What happened during the development of Star Wars Battlefront II is no secret to anyone keeping tabs on video game news. With EA’s initial announcement that gameplay abilities and more will be part of the game’s loot box system not going over well with gamers everywhere, the publisher was forced to backtrack on it, and even reworked the game’s progression system completely.
It seems this snag in the Star Wars Battlefront II development process, coupled with the fact that more AAA studios are opening in Stockholm, Sweden, is causing more and more employees to depart the studio. In a report by Swedish site digital.de.se (via ResetEra), close to 40 employees have left the studio this year, and that number is even expected to increase. Among the causes cited for departure is the “failed” launch of Battlefront II. The report also indicates that while job networking site LinkedIn states that close to 40 employees have left, the publication’s sources reveal that the “real number” is higher, with a handful of employees quitting their posts at the studio, though they’re still with the company for the time being.
According to one source, “It was a debacle. For many [employees], it was very tough to have to quickly redo the game” — referring to Battlefront II’s revamped progression system.
These aren’t junior devs, either. It mentions that some of the developers who left have over 10 years of time spent at DICE.
Another reason for employees leaving the studio aside from the “development hell” of Battlefront II is that new gaming studios like Epic Games and Ubisoft have recently opened offices in Stockholm, with former DICE GM Patrick Bach seemingly poaching some of his former cohorts to work for Ubisoft, where he’s now part of a new studio.
Bear in mind that DICE, the studio who develops the Battlefield franchise, has well over 400 people in its stable, with that number skyrocketing to 700+ if you include the people working on the Frostbite Engine game engine team, Gothenburg-based Ghost Games, and other EA employees based in Sweden.
We’ve contacted EA regarding this rumor, but bear in mind, there’s a chance that some people just wanted to work at a new place, so it could very well be a whole lot of nothing.
Do you think the report has merit, and do you think it will affect development of Battlefield V in any way?