Digital Arts is opening a brand new workplace within the Seattle space, with former V1 Interactive head and Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto as its recreation director.
The brand new studio is engaged on “first-person video games,” in line with a tweet from Lehto, who will reportedly be working underneath EA’s Vince Zampella, the pinnacle of Apex Legends developer Respawn Leisure.
Lehto was the artwork director at Bungie Studios from 1997 to 2012, the place he helped to design most of the characters and automobiles that may go on to grow to be a mainstay of the sequence, together with its protagonist the Grasp Chief. Lehto’s initials and birthday can each be discovered as Easter eggs on numerous in-game fashions within the authentic 2001 Halo: Fight Advanced.
Hey everybody, I’m very excited to announce that I’ve joined @EA as a Recreation Director, constructing a brand new studio within the Seattle space engaged on first-person video games. I can’t wait to share extra about what we’re creating! pic.twitter.com/GnfVFNLSaW
— Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator) October 19, 2021
Extra just lately, Lehto was the studio head at V1 Interactive in Redmond, Wash., which developed the 2020 tactical shooter Disintegration. V1 Interactive closed down in March.
That is the second new workplace Digital Arts has opened within the Seattle space in 2021. In Might, it quietly tapped former Monolith VPs Kevin Stephens and Samantha Ryan to head up an unnamed studio, with plans to create an open-world action-adventure recreation. EA beforehand had a satellite tv for pc workplace in Seattle, which primarily labored on the Want for Velocity racing franchise earlier than closing in 2002.
Digital Arts, based in 1982, could be greatest recognized by its initials. It’s at the moment the second largest third-party developer within the fashionable online game trade, behind Name of Obligation writer Activision Blizzard, with a number of profitable franchises that embody The Sims, Star Wars, Mass Impact, Dragon Age, Titanfall, and the annually-updated Madden and FIFA sports activities simulators.
As Lehto alluded to in September, EA is a mildly controversial determine within the fashionable video games trade. It was one of many first studios to be hit with complaints of “crunch tradition,” as a part of the nameless ea_spouse complaints in 2004; it’s infamous for buying impartial studios, then working them into the bottom; and it was one of many largest firms concerned within the points that surrounded “lootboxes” in 2019. It additionally makes and markets a few of the hottest video games on the planet, nonetheless, and often has no less than two best-sellers in any given 12 months’s high 10 checklist.
EA is headquartered in Redwood Metropolis, Calif., with North American subsidiaries in Orlando, Vancouver, Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. It additionally owns the casual-gaming firm PopCap, the Vegetation vs. Zombies maker based in Seattle and acquired by EA in 2011. PopCap has workplaces in Seattle, Vancouver, and Hyderabad, India.