Jade Raymond  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Jade Raymond  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Star Wars has made EA cool again https://www.gameskinny.com/9bv2v/star-wars-has-made-ea-cool-again https://www.gameskinny.com/9bv2v/star-wars-has-made-ea-cool-again Sun, 19 Jul 2015 19:31:22 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

Electronic Arts: the worst company in America.

For two consecutive years, EA was bestowed with that unfortunate honor by Consumerist readers, citing rushed and broken games, petty nickel-and-diming, and lack of customer support. The two famous letters harbored legitimate hate from thousands of gamers who felt mistreated, abused, and scammed.

But although EA had hit a really rough patch with its customers, just one month after winning the worst honor for the second time, EA made what can now be arguably seen as the best customer decision it has ever made: team up with Star Wars.

On May 6th, 2013, EA announced that they had acquired the exclusive rights from The Walt Disney Company to develop and publish new core games based on the Star Wars universe for ten years, spanning consoles, PCs, tablets, mobile, and more.

While some were skeptical at first of the exclusive agreement, they didn't need to wait too long before their doubts were banished, as EA soon announced Star Wars Battlefront, and so far it has been all praise and excitement leading up to its November 17th release date this year.

While Battlefield developer DICE proceeded to be the first ones to utilize EA's Frostbite 3 game engine for Star WarsDead Space developer Visceral Games was rumored to be the first ones to create an open world Star Wars game, and they couldn't have made it more clear after they snatched up the brain behind all things Uncharted, Amy Hennig.

On April 3rd, 2014, then-general manager of Visceral Games, Steve Papoutsis, announced that the creative director of the Uncharted series would become the creative director of the latest Star Wars game. 

After leaving Uncharted developer Naughty Dog, what made one of the best writers in the business choose to go to a developer owned by one of the worst companies in the business? According to Papoutsis, "I could sense that what really excited her about this opportunity was Star Wars."

Being associated with the worst company in America isn't really at the top of anyone's wishlist, but being associated with Star Wars? That's what millions of people around the world dream about everyday.

No one wants to join a company that makes games no one cares about. People want to be part of something great, something celebrated, something cool, and what's cooler in popular culture than a galaxy far, far away?

Hennig's arrival at EA would only be the start, as just last week on July 13th, it was announced that the co-creator of the Assassin's Creed franchise and former president of Ubisoft Toronto, Jade Raymond, will be starting up a new EA studio called Motive in Montreal, and will oversee Visceral Games in California.

Motive will be a "creative-driven team incubating entirely new IP and developing incredible action experiences". But what's the first thing on the to-do list?

"I’m thrilled that the first big project that we will work on in Montreal will have Amy as Creative Director. An opportunity to work with her and the Visceral team, and to play in the Star Wars universe, is once-in-a-lifetime stuff."

 Jade Raymond is a once-in-a-lifetime video gaming professional: she's produced multiple gaming franchises, helped create numerous development groups, and dedicated herself to the advancement of women in the industry.

After leaving Ubisoft last year, there's no doubt that a plethora of opportunities were open to her, and many would have been akin to the work she's done before. But after such a successful twenty years in the industry, what else was there to do? What could be new, fresh, and altogether exciting?

The answer for Raymond was Star Wars, and EA were aptly the only ones that could cross that off the bucket list.

EA's major coup of Star Wars has only led to more major coups, with the revival of a beloved series, the arrival of a prominent writer, and the creation of an all-new studio by a leading executive.

After partnering with Disney, EA has risen from its dreadful status as an evil money-hogging corporation to a creative fan-loving enterprise. Hate has turned into excitement, and staleness has turned into creativity.

EA has become an inviting force for gamers and developers alike thanks to Star Wars, and it looks like it will be that way longer than it's tenure as the worst company in America.

That might only be an assumption, but just two years into the deal, and already Star Wars has made EA cool again.

I'm Sorry, Ms. Raymond, But I Don't Want to Play as An "Old Lady" https://www.gameskinny.com/8ukwi/im-sorry-ms-raymond-but-i-dont-want-to-play-as-an-old-lady https://www.gameskinny.com/8ukwi/im-sorry-ms-raymond-but-i-dont-want-to-play-as-an-old-lady Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:16:43 -0400 Fathoms_4209

I'm going to be candid. ...as GameSkinny readers know, I'm never anything but. ;)

Let's begin with the necessary disclaimer:

Jade Raymond is a credit to the video game industry and she knows what she's talking about. She's smart, knowledgeable and experienced. I like listening to and reading her interviews because she often has a great deal of insightful - and often very accurate - comments.

That all being said, I have to take issue with one of her most recent statements, uttered during a recent interview with The Grid. She starts out by pointing to the strides we've taken in the world of gaming narratives, which is important. Too many people dismiss these strides or flat-out pretend they haven't happened.

Then she says this:

"There still isn't a game where you get to play an old lady. That's my dream."

Perhaps she was exaggerating, or maybe it's just a joke. Regardless, it does beg the question: Who the hell wants to play as an old lady?

We need to accept that gaming is best suited for certain things

I loved Heavy Rain. I really enjoyed the character of Madison because she was strong, not overly sexed, and interesting. I will always encourage developers to take risks and try new things in the world of interactive entertainment, which will undoubtedly result in plenty of freshness. At the same time, we're just going to have to accept that gaming is action-oriented.

I don't mean "action" in the genre sense; I mean that because it's interactive, you have to be doing something. Furthermore, most of us want to "do" things in games that we can't do in real life. I mean, who wants to play a game that involves gardening or building a ship in a bottle? I won't cast aspersions on such hobbies (I've always wanted to try the latter, for instance) but in the realm of interactive entertainment, we want at least some form of action, even if it's merely choosing dialogue response.

I'm all for cut-scenes, too; always have been. I have no problem sitting still for a few minutes to watch a well-done cut-scene. This isn't about any impatience on my part, nor my desire to see tons of action. I want less action in many instances, because I think gaming has become too frantic and frenetic.

Doesn't change the fact that I really don't want to play as old lady.

Yes, gaming is a fantasy

That's what it is. It's a rising form of entertainment with a long way to go. There are so many bridges we have yet to cross, and I'm interested in seeing when and how we cross them. But playing as old lady doesn't appeal to me, and I'm guessing - if others are being honest - it doesn't appeal to many gamers out there. It's not because we have something against female senior citizens. It isn't because we can't sit still and we need some hulking, musclebound, lantern-jawed, Type-A hero.

It's because it just sounds boring.

Sure, you can make her a sorceress or something. But she had better be endowed with otherworldly abilities that don't make her move like an old lady. Shuffling across the living room floor to get a pen for the crossword puzzle really can't be in a video game. We want to escape; we want to have fun. I am aware that developers would see the old lady protagonist as a challenge, in that they'd need to find a way to make it interesting for the majority of the gaming public.

But that's precisely my point: It would be a challenge because it doesn't fit. An old lady as the protagonist of a novel? Fine. In a TV show? Absolutely, that can work. In a form of entertainment where we control that individual...? Come on, let's be honest with ourselves a minute.

I think Raymond just said that because she likes a good challenge, and she'd love to try and make such a game appealing. She's great at what she does, so maybe she could do it. At the same time, we have to admit that while we all play video games for different reasons, there are some things that work, and some thing that just don't.

For the record, I don't want to play as a 52-year-old, balding dude with a beer gut, either. I'm sorry if I don't but I don't think I should have to apologize for that.