No, it’s not a new faction from a Marvel comic, its EA’s new research division.
Annouced during their EA Play show on Saturday night, the Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division (SEED) is an internal EA program that is looking at cutting edge techonolgy. The statement on their website reads: "We are a cross-disciplinary team within EA Worldwide Studios. Our mission is to explore, build and help define the future of interactive entertainment."
The team is small and according to EA’s executive vice president, Patrick Söderlund, is one that he works with daily. On stage he breify said "We want to blur the line between reality and the virtual world. What if instead of giving millions of players control of a single virtual character, we had games will millions of characters shaped by you, our players?”
Yes, it all sounds very quiet and cryptic, but it is quite intersting. From what we can make out, there are two offices for SEED, one in Los Angeles, US and one in Stockholm, Sweden. And given from the job titles that SEED is looking to employ like ‘Deep Learning – Research Engineer’ and ‘Virtual Humans – Development Director’, you have to wonder how much of SEED is going to be based in AI experiementation.
EA have long employed a policy of acquiring technology that’s future proof and rolling it out across its many studios. DICE’s Frostbite engine is a prime example given that there are not many EA games now that aren’t using it.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the SEED team operate and what their work will mean in translation to video game development, but until then, that’s all we know. But we’ll keep an eye on them to see if the SEED will grow.