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Ex-EA design boss starts new studio with Nexon’s backing

Patrick Soderlund is now CEO of Embark Studios

Microsoft xBox E3 Event
Patrick Soderlund, then with Electronic Arts, at Microsoft’s Xbox keynote for E3 2017.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Patrick Soderlund, the former chief design officer for Electronic Arts and former head of Battlefield studio DICE, has founded and is the chief executive of a new studio which has backing from Nexon.

Embark Studios is the name of Soderlund’s new venture, and it is based in Stockholm. Nexon announced the partnership in a news release this morning. Soderlund has also joined Nexon’s board of directors.

The statement did not mention any specific projects or types of games Embark will work on, but did say the company “was founded to develop new types of interactive entertainment and simulated virtual online worlds,” and would “build its own technology platform to optimize for the new games and experiences it will offer.”

“I believe games are on the cusp of changing radically, thanks to new technologies,” Soderlund said in a statement. “Connected players, big data, speech recognition, cloud computing, advanced AI and more will open up new play, enabling developers to build a wider range of experiences, and for players to create and contribute. Embark is a group of veteran creators eager to move beyond current play experiences into the future.”

Soderlund joined Electronic Arts when EA acquired DICE, the studio where he had been chief executive, in 2006. In his 12-year tenure he oversaw several technological advances for the publisher, including the implementation of the Frostbite engine now used in the Battlefield, FIFA and Madden NFL franchises. EA announced his departure in August.