Respawn boss Vince Zampella is taking on a new role as head of Electronic Arts’ DICE studio in LA, California, where the outfit will be “separate from DICE Stockholm and separate from Respawn”.
Talking to The LA Times (thanks, GI.biz), Zampella will lead the studio as it develops an original, as-yet-unrevealed game. Zampella will adopt the new position alongside his duties at Respawn, which is described as “more of a head coach”.
“We will probably rebrand. We want to give it a new image,” Zampella said, suggesting the company will remain separate from Respawn and drop the DICE name. “We want people to say, ‘This is a destination you can go and make new content.’ I think they’ve kind of gotten the branding that they are the support studio for DICE Stockholm. I think rebranding is important for showing people, ‘Hey! Come work here. We’re going to do some amazing things.'”
“I think under Vince’s leadership the expectation is to have them work on and create a game on their own,” said EA chief studios officer, Laura Miele. “And I genuinely believe that he is going to help guide them creatively. He’s going to help them further fortify and build out their talent and their team. I think we’re going to have a really strong studio out of our Los Angeles location. They can go from a support team to a full stand-alone studio to create a new game offering.
“As I have partnered with him, I’ve noticed they get their games stood up and they have hands on their games really soon, sooner than other studios we have, outside of sports,” she added. “So we’ve adopted and brought in new prototyping tools and are highly encouraging teams to prototype and prove out game type, game flow and game features before we get to art execution and make it look pretty for executive presentations.”
Vince Zampella recently apologised to Apex Legends players after an apology post penned by Apex Legends’ project lead, Drew McCoy, sparked a bitter row between the battle royale’s developers and its fanbase on the game’s subreddit.
McCoy posted a blog post after fans expressed their disappointment about Apex Legends’ Iron Crown event collectables, such as Bloodhound’s $170 axe. Acknowledging that the developer “broke [its] promise by making Apex Packs the only way to get what many consider to be the coolest skins we’ve released”, McCoy admitted the latest microtransactions “missed the mark”, but the Reddit thread concerning the post dissolved into an angry exchange in which a number of Respawn devs called posters “asshats,” “freeloaders,” and “dicks”. Several of the angriest comments were deleted, but a number remained.