Former EA exec gives update on new studio

A former EA exec’s new studio has given an update on their progress. The latest details were posted by Patrick Soderlund, the former CEO of DICE who worked at EA as an executive vice president, often taking center stage at video games conferences. His new team Embark Studios was set up in November 2018 following Soderlund’s departure from his role at EA.

The post on the Embark Studios Medium page explains how the studio has taken shape, setting up in Stockholm’s Old Town and hiring over 50 employees. Along with concept art from the game, Soderlund reveals the game’s first details: “I can tell you that it’s a cooperative free-to-play action game set in a distant future, about overcoming seemingly impossible odds by working together.”

Soderlund admits the studio’s first game will likely change over the course of development, adding that the company has chosen to utilize Epic’s Unreal Engine for their title. The post features a stunning look at the game’s visuals in their first environment test within the engine.

Speaking about the differences between working at larger studios and their current situation, Soderlund said, “Many of us here have experience from working at larger studios, with lots of support and resources. The reality of running a smaller studio means we need to work differently; we have to keep learning and come up with efficient workflows, and we always need to challenge our assumptions.” Soderlund concludes the post by stating Embark Studios will continue to share information about their development journey and “if all goes well” there will be a game reveal too.

On its Medium “About” page, Embark Studios states that it’s “a games studio exploring the future of play.” Furthermore, its website opens to the message “the future belongs to the curious.” It remains to be seen if the former EA exec’s new studio can live up to the grandeur of those statements. However, the studio does have significant pedigree. Led by Soderlund, Embark Studios includes developers formerly of DICE, Paradox Entertainment, and EA. Embark Studios also has the backing of South Korean video game publisher Nexon. Nexon has released games like MapleStory 2 as well as mobile versions of FIFA and Final Fantasy.