Following the announcement that Electronic Arts would develop and publish new games based on the Star Wars franchise, the gaming giant is reportedly opening a new DICE studio in Los Angeles to solely work on those specific titles. The studio will open its doors by the end of 2013 with a staff of around 60 developers. The main DICE headquarters will continue to be stationed in Stockholm, Sweden.
Company general manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson told The Wall Street Journal that the new L.A.-based studio will go head-to-head with local rivals Infinity Ward and Treyarch, both of which are owned by Activision. "There is an extreme talent pool over [there] that we want a part of," he added. "It's no secret that our main competitor is there."
The new DICE studio has already started hiring, and even pulled talent in from the Medal of Honor team. Currently, it's unknown what this studio will be working on alongside the main DICE studio in Sweden, but the Star Wars game will be powered by the Frostbite 3 engine, the same foundation that will serve up Battlefield 4 this fall.
In addition to the new studio, EA confirmed on Wednesday a mobile version of the Frostbite engine called Frostbite Go. "One of our most exciting current projects is called Frostbite Go, a mobile division empowering EA game developers with Frostbite’s proven excellent workflows and features to bring true Frostbite experiences to all major mobile platforms," states the Frostbite website.
A NeoGAF member also uncovered other comments on the Frostbite page, including a confirmation that Frostbite games are currently in development for current and future platforms including mobile devices. "Runtime in Frostbite supports a highly scalable model in order to appeal to the diverse array of platforms available on today’s market," the site reads. "Efficiency in both our runtime memory and runtime performance are both key factors to enabling code and data systems to deploy content to diverse targets from Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4 to iOS and Android."
The Frostbite team located in Stockholm is split into six groups, one of which is working on the Frostbite Go engine. The other five include Audio, Core Systems, Physics, Production Systems and Rendering teams.
The Frostbite engine was originally created by DICE back in 2006 and first used in 2008's Battlefield: Bad Company. A second version of the engine, aka Frostbite 1.5, made its debut with Battlefield 1943 in 2009. Frostbite 2, the first major upgrade to the engine, went live in 2011 with the launch of Battlefield 3. EA revealed on Tuesday that Battlefield 4 will be the first title to use the fourth-generation Frostbite engine this fall.