Thursday, December 2, 2021

Respawn's Vince Zampella Taking On Larger Role In Battlefield Franchise As DICE GM Departs EA

EA is restructuring as it shifts focus to building out the Battlefield franchise. Following a troubled launch for Battlefield 2042. DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson is leaving the company at the end of the year to pursue another role outside of EA. In response, Zampella will be adding DICE to his portfolio of EA studios as Group GM, which already includes Ripple and Respawn, GameSpot reports.

Zampella had already been working more closely with DICE since early 2020, when it was announced he'd be the new head of DICE LA with plans to launch an original game. Zampella's duties at Respawn will reportedly continue as normal, focusing on managing Apex Legends and Respawn's unannounced projects, which potentially includes the rumored Jedi: Fallen Order sequel.

Rebecka Coutaz, former managing director of Ubisoft Annecy (developers of STEEP and support for Assassin's Creed and Ghost Recon), will take over as GM of DICE. Battlefield GM Byron Beede will continue to report to Zampella.

Zampella said that EA plans for the number of employees working on the Battlefield franchise to "grow significantly." Meanwhile, Halo designer Marcus Lehto (who joined EA as a game director in October 2021) is working on building a new Seattle-based studio focused on story content for the Battlefield franchise.

Ripple Effect, the studio behind Battlefield 2042's Portal mode, is also developing a new "Battlefield experience" set in the 2042 universe.

All of this news comes as EA announces that it's working on building a "Battlefield Connected Universe." The goal appears to be to develop multiple Battlefield games or other products across several North American and European studios. EA is remaining quiet on specifics for now, but Lehto's studio, Ripple, and DICE will all be contributing some level of support to Battlefield 2042 for the time being.

Meanwhile, Battlefield 2042 just received its third update, aimed at fixing numerous bugs, improving quality-of-life features, adjusting gameplay balancing, and more. Also, Santa Claus for some reason.

Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/specialist for IGN.


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