Frank Gibeau on next-gen transitions and mobile gaming

EA Games Label president says that Frostbite engine makes for "efficient and low-risk development"; EA brand power gives them "an unfair advantage in a world of proliferating titles."

EA Games Label president Frank Gibeau has said that the Frostbite engine created by Battlefield 4 developer DICE had been the company's core difference in the transition to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Battlefield 4 will be using the latest Frostbite engine.

Speaking in an interview with GamesBeat, Gibeau said, "When you have a proven technology base with tools that work and you're able to move teams around, because they're all trained on the same engine, it makes for efficient and low-risk development. That was a critical decision, to invest in [the Frostbite engine] early on and put the resources in. It causes stress in other parts of the business because a lot of our top guys were working on next-generation behind the scenes. But that was a big breakthrough for us, for sure."

Gibeau added that EA is also experiencing an "unfair advantage" in the mobile market thanks to its big-name brands. "In the case of The Simpsons and The Sims, we're seeing some of the highest results we've ever seen in the revenue on those projects, and they've each been in the market well over a year. The fact that we can stitch [titles like FIFA, Madden, The Sims, and Plants vs. Zombies] together inside a network gives us an unfair advantage in a world of proliferating titles."

He added that a combination of being "platform agnostic" and getting independent developers on board is the way to go for the mobile gaming business to thrive. "On mobile devices, that's never been more true than now. We're seeing console game levels of return, financially, on these projects. We're seeing audiences that are vastly bigger. Our creative teams are intrigued by designing games for mobile devices. The touch screen, the technology--the technology on the next wave of tablets is going to be near-console-level in terms of graphics performance. You have to design for a touch screen. You have to design for short sessions. You have to design with the mindset that it's going to be mobile."

"[In terms of indie developers, they] are driving a lot of the innovation in the mobile channel. And I don't think you can overstate how big that is. Mobile and tablets have lowered the barrier to entry for a lot of the most creative people in the industry. As a result, it's a really great time to be an indie. You'd have to go back to the early days of gaming to find a time when there was this much accessibility and creativity pouring into our art."

Written By

Want the latest news about Dragon Age: Inquisition?

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Follow

Discussion

47 comments
Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

The EA brand isn't power, it's a liability.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

This guy does know that the general opinion of EA is that they are dicks, right?

Has anyone told him that "brand power" goes both ways?

Evil_Sidekick
Evil_Sidekick

He added that a combination of being "platform agnostic"......


In other news, TitanFall is exclusive for the X1.

Ridiculous claim is ridiculous

Spyre1984
Spyre1984

Nothing makes me squirt liquid hate more than EA mobile apps. They fist fudge you with adds even if you buy their apps. I want them to die in a fiery hell!

Hurvl
Hurvl

"EA brand power gives them 'an unfair advantage in a world of proliferating titles'" In the world of capitalism, there is no such thing as an unfair advantage and they know it. It's a fight for your company's very existence and only the stupid ones refuse to fight dirty.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

EA make Grand Theft Simpsons! Real Springfield with The Sims-like features but way over the top. Powerplant/drinking mini-games and the DLC episodes which The Simpsons Video Game had none. And 4-player co-op with ability to clean the streets of invaders The Simpsons Arcade style.

vongroove
vongroove

EA = Emotionless Arse holes!

DonMattrick
DonMattrick

Frostbite engine makes for "efficient and low-risk development"; EA brand power gives them "an unfair advantage in a world of proliferating titles."

TRANSLATION: Frostbite engine allows EA to pump out games by the boatload without even trying. Since people will buy their games just because they say "EA" on the bottom, developers who make titles that are actually inspired and have a development cycle LONGER than half a year will get f***ed over.


2nd video game crash, anyone?

xlord121
xlord121

Considering I immediately passed on games because of EA's "Brand Power", games like Dead Space + Simcity (only purchased mass effect when it cost $6) etc. I'd say their "Brand Power" is a bad thing.

Kayweg
Kayweg

EA brand power...right.

A brand that has become nothing but tainted and infamous among gamers in recent years.

And i always thought brand power was based on a GOOD reputation...silly me.

shingui5
shingui5

"the technology on the next wave of tablets is going to be near-console-level "

oh, please.... 

Hekteur
Hekteur

The facepalm is strong in this one.

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

When the game is the same, you can use the resources over and over again...

Lhomity
Lhomity

No denying the Frostbite engine is impressive. I can't wait to get Mirror's Edge 2 the new Mass Effect, and hopefully a new Burnout title. The latter seems unlikely, sadly.

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

EA, an unfair disadvantage more like it.

Pre_ordered_PS4
Pre_ordered_PS4

'Original content from the writers & animators of the Simpsons!'

Had this been the early to mid 90s, that would have been very exciting. But alas, it's not

telaros
telaros

EA... What you do isn't art =/

TVsportsCOD
TVsportsCOD

Basically - The Simpsons: Hit and Run 2.

udubdawgz
udubdawgz

@DonMattrick  

lol, yep.  when i read "low-risk development" i had to literally laugh out loud.

what an idiotic things for him to say.  to let us all know that low-risk development, in his/their eyes, is a GOOD thing.

way to show your cards and expose your fraudulent mentality.

ElDuderino1
ElDuderino1

@DonMattrick TRANSLATION : Frostbite engine allows them to take more risks on NEW IPs.  This is a positive thing.

shingui5
shingui5

@DonMattrick 

Nobody buys a game because 'EA' is on the box. People buy a game with 'Mass Effect', 'Dragon Age', or 'Battlefield' is on the box. 

Besides, a game engine that can span multiple genres; give very good graphical fidelity, can be scaled for different platforms powers relatively easy; is a very good asset to have. 

blackothh
blackothh

@xlord121 I also do not look 2x at anything with EA brand on it. They have much to make up for before they see my money.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@Kayweg  EA is a publisher, not a developer they are synonymous with trickery and backhanded 'deals'  They own IP's which I like(d)....and that's about it... they don't create those ip', its not their sweat and ideas that are in them... the CEOs need to stop patting themselves on the back they contribute nothing to gaming...in fact they have grossly mismanaged some great IP's.  If their companies are making money that year they then love claiming the bonuses and adoration for 'their vision and guidance of the company', of coarse up until the point something goes wrong, then they wash their hands and pass the blame on to somebody else.

SkyAboveThePort
SkyAboveThePort

@Lhomity Unreal 4 and CryEngine 3 are definitely on par with Frostbite (just to name 2). I don't think EA will leapfrog competition just because of Frostbite..

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

@Grimkillah Not really. People see the name and buy it at 60$, regardless of being the same games as the former year. I'd say that is a pretty big advantage. Same as COD.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@Pre_ordered_PS4 Back when we had Krusty's Super Fun House and Bart Vs the World. Such awful memories.

shingui5
shingui5

@udubdawgz @DonMattrick 

really?

all businesses try their absolute bets to lower risk. That's why so much is spent on marketing triple A games. 

DonMattrick
DonMattrick

@shingui5 @DonMattrick 

And why is graphical fidelity so important? I thought I was buying a game, not an $80 movie.

xlord121
xlord121

@blackothh @xlord121 Its really difficult because I can easily skip almost every EA game except 1. Battlefield. So now I'm torn on whether I should get it or not considering all the shit they put consumers through (and yes I'm speaking from personal experience).

Peter_Desert
Peter_Desert

@GermanBomber @shingui5 actually, even phones nowadays are able to handle some games that are leveled with the end of PS2 era. pretty soon phones and tables will be doing crazy ps3/xbox 360 level games. its just that games like those are few amongst the sea of crap titles, but they exist.

udubdawgz
udubdawgz

@Peter_Desert  

i understood exactly what he meant.   thus, why i specifically differentiated between me as a gamer and him and companies.

hope you had fun with the simple math.

Peter_Desert
Peter_Desert

@udubdawgz @shingui5 @DonMattrick 

really? let me oversimplify this for you:

say EA has 100 units of risk to use per year. (yes, i make risk into a unit so its easier to grasp).

imagine that previously each new title they made used up 15 risk units and investing on a new IP used up extra 20.

so they could either make 4 games (60 points) with 2 of them being new IPs (40 points), totaling 100 and using up their risk limit

OR

make 6 games, none being new IPs and have 10 risk points left in the end.

obviously making 6 games that are known franchises would bring in more money, so its was really an easy decision for the board people.

Now imagine that with this new standard (new frostbite) the risk points associated with every new game fell from 15 to 10 and from 20 to 15 for new IPs.

now they can, in theory, still make all those 6 games for the known franchises that will bring money in(60 points) and still make one new IP (25 points) and have some left over.

OR

If they are a bit more daring, make 5 games from known franchises (50 points) and 2 new IPs (50 points).

all of this while keeping the investor bard happy because the easy money with known franchises would still be coming in as usual.


this is a very simplistic breakdown of how this works for you to grasp what he meant.

hope it helped, because this is actually a good piece of news.

udubdawgz
udubdawgz

@shingui5 @udubdawgz @DonMattrick  

yes, really.

in the gaming industry, to outright expose your belief that money is more important than the games you make is laughable to me, as a gamer.

if he wants to say that to people who work or are invested in their company, fine.  but, to gamers that's the LAST thing you want to hear.

shingui5
shingui5

@DonMattrick 

it's one more benefit to go along with the rest. 

besides, PC gamers go crazy over shadow map quality. We need to pander to those people. 

blackothh
blackothh

@xlord121 @blackothh I would love to play battlefield again, battlefield 2 was some of the best fun ive had online, but i made a promise to myself to boycott them until further notice. and i can live without it. I play planetside 2 for my shooter needs. The first thing that needs to change is the removal of Origin. I am never going to install it on my pc.