Exec on the ‘profound’ advantages of having 3,000 employees working on the same game engines

EA sees a ‘one-tech platform’ future

EA’s Patrick Soderlund believes the benefits of developing its in-house Frostbite and Ignite game engines could lead to a one-tech platform future for the publisher.

Speaking to Game Informer, the exec said the positive effects of focusing on its own tools that it can continue to develop are profound. At present it has 300 people working on Frostbite 3.

The publisher also uses what Soderlund describes as an “open source” development model for the engine, where teams such as BioWare can adapt the engine to support their game’s specific needs, such as open world structures. Eventually, this means that other teams can take advantage of the same systems.

“It didn’t support big worlds. They had to implement streaming systems,” he said.

“There was no advanced dialogue or cutscene system, so they had to implement those things. The main package of Frostbite keeps expanding, because of what the Frostbite team develops, but also because of the things teams keep adding to it. The streaming solution that BioWare added is now in the main branch helping us build open world games in general, whether that’s Need for Speed or Dragon Age. The dialogue system is also part of the main branch."

Soderlund added that another advantage was the knowledge base it creates within the studio. The benefits of 3,000 people trained on Frostbite and Ignite are ‘profound’,” he said.

"I see a world where there is only one tech platform for us long term," he said. "We just need to have a conscious plan and strategy for how we get there."

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