EA’s Originals label is expanding beyond small indie titles
by Danny Craig ·
The general manager of EA Partners, Jeff Gamon, has spoken on EA’s plan to open its Originals program to teams of "varying sizes and aspirations."
- Gamon spoke with GamesIndustry.biz about the EA Originals label and how its recent shift in approach has influenced the program's partnerships with indie developers. Since its inception, the label has progressed from working solely with developers to create small, niche indie titles to focusing on "bold and audacious" games. The label has decided to open up to teams of "varying sizes and aspirations" as a result of this shift in direction, but it will continue to collaborate with indie studios, stating that "one or two" small games are in the works.
- Deals with developers remain "bespoke," according to Gamon, but it's likely that the more resources EA needs to provide for a project, the worse the deal becomes for the partner. The program will also continue to allow studios of various sizes to participate and "access the same resources" as EA's internal studios, Gamon continues, "It's like a menu. It depends on what they want and when they need it.”
- EA had previously worked with Coldwood Interactive on Unravel when the label was founded in 2016, giving the company some insight into the challenges that indie studios frequently face. Under the program, Zoink Games became the first studio to collaborate with EA, with EA sharing 100% of the profits with the studio. It has since played a much more significant role at EA, with It Takes Two, A Way Out, and Knockout City all falling under the Originals umbrella.
What else is going on at EA?
- Respawn Entertainment has announced that it will be shutting down Apex Legends Mobile as of May 1, 2023, due to the game "falling short" of the studio’s bar of "quality, quantity, and cadence." After making $20 million USD in the first two weeks of launch, the game quickly plummeted in popularity and revenue, bringing in only $40 million in its one year on the market.
- EA mobile studio Industrial Toys has been shuttered as of January 31, after its acquisition back in 2018. The closure coincides with the cancellation of Battlefield Mobile, which entered beta in Southeast Asia near the end of 2022.
- Titanfall Legends, a rumored Apex Legends campaign, has also been canceled. Approximately 50 Respawn employees who worked on the project were relocated to other areas of EA or laid off with severance packages.