves. "On a daily basis you can definitely feel the sheer interest in making good new IPs, good games, quality; that DICE is recognised for being DICE the studio and not just part of a big company," DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson told Eurogamer.

Putting an emphasis on quality over sheer profitability might seem like a shaky proposition in today's economy, but DICE agrees with Riccitiello that this is the way to go. "[Look at] Dead Space and everything," Gustavsson said. "It's definitely the right direction and I'm happy to see that people recognize it."

Contrary to the common wisdom that a small group of creative individuals can't flourish in a mega-corporation, Gustavsson says that DICE has benefited greatly from the resources that only a huge company like EA can provide. Case in point: the company's "creative director class" that takes place four times a year. ""I get to sit down and discuss all of these things with, you know, 20 other creative directors from different studios, and that's an enormous possibility for us as a small studio, since it's hard to find a design class to be honest!" he said.

So, has EA really changed? Well, not entirely, Gustavsson thinks, but it's getting there. "I think that the EA you see today - and I hear that from basically everyone on the outside - is a different EA, and yes, change doesn't come overnight, but I think we're starting to see the fruit of this process," he said. Hopefully that fruit contains another Mirror's Edge.

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