There’s been a vacuum in AAA. Amy Hennig was the woman who made Nathan Drake witty, but disappeared from Naughty Dog in 2014; Jade Raymond sent Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell: Blacklist on their way before vanishing from view.
EA have plugged the gap: building a new studio in Montreal to bring the two together.
Raymond will lead Motive Studios in developing “incredible action experiences” – starting with Amy Hennig’s Star Wars game.
You might remember that Hennig joined Visceral in California to make her Star Wars game – not Motive in Montreal. As it turns out, Raymond will be overseeing both studios from now on. She’s got the experience, having most recently pulled Ubisoft Toronto up from the earth.
“I’m a huge fan of the games that have come out of Visceral and I feel honoured to be working with such a talented team led by studio GM Scott Probst,” said Raymond. “I’ve also known Amy for years and have admired her work on the Uncharted games! An opportunity to work with her and the Visceral team, and to play in the Star Wars universe, is once-in-a-lifetime stuff.”
I’ve known and admired Jade for many years – this will be our first opportunity to work together. Great things ahead!
— Amy Hennig (@amy_hennig) July 13, 2015
Beyond that, Motive will work on some “entirely new” projects and tag-team with BioWare’s Montreal outfit – the studio behind Mass Effect: Andromeda.
“As a player of the latest Battlefield and Dragon Age games, I have experienced what the Frostbite engine can do,” said Raymond. “I can’t wait to get my hands on it and see what a new team can create!
“Everyone in this industry has a motive, an idea they want to bring to life, a new idea they’d like to see in a game. It’s what’s so great about this industry. And it’s what I want to get back to.”
Hmm! The air feels like it did circa 2007, when EA seemed to be making nests for some of the most creative people in the industry. What would you like to see come out of all this?