Speaking today at Develop:Brighton, Jade Raymond talked about how she oversees new IP for EA. Which largely involves looking at potential new titles to add to the expanded Star Wars canon.
“We’re not stopping making single player games.” She said, putting to rest some conjecture about EA’s approach to the Star Wars franchise.
And Raymond should know, her key role on the IP is to review the internal pitches that many EA studios have created. Considering the diverse takes the studios have on the universe and deciding which ones should be considered for production. She also ensures there’s a good breadth of titles from the company and “not just four jedis games.”
It sounds like Star Wars nirvana, green lighting projects, and helping to develop IPs for the world’s most beloved (sorry Star Trek) sci-fi universe. A similar role to that she held at Ubisoft but over a more diverse range of new IP ideas.
Raymond went on to explain that Star Wars fandom is driven by the knowledge that fans can accrue, saying: “You do have to hit star wars fan expectation, the number one motivator is to becoming the no.1 fan.”
Many fans are highly-competitive and want to know things about the universe that they can then tell to other fans: “It’s basically to beat their friends in star wars trivia,” Raymond said. It’s this instinct that’s a key driver in wanting to consume every last part of the IP, and the games that EA makes have to provide in this respect as well.
Raymond also commented on the gigantic “network model of the franchise.” Describing its incredible reach across casual consumers and hardcore fans, and right across the year. That’s a huge opportunity for EA.
She likened the future of game development to a neighbourhood bar in one analogy. And how people might use the same space, for which read game, for numerous different activities. From sitting in the corner reading a book, to doing karaoke with your friends, or catching up with the soap opera that is the barman’s love life.
If EA can create a social Star Wars space that appeals to a wide variety of Star Wars fandom, and encompasses such a breadth of online activities as a neighbourhood bar, then it’s really onto something.
Tonight Raymond will receive the inaugural Vanguard Award at the Develop Awards. Read our full interview on her take on "creative diversity".