BioWare's New IP Will Be Revealed Soon, Exec Teases

What do you hope it is?

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BioWare will announce, or at least start to talk about, its new IP relatively soon. EA Studios boss Patrick Soderlund shared the detail as part of a wider talk with GI.biz about the importance of making new IP.

"We've been very open about the fact that BioWare is working on a new IP, and we'll get to talk about that in the not too distant future," he explained. "We have other teams working on new IP as well. I think it's about a balance, right? Making sure that we continue to push what great looks like for Battlefield or FIFA or Madden--or Star Wars, for that matter--while continuing to invest in something new."

BioWare's new IP is in development at Mass Effect: Andromeda developer BioWare Edmonton
BioWare's new IP is in development at Mass Effect: Andromeda developer BioWare Edmonton

Speaking generally about new IP, Soderlund said the video game industry has gotten better over the years at looking at analyzing and understanding what projects will work and what will fall flat. EA now more closely conducts data analysis and gathers feedback from test groups to determine what it makes. At the same time, Soderlund stressed that EA doesn't want to "design by committee."

"That's not who we are--but we do want to make sure that we have touch points with players out there, so we can understand if we're thinking about this in the right way," he explained.

EA also recently opened a facility in Stockholm for its DICE studio where it brings in consumers and films them playing games, before interviewing them after. EA can see where people might have gotten stuck and generally get an idea about what they like and dislike about a certain game. This is something of a engineered rapproach, but Soderlund went on to say that it's important to note that "not everything can be engineered."

"We need to own the creative, we need to be the ones pushing where we're headed," he said.

Immediately before E3 this year, EA teased a new IP from one of its studios, saying it would be announced "soon." It wasn't shown during EA's E3 briefing, however. In March this year, BioWare's Alistair McNally, who heads up design and art for the company's studios in Edmonton, Montreal, and Austin, said BioWare's new IP looks "stunning." McNally wore a t-shirt at the Game Developers Conference in March that showed BioWare's new IP, but no one noticed.

BioWare's new IP, which is in development at the Mass Effect: Andromeda studio in Edmonton, was officially announced in September 2012. At the time, BioWare said the game was being built from the ground up running on "new gaming technology," a likely reference to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which had not yet been released at the time.

In addition to BioWare, EA's Motive Studios is making a new IP under the director of Assassin's Creed producer Jade Raymond. This will be a "gigantic" game along the lines of Assassin's Creed and Grand Theft Auto, though it has not yet been announced.

In a recent interview, EA executive Peter Moore talked about how EA is prioritizing making new stuff instead of remasters.

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