Respawn 'to challenge Bungie' in sci-fi war games

Respawn 'to challenge Bungie' in sci-fi war games

By Rob Crossley

June 8th 2011 at 5:40PM

EA boss explains direction for the studio founded after the Infinity Ward row

Respawn Entertainment will compete in the increasingly populated sci-fi shooter space, a key EA exec has said.

EA Games president Frank Gibeau said the newly-formed studio will be used to fill “opportunistic gaps” in release schedules and game genres – while two other key EA studios build military-based FPSes.

Unlike EA groups Danger Close and DICE, games from Respawn will not be built on a structured two-year release model, Gibeau said.

Instead Respawn’s work will be “sprinkled” over a release calendar when commercial opportunities – or game droughts – are found.

Referring to both Respawn’s work, as well as projects underway at EA’s new independent dev partner Insomniac Games, Gibeau said these games are “typically sci-fi oriented shooters.”

Speaking today at an EA press conference, Gibeau made unequivocal his high expectations for Respawn’s next project.

He said the work of Respawn and Insomniac “allows us to pick and choose the best of the sci-fi shooters.”

“It allows us to compete with things like Gears and Halo and put them on places in our release calendar where they're not cannibalistic to the core business and that's the essential strategy going forward,” he added, as quoted by CVG.

Develop revealed last month that Respawn Games has enlisted the services of Iain McCaig, a highly respected concept artist who created the original character concepts for the more recent Star Wars trilogy.

WAR GAMES


The positioning of Respawn’s first project as a sci-fi shooter is clearly a pugnacious move from EA.

It allows Respawn to compete with the very publisher that it broke away from, Activision, in a genre that many thought the Call Of Duty publisher was set to have a monopoly over.

Bobby Kotick’s publishing empire last year signed a landmark deal with Bungie Entertainment to develop a sci-fi based MMO.

That deal came weeks after a bitter public row between Activision and studio heads at Infinity Ward. Vince Zampella and Jason West, two key members of Infinity Ward were fired for “insubordination”.

In an act of rebellion, the duo established the new studio Respawn and signed a landmark publishing deal with EA.

Now it seems Respawn and Bungie, both independent studios, will be used as attack dogs against their competitng publishers.

[TIMELINE - INFINITY-GATE]